It smells like rotten eggs
Rotorua Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
So, after being in Auckland for two days (visiting Waiheke Island, which is kind of like Tuscany in Italy), I headed South with the Stray bus.
First stop was Hahei in The Coromandel regions, where we had a great BBQ and went to see Cathedral Cove, a beautiful cove on a paradise beach. The next morning we got up real early and went to the Hotwater Beach, where we dug a hotpool in the sand. 60 degrees Celcius water coming from underneath the sand mixed with the cold sea water and created a wonderful morning bath.
Next stop was Raglan, a hippy surfer town. I stayed in a lodge in the bush, some kilometers from the beach. The first day I did a bush walk and we had a party in a shed in the jungle. Great fun. The next day I took a surfing lesson in Whale Bay and after three tries I got up the board and I've been surfing for two hours. I never thought I would like it that much, but I'm already planning surfing during the rest of my trip.
After a resting and washing day in Raglan, I went to Waitomo, where the famous caves are. I got a drop off near a remote hostel in the farm land, 10km out of town. After a day of relaxing, I went on a caving trip. Abseiling down 30 meters, than wading through the ice cold water, checking out the huge amount of glow worms and then blackwater rafted downstream. Blackwater rafting is actually not like rafting at all. It's sitting in a tube and floating down the stream and some minor rapids. I knew than before the trip, so no disapointments there. Then we did some real caving, squeezing through narrow parts and lying down, crouching through miniscule tunnels. After we went back to the place we came in and climbed out 30 meters up again.
The next morning I went to town to wait for the Stray bus I'm traveling with, but it didn't depart until 2, so I decided to do a little walk. Too bad hayfever was really killing me that day (forgot my pills, it's winter where I live), so I got back to town and had a beer on a terrace. In the evening we arrived in Maketu, where we were going to stay at a marae, a Maori meeting house. I really felt like a tourist, watching their show and paying a lot for it, but it's a necesary stop to get to Rotorua with Stray. It's really strange how people like to watch other people acting like their ancestors, especially if it's some teenagers how have now reached the age that they lough and giggle about their own performance. Concluding: not worth the money, but necesary if you travel with Stray. In the evening we went to the beach with some drinks, which was good.
This morning I went white water rafting near Rotorua. This rafting trip includes the biggest vertical rafting drop in the world: a 7 meter waterfall. The raft went fully under water, but no one fell out in our raft. I'm staying in Rotorua now for three days and I really have to get used to the smell, because Rotorua has to be the city with the worst smell in the world. There is a lot of thermal activity in and around city, which makes the whole city smell like rotten eggs. Nice!