• Top Left: Pohutu Geyser erupting.
  • Middle Right: A Maori structure used to store food. This was at the replica Maori village in the Arts Institute.
  • Bottom Right: The Bath House (Rotorua Museum of Art and History) We only saw the outside.

These are a few sights on the road to Rotorua and a bit of Rotorua, itself. On DAY 11 we took an all day, roundtrip tour bus from Auckland to Rotorua.

This was probably the worst decision we made the whole trip. The bus first stopped at the Waitoma Glowworm caves - where we viewed awesome caverns and the unique glowworms. These worms or rather the threads they produce, glow in the dark - dotting the ceilings of the caverns. I guess you could describe it as a thousand points of lights. Along with hordes of our fellow tourists, we were taken on a guided tour of the caverns then boarded a flat bottom boat for a 10 minute ride to view the glowworms. If I were to do this again, I would do the "Blackwater Rafting". You don wet suits, jump in inner tubes and take a guided tour of the caves via underground streams and waterfalls.

We were then driven to Rainbow Farms. First a trout reserve - which had ponds filled wild trout the size of Chinook salmon. There was also a live Kiwi (small, nocturnal, NZ flightless bird) on display. The girls and I attempted to escape the hordes by leaving our group and finding air pockets between the hordes. The funniest sight - a throng of tourists taking pictures of an exhibit of a stuffed Kiwi! After the fish ponds we went across the street to a sheep farm where we watched a demonstration of working sheep dogs and sheep sheering. The sheep demo was interesting, the trout farm was a waste of time.

Finally, we arrive at Rotorua only to find out we had only an hour or so to tour the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Thermal Reserves!

When I return to NZ, on my list is to stay at least a day or two in the Rotorua area to enjoy the sights and to relax in the natural hot pools and spas.