nz: rotorua

Thermal Wonderland = Idiot’s Theatre

After zorbing, we decided that we wanted to do something cheap and nature related.  After sorting through the billion pamphlets we picked up at iSite, it was decided – Thermal Wonderland here we come!  After a little navigation issue (yes, we went the wrong way again and if not mistaken, I think our lovely Irish driver fired us) we started making our way south to Wai-O-Tapu. 

Wai-O-Tapu is unbelievable.  It’s like we made it to the end of the earth.  The ground was bubbling and the colours were incredible.  I’ve never seen colours like this, especially the ponds that looked like they were filled with slime.  Okay, I’m not gonna lie – I saw a pond in the pamphlet that looked like it was filled with green slime and my journey wouldn’t have been complete without visiting it.  There was steam and stink everywhere.  After my dealing with boy stink from the night before, I was fine with the stink of the park but it did make a couple of people nausea.  I went shutter crazy and took a billion photos of the crazy landscape all around me.  All that was missing were seats and snacks.  If there was a way to get my hands on both of those things (okay, if push came to shove – I’d be good with just snacks), I would be willing to become a couch potato just to ooh and ahh at the view.  I can’t begin to explain how hypnotizing and awesome they are all at the same time.  Better than TV! 

The best part of all of this was the exploding mud pools.  For the four of us, these exploding mud pools took on personalities of their own with stories, hardships, and jealous competition fitting the drama of the best soap operas out there.  Eat your heart out Shortland Street!  Words can’t express the way exploding mud pools pulls you in and holds you captive.  The four of us just stood around and watched and waited for one explosion to outshine the other.

As we wandered through the park, I was waiting for a dinosaur to come and attack us as it felt like we had travelled back in time.  This is one of those places that I plan on dragging friends to when they come to visit me in New Zealand.  There is something so unreal that it just feels magical to me.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: rotorua | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Better Than Chocolate!


Only photo I care to share as you can't see the glimmer of crazy in my eyes...


Who ever thought that it was a good idea to roll down a hill while trapped inside a giant hamster ball is a genius in my books!  With all the mindless shenanigans that I constantly find myself dreaming up for amusement’s sake, I’m surprised that such a brilliant idea never occur to me.  Damn!  Beaten by quirky kiwis at my own game!  The main objective of going to Rotorua for the weekend was to give zorbing a whirl.  The drive from Auckland to Rotorua is approximately 4 hours each way and it takes approximately 2 minutes to get from the top to the bottom of the hill.  Even if zorbing was the only thing we did in Rotorua – it was well worth the trip.  In a nutshell, the best 2 minutes of my life! 

As the idea of being strapped to a wall of the zorb made my stomach slightly queasy – I decided to do the water version called ZYDRO down the zig zag path.  The middle of the zorb is filled with warm water and then all you do is run and jump through the hole to enter the zorb.  For some reason I thought it would be much harder to get into the giant hamster ball and flew into the ball faster/harder than what was needed and hit the other end of the zorb from the inside like a moron.  After a quick chuckle, the zorb wrangler zipped me up and pushed me down the hill.  I flew around the inside of the zorb like a rag doll while laughing uncontrollable like someone who belonged in an insane asylum.  What can I say – it’s just that magical instead a hamster ball made for humans.  In no time at all, I was at the bottom of the hill and as I was getting set to launch myself out of the ball the zorb wrangler looked at me and said I had to go feet first.  What he forgot to mention was that they were going to tilt the ball and so I launched out of the ball with such force that I fell flat on my ass on exit.  In an attempt to mask my clumsiness, I made a joke about how the zorb just gave birth to me which was enough to make the kiwis crack a smile.  They all seemed pretty amused and ever so supportive of my special brand of stupid.  It was in this moment that I realized that the rain had stopped and the sun started shining down on me once again.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: rotorua | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Roadtripping to Rotorua

On Friday, I got the text message that I was desperately hoping for – a rental was finally secured and all I had to do was be packed and ready to head to Rotorua right after work.  Full of glee, I ran home during my lunch hour and did my best to throw the must needed items into a backpack and then spent the rest of the afternoon counting down the minutes until the weekend.  The plan was to drive in the direction of Rotorua and the rest would magically work itself out.  

Time to pull out the map to leave Aucks!

Looking back now, it’s a little funny on how leaving the city proved to be much harder than we first anticipated.  We drove around Auckland in circles looking for a way onto the motorway.  In the half hour that it took to figure this out, we managed to stall the car on a hill or two as well as cut off/block kiwis on their way home from work.  Thankfully, it didn’t take much to adjust as we had an expert behind the wheel and we were off on a road trip of a lifetime! 

We made it into Rotorua in record time but then like clockwork it was time for us to get lost again.  As we looked for a place to crash – it seems like an almost impossible mission to find a hostel for the night.  The only one we repeatedly kept driving by was BASE but everyone in the car agreed that we were boycotting that particular chain of hostels.  After driving up and down a handful of streets repeatedly, we finally stopped a backpackers within the main area and went in to see if they’d take us in.  As we stepped out of the car, we were hit with the magnificent scent of Rotorua.  If this blog could be a scratch ‘n sniff, I would share the beauty of the smell but the best way I can describe it is that it smells just like egg farts.

Sadly, the egg fart smell of Rotorua did not compare to smell that eagerly awaited us in our room.  When we checked in, we stupidly made the assumption that it would be just the four of us in a room.  This was not the case.  When we opened the door to our room, we were hit with the all too familiar smell of boy stink!  The version of boy stink in Rotorua is hands down the worst I have been exposed to this far in life.  Let’s just say that the next morning, I was excited to breathe in the eggy aroma of Rotorua as it was refreshing to the smell that was found in our room that first night in Rotorua.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: rotorua | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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