Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Zealand - the "what is that SMELL??" edition

Previously, Ness and I chased hobbits.

After leaving Hobbiton, we drove down to Rotorua, and arrived in time to abuse the hotel's free wifi, and discover that we could basically only get signal for said wifi if we sat on the bench of the kitchenette right next to the door. We walked into town for dinner and detoured past some hot springs for a little look, where we promptly discovered that hot springs smell like a combination of fart and wet dog with an unwelcome side of steam that means you're WALKING THROUGH STINKY CLOUDS OF STINKINESS. In short: ew.

Anyway, we had dinner (I had chicken strips because I'm a grown up), then wandered down towards the lake where we promptly froze to death from the wind and high tailed it back to the hotel. But not before admiring this cool church:

The following morning, we drove into town for breakfast, where I was presented with this BOWL of hot chocolate:
I'm a little sad it didn't have a lightning bolt scar...

Once we'd finished stuffing our faces, we jumped in the car and headed out to Rotorua's number one tourist attraction (according to TripAdvisor, at least) - the redwood forest. We picked one of the walking tracks that was an hour or so, and headed off into the forest. It was, excitingly, the one place in town that doesn't smell like wet dog farts, which I suspect is part of why it's so popular.

The trees were pretty impressive, and the whole walk was gorgeous. Plus, the redwoods kept making me think of Redwoodian, which gave me squees.

In the afternoon, we headed over to Te Puia. After returning to the Kiwi House THREE TIMES, we finally got to see one moving around, and it was the greatest thing ever. I have no photos, sadly, because NOCTURNAL. But rest assured, kiwis are adorable and my second favourite thing ever (the first being red pandas, obviously).

We took the guided tour around the site, past gloopy mud pools and geysers and a recreated Maori village, to displays of Maori weaving and carving techniques.
Bloopy mud.

The whole thing was really well done, and we had plenty of time left to look around at our own pace between the tour and the Maori cultural performance, which included a haka, traditional songs, and poi dancing, which was pretty fabulous:

It was only 4.00 by the time we finished there, so we parked by the Rotorua Museum (which we didn't have time to go to, but the building is REALLY PRETTY), and wandered around the lake for a while.

Next time, we go to a fabulous cafe for breakfast, then head south in search of more stinkiness and a dirty great volcano.

K xx


  1. 1. Did the extreme clouds of stinkiness seep into your clothes and hair?
    3. The Redwood Forest actually makes me want to go hiking, which is quite a feat. It looks magical.
    4. I'm a little disappointed you didn't try the gloopy mud as a face mask and then take pictures. Isn't it supposed to do wonders for your skin? ;)

    1. 1. It FELT like it did. But the whole town reeks so it's hard to work out if it actually does seep in or not...
      2. Isn't it just?!
      3. It was pretty damned fabulous.
      4. Yeah, it is. But that particular mud was just shy of boiling point. I *did* try some gloopy mud hand cream that was meant to smell like lavender or jasmine or something. It made my hands feel oily and smell like farty mud. So I'm glad I didn't put any on my face...

  2. Harry Potter Hot Chocolate! That's amazing. That forest is so gorgeous. I'm super envious of your trip!

    1. I'm still not sure if it was supposed to be Harry Potter or if they just drew a face on it with chocolate syrup. Whatever, it totally looks like Harry Potter.

  3. Why doesn't the hot chocolate have a lightning bolt? It can't be that hard. I don't understand

    1. I was seriously tempted to ask them for the chocolate syrup so that I could rectify the situation myself!


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