To my dearest friends, family and fellow culture cravers,
Although I have only been back on the road since my short stop over in Auckland for just over a week, I have done and seen so much it feels as though I’ve been travelling for months.
Last Wednesday I hopped back on the Kiwi Experience bus to Hot Water Beach – a beach in the Coromandel area, which gets its name from its extraordinary ability to ooze hot water from the ground. Due to this impressive feature, Hot Water Beach is a prime spot for tourists to grab a spade, dig a small hole in the ground until hot water seeps into it and chill in their very own beach jacuzzi.
Being so prepared we forgot to take a spade, we nabbed somebody else’s ready-made hole and sat back and relaxed until the steaming water became too hot to handle.
The next day we made our way to Waitomo. Renowned for its phenomenal glow worm caves, it is the best place to admire some of New Zealand’s incredible rock formations. Having held back on splashing hundreds of dollars on abseiling and zip wiring through the caves, I opted to go on the ‘Grandma walk’ (as named by our driver) to get a glimpse of the shimmering worms, which illuminate the caves’ roofs. Unfortunately, photos were forbidden inside the cave so instead, I took a photo of the glow worms from the billboard outside…
The next morning we were back on the bus to Rotorua… or Smellyville. Famous for its sulphur-rich, spurting geysers, bubbling mud pools and thermal hot springs, Rotorua is encompassed in a pungent eggy odour.
I decided to slow things down a bit here and stayed for three nights.
Also known for being the best spot to get a taste of the ancient Maori culture, I wasn’t short on things to see and do to fill my time. On our first night in Rotorua we stayed in the Tamaki Maori Village (read about my experience in my last post here), which was incredible. I then enjoyed a lovely day by the lake recouping from the last few busy days before jumping on the next bus to Taupo.
Another few hours further South, Taupo is an adventure filled city boasting a humongous lake in the centre of town and fascinating hot springs on the outskirts. On my first day we wandered to the hot springs. A picturesque lake surrounded by tall fern trees and green grass banks, it was beautiful.
However, it wasn’t just any lake – nestled in one corner was water as hot as a steaming hot bath. We spend the afternoon floating in the water until our fingers and feet were prune-like and the sun was setting.
This week has been MANIC (hence why this post is so late) nevertheless, it has definitely been the most strenuous, action-packed and incredible week in New Zealand to date…
So stay tuned! Until next week…