Tuesday, 13 Aug ’19, raining and raining and raining.
Today we’re off to Rotorua early morning, after our breakkie. ヽ(o^ ^o)ﾉ
We booked our bus from interCity to take us from Auckland City to Rotorua. The bus fare is around S$24 one way, per person – we took the morning schedule; departs 8AM from Auckland and arrived in Rotorua 12:15PM. The bus stop for interCity located on the west side of Sky Tower, very close from our hotel at Wyndham.
We passed by Hamilton on the way from Auckland to Rotorua. The 4 hours journey mostly was raining. We saw 4 different rainbows within 2 hours. It was one of the memorable journey I ever had. (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)
This picture captured my real life: even in your holiday, you can’t run away from deadline. 😂
this is i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, very informative place with free WIFI!
Spotted Hei Matau statue!!!
Rotorua is a city on the southern shores of Lake Rotorua from which the city takes its name, located in the Bay of Plenty Region of New Zealand’s North Island. Rotorua is a major destination for both domestic and international tourists; the tourism industry is by far the largest industry in the district. It is known for its geothermal activity, and features geysers – notably the Pohutu Geyser at Whakarewarewa – and hot mud pools. This thermal activity is sourced to the Rotorua caldera, in which the town lies.
Arrived at this charming little town both of us were starving. Our bus alighted us at Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Information Centre. On the way from i-SITE to our motel we found a cute café called Art Café where we finally had our lunch. We couldn’t finished our food – a friendly reminder most of the food here are doubled from general Asian food especially from SG. (≧◡≦)
From walking around the little town then checked out Countdown Central Mall, we still had plenty of time before our Te Puia Night Cultural Experience, the activity we booked from KLOOK which will start only on 6PM. This activity cost us S$91, including traditional welcome, Haka and Poi dance, Hāngi , Authentic Māori dinner and shuttle back to our hotel.
We decided to hop on bus route #11 to Te Puia even it was only around 4PM. The bus from i-Site to Te Puia was only less than 20 minutes drive. Arrived in Te Puia, the activity has not started yet, and we couldn’t get inside unless we paid extra $$$ to enjoy other activities, including enjoying Pōhutu Geyser, the sulfuric area. It was windy and drizzling outside, so both me and Veron decided to wait inside the museum & craft store. ( ‾́ ◡ ‾́ )
I smiled but inside I was sad bcoz we couldn’t get inside until 6 o’clock!
Killing 2 hours inside the museum and craft store wasn’t really a good idea. Other than sat there, took plenty of selfies and wefies, and playing with phones, we ended up shop quite a lot of stuffs from this store. (*ﾉ∀`*)
And what is this Te Puia? Te Puia spans 70 hectares within the historic Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, on the edge of Rotorua. We are home to the world famous Pōhutu geyser, mud pools, hot springs and silica formations.
By 6PM sharp we finally checked in the activity. We were all gathered inside one big hall where a Māori was singing beautiful traditional songs with his guitar. Once everyone gathered inside the hall, our tour guide came and greeted us and gave us a brief explanation about our activity tonight. Our tour guide also introduced who will be our ‘chief’ for tonight before we headed to see how they cook our Hāngi dinner.
From there we followed our ‘chief’ – someone who has been appointed without voting for not to lead our group but just to act like one – to a big front yard of a Wharenui – traditional Māori house. A young Māori came outside to greeted our ‘chief’ with Hongi. We then proceed to followed our fake chief to go inside the wharenui and enjoy Haka and Poi dance, and some beautiful songs, including Pokareare Ana. ♡(｡- ω -)
After watching the traditional performance, all of us made a move to for our feast; my favorite was pork and chicken Hāngi. After the feast all of us hopped on a long truck to enjoy Pōhutu geyser at night with a cup of hot chocolate and listened the tour guide explained about Te Puia. Fortunately we also witness the geyser erupted for more than 10 meters before we headed back to the main entrance. A driver was ready to send us back to our motel with shuttle.
Male visitors are welcome to learn Haka Dance.
While female visitors are welcome to enjoy ball dance.
Our Hāngi were cooked using heated rocks buried in a pit oven, also called an umu.
And so that is how we ended our first night in a charming little town, Rotorua.
Tomorrow we will meet farm animals, including my bestie, Alpaca!!! I’m Thrilled!!!
See you tomorrow! ☆⌒ヽ(*’､^*)chu