Rotorua

I spent the last couple of days of my holiday in Rotorua.

The hot and sunny weather there was great as we do not have this in Wellington. I was in a short skirt and T-Shirt all days and felt slightly strange, not being used to wearing so little anymore.

But it was great, it felt a little bit like summer! And after 6 years of living in Wellington and therefore not having a summer, you can imagine how much I miss it and enjoy it on the few opportunities that there are.

I’ve been to Rotorua before, but there were still a couple of things I never had a look at. There is a nice walk you can do that takes you through a park with some geothermal mud holes, and then down to the lake to Ohinemutu, an old Maori village. This was really quite amazing, with steam and bubbling water right between people’s houses.

The marae’s meeting house has beautiful wood carvings:

043 Ohinemutu Marae Detail (400x300)

The walk then follows the lake shore to Sulphur point. There are sulphuric gases bubbling up in the water, which makes any plant life impossible there and gives the lake a light whitish turquoise colour. There are plenty of birds hanging around there on the rocks though, and the whole scenery looks quite gorgeous:

044 Lake Rotorua Sulphur Point (400x300)

As always, mud pools fascinate me most. Just a few minutes on, there was a particularly intriguing one. It’s called the coffee pot, and that’s exactly what it looks like, including some thick cream around its edge;

046 Coffee Pot mud pool (400x300)

Just as aside, as always, I stayed in a nice backpackers. One of the reasons why I like this is that you virtually always meet other Germans there. It can be quite interesting to have a chat with them, as this gives me a feel what’s going on in Germany which goes beyond what you read in the newspapers. And what I’ve heard a number of times by now is that the country is changing, in particular employers becoming more flexible and more accepting of people whose course of life has not been straight.

It will be an interesting thing to watch and see how this unfolds over the next 10 years or so.

So this was my holiday.

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Easter trip

Over the Easter weekend, Gregor and I went to the Bay of Plenty. We spent Good Friday wandering around in the old gold mining area of Karangahake, and driving down to Whakatane. The weather wasn’t spectacular, but good enough to go to White Island on Saturday. Here are a few pictures:

15 Huegel mit Dampf09 Schwefelige Vents22 White Island

On Sunday, we went to Tarawera Falls. To get there, we followed the creek that feeds the falls. This is quite an interesting walk because at some stage the creek completely disappears underground through cracks in the rock. It only re-emerges at a steep cliff face where the water comes out of the rock again as the Tarawera Falls:

25 Tarawera Falls

Tarawera Lake is also quite nice:

27 Lake Tarawera

Back in civilisatio again, we went to the hot pools in Kawerau. This is a logging town, and the pools are for free!

On Monday, the weather had completely turned crap and it was bucketing down. We decided that we would drive to Te Aroha and go sit in the hot pools there. On the way though, along the Kaimai ranges, we saw a big water fall from the road, so instead of continuing to the hot pools, we went for a walk there. The track went through beautiful and dense bush all the way to the top of the falls, and even though it was raining all the time, it was only dripping a bit under the trees and we even didn’t need a rain coat:

28 Wairere Falls Walk Gregor

The way back to Auckland turned out to be a bit hectic, as there was a massive traffic jam. Luckily enough, we could find our way back via little roads and I just made it to the airport in time to catch my flight back to Wellington.