Dolly Travels: Rotorua

Published Date Author: , September 25th, 2015

Rotorua

Kia Ora,

Yesterday, we had a very full day in Rotorua. Our wake-up call came at 0630. Right after breakfast, we boarded our bus, and drove up to Waimangu Volcanic valley. Our group was met at the Visitors’ Center by Mark, who led us on a walk through this area. There were clouds of steam rising from the valley, the smell of sulphur was in the air. That reminded me of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. However, as Mark explained, this Waimangu area has the characteristics of an active volcano, more than just a geothermal area. In 1886, there was a massive volcanic eruption, resulting in the formation of Lake Rotomahana, and destroyed seven villages.

While those little white wisps may just look like mist rising from the trees on a drizzly day, they are actually steam clouds rising from the valley. Those are all part of this ongoing volcanic action.

We spent an more than an hour walking down the trail, with Mark explaining the different features of the volcanic area as we walked.

After our walk, we got on board a boat, and Paul took us around Lake Rotomahana. The water in the lake is not hot, despite all the hot water flowing into it. We saw quite a few birds, including black swans, that seemed to enjoy the lake.

After lunch at the Visitors’ Center, we headed back toward our hotel. As you saw from the pictures, it was raining while we walked in the volcano region. However, as we started back toward Rotoruta, the sun came out, so Aaron took us on another “surprise” walk. We went to the Redwood Memorial Forest. This is a special place, dedicated to all forestry people who died in World War II. The forest has redwood trees that were started from seedlings imported from California a little over 100 years ago. The redwoods have tree ferns, trees that are native to New Zealnd growing alongside of these imports from California. It was a very pretty walk, very peaceful.

Apparently, the reason for importing these redwoods was to have a supply of good redwood lumber. However, the trees grew so tall so fast, that they were not suitable for lumber. Now they just reside in a lovely memorial forest.

Later, yesterday evening, all of us went to a Maori feast and traditional show. When we started out, it was raining, and the rain just got worse. We did get to enjoy the feast and the show, though. We had to walk through pouring rain, muddy, sliding pathways, to watch the war canoes come up the river. Once the warriors got off the canoes, we followed them to a long covered building, and they, along with some of the Maori women, performed songs and dances for us.

It was cold! You could see the vapor from their breath as they sang.

Eventually, we got back to the long building, and the hangau dinner, that the Maori had prepared for us.

What a busy day. I slept well, but I got up early this morning, to watch the All Black New Zealand team play Argentina in the first match of the World Cup, Rugby. That was exciting. I wish I knew enough about rugby to tell you about the game, but my reciting the rules and plays of that game would be ridiculous and detract from the vision of New Zealand that I want you to see.

Today, we flew from Rotorua to Queensland. Crisp, cool weather but sunny, and the Southern Alps are so stunning. You will have to wait to hear about that, as it is now past a good, decent bedtime. I will be getting up at 0500 tomorrow to go to Milford Sound with our group.

I cannot even convey what a fantastic country New Zealand is. I only hope you are enjoying seeing this country through my writings, until you are able to come see it for yourself.

So, I will say, good night, and I will write again very soon. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to make this trip again.

Until next time,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Bay of Plenty Gay Travel Resources

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