Before leaving Waitomo we had free time in the morning, so we took a walk around the Ruakuri reserve. Ruakuri is maori for 'dogs den'- named so because the guy who found the caves was chased out by wild dogs. We seen more limestone rocks, caves, forest and rivers as walked around. We also visited a town called Mangapohue where we walked across a wooden suspension bridge which was really high with fast flowing water underneath.
Then we made our way back to Rotorua, where we had briefly stopped at on the way up, Rotorua otherwise known as Rotten-rua, as one of the earths 15 tectonic plates runs underneath the town and causes gasses of sulphur to come up through the ground. And it stinks like rotten eggs. There are many geysers, boiling pools,hot springs, boiling mud and craters in parks and people's back gardens.
We had booked a dinner meal and show in Rotorua at a Maori recreational village called Tamaki. It was fun and interesting. Quite a few of us from kiwi went and first had to be welcomed into the Maori village, which is a sacred place- so the tribe chant and decide if we are good enough to be welcomed in-which we were (phew). We then went to the 'hangi' which means earth oven and watched our meal be placed into a hole in the ground and let it cook. Whilst we were waiting on dinner we walked around the village learning about games Maori's played- Shan played along and won a game where you had to try keep a long stick from falling over. We learned about their traditional clothing and facial tattoos, and Shan also took part in learning the Huka which was fun. We then watched a concert involving dancing and singing traditional songs. And then we watched the Huka preformed too, it was intense and captivating. After this we went to the eating house for our huge buffet dinner of lamb, chicken and fish, with lots of veg, rice, etc. Then we had lots of pavlova which was scrummy. Throughout the meal we listened to traditional songs being sang by our driver. On the way home as there was lots of different nationalities our made us sing a song from our country. England was first and they (along with me) sang God Save The Queen very poorly- it was terrible! A few songs later and it was the only Scot on the bus' turn, so I sang by myself 'The Bonnie Banks O Loch Lomond' I won't say it was good but I don't know where my confidence came from hehe.
We had a really good night at 'Tamaki Maori Village' it was interesting and the Maori people were friendly.
CONTINUE READING OUR KIWI EXPERIENCE ADVENTURES HERE: