Got up and checked out of the interesting Commercial Hotel in Hamilton and after a comfortable 2 hour coach trip got to Rotorua. A far far bigger place than I had realised on my only other trip here in 2002, and a popular venue for many between the first two Test Matches.
Had a quiet first afternoon, doing exciting things like visiting supermarkets and laundry and also booking various activities the next day. Couldnt be bothered to go out in the evening so ate in and crashed out watching tv.
My only full day here started with an 8am guided tour around Te Puia Thermal Reserve, some Maori culture, various geysers and boiling mud pools were good to see. Then came a farm show at the Agrodome Centre, on the face of it dull - just lots of sheep being paraded in front of you, and one being sheared, followed by a sheep dog trial but the fella doing it was a great laugh and the hour shot by. I got talking to a couple of guys over for the cricket and then went to Rainbow Springs, a nature park with some Kiwis but a bit dull.
I went up the Gondola afterwards and had a couple of efforts on the luge, then plucked up the courage to have a go on the Sky Swing. I wanted to watch it a couple of times first but was hauled over by Katie (Barmy Army organiser) to join two of her friends already in the capsule. This was pulled back what seemd like miles until you were facing down at the ground which seemed a long way away. We then had to pull a cord to release it (having played paper/scissors/stone to decide who had the task) and I then screamed like a girl whilst it plummed down and forward at great speed.
I got a lift most of the way back with a couple of kind Australian ladies and had a walk thru a Volcanic Park and the town centre before a gym session and a quiet night.