We arrived in Rotorua and were picked up by the owner of the camp site we stopped at. Undoubtedly this was the best camp site we had come across facility wise as it boasted a thermal pool, a great communal kitchen area and a pool table to boot.
After a rough nights sleep on the concrete without a roll mat (as the tent sites were in fact van sites) we spent the day booking up some activities for the next day before returning to chill out at the site (via McDonalds to top up on sugar for our tea and porridge in the morning). What commenced that night was my lowest moment on the trip so far. The heavens opened and the combination of the sound of rain hammering the canvas and lying in a pool of water (that had seeped through the floor as the surface underneath was concrete) meant that sleep availed me and by 2.00am I could stand it no further. I spent a cold night sat outside under shelter reading a book, waiting for the morning sun to bring warmth and workers (to open up the communal area).
All in all, the mood was bitter in camp the next morning but with the weather improving by the minute and the prospect of a full day ahead the turning of the tide arrived quick enough and spirit were high once again. We walked into town (around the flooded playing fields instead of over them as we normally would) and caught a bus out of town to do some luging. After queuing up we settled into the seat of our luge and headed straight onto the advance track. The views were incredible but soon became obscured as the surprisingly fast pace of the luge track took over. With jumps that sent us airborne and banking corners that spat you out at greater pace it was easy to see why we all loved it so much (an how Ed lost his hoodie in the process).
We walked over to the SkySwing for our next adrenaline fix. Strapped into a seat we were raised higher and pulled back further showcasing the beautiful surroundings yet again before you could go no higher and the time came to pull the cord to send you hurtling towards the ground at 200km/ph. After a couple more runs down the luge track (braking less often each time) it was time to yet again return to the camp site. The day had made a dramatic turnaround since the ominous start that morning.
A new day brought more sunshine with it and renewed enthusiasm for more adrenaline filled activities. After finding a flier for mystery shoppers at the Zorbing centre we fell lucky in that two of us could ask a few questions with a secret camera for ten minutes in order to get free Zorbing (thus halving the cost for everyone). Ed and Chris drew the favourable straws and got the ride to the centre in the shiny Mercedes convertible (although we all got a ride home in it).
We changed into our swim shorts and headed up the hill in the jeep to clamber into the giant inflatable ball with a puddle of water joining us inside. As we were pushed down the steep hill it became apparent very quickly that A - it was nigh on impossible to remain standing and B - the balls travelled at a much faster pace than they looked like from the outside on the bottom of the hill. We did a solo journey down a winding track in the hill, a journey down the steep hill with a partner (Owen) and once more down the steep slope with two others (Ed and Chris). It was mayhem inside the ball, particularly when others were in with you and it was common place to slip and slide into each other with force (as an actress said to a bishop).
Our action packed time in Rotorua was reigned in as we had to head on to our next destination. We had such a crazy, fun filled experience and definitely improved the stomach muscles with the amount of laughing we did.