Friday saw a very different cultural experience from the day before. We spent the morning in Rotorua which is well known for the geothermal activity that occurs in this area. This is because for some reason the earths crust is thin here creating boiling mud pools and hot water springs, however they smell pretty bad from the sulphur that's being emitted. Four of us explored one of the parks and went for coffee and had a nice relaxing morning.
Our accommodation for the night was at Lake Aniwhenua home to the Ngati Manawa tribes which was very remote and surrounded by the largest man made forest in the Southern Hemisphere apparently! It was very beautiful especially during sunset. Our lodge was run by a family who is trying to revive both their Maori culture in the region and also the township of Murupara which due to unemployment had become run down and crime ridden. So at the end our hangi (a whole meal cooked underground) we made the leftovers into packed lunches that would be delivered to the local school the next day as many children couldn't afford proper meals. Apparently Stray pass through Lake Aniwhenua every 3-5 days so this helps to provide food and boost tourism at the same time. All very interesting.