After a delayed ferry to North Island we arrived late and into more rain. The next morning we intended on looking around Wellington but as it was still raining we decided to go to the Te Papa museum, which was fantastic and the best museum we have been to all trip by a long way. It was definitely the most interactive and a full day could be spent here without getting bored. With the rain still persistent when we had finished in the museum we headed back to the campsite to plan our last 2 weeks in New Zealand.
We headed towards Mount Taranaki which is the most climbed mountain in New Zealand. It was supposed to be different to anything we had seen in South Island and we wanted to do some walking, however when passing the National Park where the mountain was supposed to give great views we couldn't see a thing due to the rain and the low cloud so we gave that up as a bad job and decided to head north to Lake Taupo and Rotorua hoping the rain would eventually stop.
We did stop off at Lake Taupo but the weather still wasn't great so the walking we intended to do was cancelled and we were beginning to get really depressed with the weather as we had had over 8 days of constant rain. The next morning however the sun was shining as we went to Wai-o-topu thermal area in Rotorua. As we arrived it did start to spit, but we still had a good day. We walked around lots of different pools of bubbling sulphur which really did smell, but it looked cool. We then went to see the lady knox geyser explode and although the process was manipulated to start at a certain time by adding a bit of soap it was still a great spectacle. We both really liked looking at the colour of the champaign pool which was 170 degrees and the mud pools bubbling up. The colours of the thermal park were great with some bright yellow pools and some really cool greens. Its amazing that all this was natural!
That night we went to a Maori performance and Hangi. The performance was great, with lots of dancing and singing by the maouri women. Then came the Hakka, this was quite a scary experience as we were on the front row and they all really got into it, we actually found the women more scary than the men though especially when they did the eyes, it really freaked us out, but it was really great to see some maori culture. It was then for the Hangi, which is basically lamb, chicken and loads of different kinds of potatoes that have been cooked in the ground. It was absolutely gorgeous, the best potatoes i have ever eaten! It was a great night and we went away feeling that although it was quite touristy we had more of an idea on the Maori people and their culture.
We then began heading to the most northern point in North Island.