We left Taupo in the morning and had a quick stop at the Huka Falls. These were just rapids and wouldn't really be of note apart from the fact that a gaggle was there too. They had just got off of the coach in full winter wear (shiny puffer jackets) and proceeded to take hundreds of pictures of the same thing. We watched them for a while and then started to imitate some of their poses, when the leader of the gaggle saw what we doing and informed his group. Luckily, they saw funny side of it and then got some pictures with Grace and Charlie. This was a first for Charie but was just like being back in Asia for me and Grace.
Rotorua smells. That is a fact. They blame it on the sulphur and geothermal activity but it might just be that they have a problem with rotting eggs. We went to Whakarewarewa, a maori village built around a load of boiling springs and pools. Firstly, there was a "culture show" where a group were in traditional dress and performed some songs and the haka. It was pretty good except that our view was partially blocked by a new gaggle. We then had a tour of the village led by a resident, explaining about the springs and generally showing us around. There were pools with a surface temperature of over 90 degrees which bubbled up every hour and in some parts of the village even the ground was heated! Where there were cracks in the ground and steam came through, boxes had been built around them to create a type of oven and all the villagers used these to cook their food. It seems like a pretty cool way to live although the smell is really off-putting... We saw some geysers which are said to blow water up 13 feet high but I couldn't tell what was water and what was steam, it still looked pretty cool though.
From there we carried on north through to Mount Maunganui.