Rotorua STINKS!! and i dont mean that in a horrible way, it really does. The town is built on a geothermal area and the stench is sulphur wafting up through geothermal hotspots. As you walk through the town you can see steam rising randomly from the ground. It really was the strangest landscape ive ever seen. We visited one of the geothermal parks. Throughout the park there were steamy, stinky bubbling pools of mud and bubbling lakes. The whole area was boiling hot and really eerie, like something from a film. Most peculiar.
In the afternoon we went Zorbing!! Basically for those of you who don't know what zorbing is it's when you get inside a giant plastic ball and get rolled down a hill. Tom, Gemma and I all decided to go in together...with some water. The water was hosed in then one by one we had to superman dive, headfirst, into a tiny whole in the side of the Zorb. The door was shu and we had to stand (easier said than done) and push ourselves, gladiator style (remember the atlaspheres) to start it rolling. Then the hill did the work. We weren't standing for long, it was impossible. We just slid around all over the place. I laughed all the way down. As you can imagine, I was hysterical. Definately the funniest thing i've done!
That evening we headed out to a traditional Maori night. We went to a re-creation of a tradition maori village from the 1600's. We saw traditional challenges which determind whether we would enter. Thankfully we could otherwise it would have been a bit of a waste of money. Once inside we were given demonstrations of handicrafts, songs, poi dance, weopanry and the Haka, which was awesome to see live. Afterwards we had a traditionally prepared meal (ccoked underground on hot rocks) which was delicious.
The next day we went luging. We've formed a group of about six of us since the start of the trip, we all went together. We had to take a cable car to the top of the tracks, were given a brief rundown on how the Kart worked and that was it, first to the bottom. There were three grades of track. First beginner, then intermediate, then advanced. Even the beginners was no easy ride, we had to lean on the corners and dodge children. (if they were lucky) Each time we took the ski-lift back to the top. Intermediate was faster etc. Then onto advanced which was faster still. To call ourselves advanced after just two runs was slightly optomistic, but we all survived and had a hoot doing so! That night the six of us had a BBQ back at the hostel which turned into an awesome night with most of the hostel joining us along with the cliched guitarist!. We had a real back-packers night singing along and laughing - not at the guitarist, he was good, but laughing generally.
On the last day we went for a round of crazy golf, which we decided would be more appropriately named unusual golf, which somehow turned into boys against girls. We let the guys win so's not to bruise their ego's. Tom managed to score a hole in one on the last hole, where there was a prize of a free game and a drink for doing so. Jammy git.