After a long days drive we finally made it to Rotorua, the town of hot springs and mud baths.
We made a few stops along the way one being Whangarei Falls, Auckland and Matamata (the town that is also known as Hobbiton, as it is the nearest town to Hobbiton.)
Our first night was at Taheke Opatia (sorry no photos for this one.) The place was a Maori Family’s meeting house. We were welcomed into the family after singing an extremely bad version of ‘I’m a Believer’ from Shrek.
We then had a roast dinner cooked by the Maori family before they entertained us with some of their traditional songs and dances.
We were then sent to the main building to make our beds and enjoy a night under the same roof.
The next day we scattered ourselves around Rotorua. I spent the morning walking around Lake Rotorua. Inhaled a mountain of the smell that the area produces (it was a good day though, not to strong). I watched some of the natural mud baths and hot springs.
I was then picked up by Canopy Tours so that I could fly through the forest of the Mamaku Plateau. The tour is a 3 hour tour and the guides went into how they are trying to revitalise the bird life in the forest. It has taken almost 3 years and they are almost finished setting up traps through the full forest. They are trying to get rid of the pesky animals being the possums, rats and some other animal starting with ‘s’.
The longest line is 220 metres long and the highest is 22 metres high. There are 2 suspension bridges and a bit of a walk through the forest. I highly recommend this tour, it is extremely fun and relaxing.
We enjoyed a Mongolian BBQ dinner then a delayed but awesome New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
The next day we hopped on a Hobbiton tour and I must say it was impressive. You can’t go into the houses or walk around the grounds by yourself. I paid $110 and we got picked up from Rotorua, a guided tour and a free drink at the green dragon. The Hobbit town is located on a working sheep farm. So you have the view of the farm and Hobbiton in one spot.
When we left Rotorua that afternoon we stopped off at Kerosene Creek where we went for a swim with the locals.