Monday, July 26, 2010


Rotorua is nicknamed Sulphur City and for good reason. There's heaps of geothermal activity happening and that means that there's a distinct eggy smell throughout town. When it doesn't smell like eggs, it smells like. . .smoked meat? Odd, for sure, but not altogether unpleasant, I suppose.

I head to Auckland tomorrow so I wanted to fit in as much as possible today AND not spend too much money. I was g-chatting with my CS host in Auckland last night and he referred to Rotorua as Rotovegas which isn't too far from the truth as there are all kinds of ways to spend your money here. You can: white-water raft, kayak, climb an indoor rock wall, sky-dive, take a scenic flight, ride a luge, go zorbing, or bungee jump, just to name a few. 

I'm feeling cheap (ahem, frugal), though, so I decided on a walking tour instead. I started out with a walk through Kuirau Park because I'd read that it's one area where you can soak your feet in thermal pools for free. I ended up not doing that because the water wasn't quite as warm as I'd hoped, but I still got steamy, bubbly water pictures. You should be glad these don't come to you via smell-avision!

(Steamy thermal waters at Kuirau Park)
From there I walked to St. Faith's Anglican Church and the Tamatekapua Meeting House to see some traditional Maori carvings. Both are located on Lake Rotorua and by then the previously cloudy day was clearing up and getting sunny, so it was really quite nice.
(One of the carvings at the meeting house)
(St. Faith's Anglican Church)
Right around that time I was feeling peckish and started thinking about lunch. That's when I came across a chocolate shop. I figured I could either have lunch OR some expensive chocolates and tea, but not both because I didn't feel like spending the money. Hmmm. What do you think I chose? Here's a hint. Yeah, that wasn't a hard call at all! :-)
(Chocolates for lunch!)
My energy back up, I made my way to the Government Gardens. The gardens borrow some English concepts and have croquet lawns and bowling greens (where you play the game bowls, but I have no idea what that is!). The Bath House, opened in the early 1900's, and the Blue Pool, swimming pools dating back to the 1930's, are both here, as is the Rotorua Museum of Art & History. I briefly considered going into the museum, but seeing all the pools and spas was getting me in a relaxing kind of mood.

I haven't stopped my DIY run, apparently. I headed back to my hostel, changed into my swimsuit, and got into the "spa pool," aka hot tub, there (for free!). I also did a mud face mask courtesy of a souvenir that I bought for myself last night. I spent a grand total of $13 on today's DIY spa treatment rather than the $50+ I would've spent at one of the spas in town.

And now? Well, now I go on a search for dinner and have a quiet night since I have an early bus to Auckland tomorrow.


  1. looked at the pics of zorbing and am all over that - these days i would prob puke at the end but it looks really fun! are you going to do that?

  2. Laura - "These days?" What are you trying to say about yourself, exactly? Lol. No, I didn't try zorbing. I, too, would've been all over it, but I honestly just didn't feel like spending money on it. What do you think that says about me? :-)

  3. it says you haven't worked in almost a year . . . what it says about me is that at some point between 23 and 30 my stomach became nuy sensitivo . . . only found after a couple of ruined trips to DutchWonderland with rileigh . . . xoxoxoL