Weblog - page 11
The first thing you notice about Rotorua (which means “Second Lake” in Maori) is the stench. Climbing out of our air-conditioned coach and taking a deep breath of shockingly eggy air was a bit like stepping off a plane in a tropical country and being hit by that wall of heat and humidity.
A few brief (ha!) notes on bus journeys here in NZ, since at the moment that’s how we’re getting around. There’s a network of buses operated by what seem to be two separate companies who appear to co-operate rather than compete - InterCity and Newmans. We bought a “Flexi-Pass” ticket, which works by time - you buy a certain number of hours and time is deducted from your pass according to some arcane system that we don’t quite understand, but so far everything is going well.
Forgive me for the title of this post – all will become clear soon enough. (And no, it doesn’t involve velcro gloves or any such thing, but did you really expect a visit to New Zealand to involve absolutely no mention of these beasts? After all there are something like 40 million sheep (compare to 4 million humans) in the country.)
Waitomo is one of New Zealand’s premier tourist attractions, most famous for the limestone caves which riddle the hills and the glow-worms inhabiting them. Most people who visit the area do so very briefly, only allowing enough time to do a cave trip of some description – some involve a fairly sedate walk or boat journey through a cave lit by the green lures of the glow-worms, others are more adventurous and involved clambering up underground waterfalls and abseiling down pot-holes.
We might not have done any surfing at Raglan, but we did do some other stuff, including our first real trip into the New Zealand bush – a jaunt out to the Bridal Veil Falls. The falls plunge around fifty meters down a sheer cliff in an area of quite dense forest.