Day 4 already -that has to mean its time to go zorbing!!!
Day 4 dawns and with slight queasiness due to last nights shenanigans, Shane, Lindsey, Fiona and I (Hannah came along as our professional photographer - thanks for that!) decided we had to shake things up by going zorbing. For those uninitiated amongst you, that means getting into a giant plastic ball, filled with warm water, either with a friend or alone (we did both) and then zig zagging down a giant hill, at quite a speed! Hmmnnn now why would we want to do that I hear you ask! 'Cos its brilliant fun.. seriously!
Post-zorbing (dont you just love that word!) and after lunch at "Fat Dogs" in town, we checked out some of the smelly sulphur pools. Rotorua is actually nicknamed "Sulphur City" with the most energetic thermal activity in the country; you see tons of bubbling mud pools, gurgling geysers and you can't get away from the awful eggy smell that hangs over everything. Def. couldn't live here!!!
We left for Taupo, our next port of call, around 1.30pm, with a stop first at the impressive Huka Falls. In Maori these are known as Hukanui meaning "Great Body of Spray" and they really are quite impressive! Group shot of all of us before we went to explore....
Arrived in Taupo around 5ish and after checking in at "Urban Retreat", our latest hostel, Lindsey and I headed off to the supermarket to get a birthday cake for Fiona's big day!! Taupo is a pretty nice town, famous for its great lake (the world’s largest crater lake), and the many action activities you can do here; primarily sky diving. The reason people do it here, over the lake, is that it is much cheaper than anywhere else in NZ, due in part to much more competition. We were all set to do it too, but the weather was bad, so unfortunately it was cancelled!
We had dinner in the hostel, then celebrated Fiona's b-day with cakes galore and lotsa balloons in the bus! Ikaha took us for a surprise activity - swimming in a thermal hot springs that was a bit of a secret to tourists. Ihaka and his pals swim here even in the dead of winter. It's weird.. the water is absolutely freezing in parts, then in others it is boiling - literally - hot! Had such a laugh here - everyone swimming around in the pitch black, shouting "here's a hot bit" or Ihaka telling us we had to swim in the cold for a bit, so we would all appreciate the hot part as much!! Hilarious - even more so, on the way back into town, with the music blaring on the bus, and Ihaka flashing the lights on and off! Madness and tons of fun!
We knew this would be our last hurrah as a group, due to lotsa people going off in different directions tomorrow, so this was to be our big night out! And it was! We went to Mulligans and then the Holy Cow, where we danced the night away, on the tables (even me!) till about 3am.....a perfect end to a brilliant week with a fab bunch of folks! Hard to believe we didn't know each other just a few days ago...sad to say goodbye, but there's a good chance we may catch up on the South Island or even in Australia.. so here's to a great time had by all!