Our third stop in New Zealand was Rotorua. We hadn’t planned to go there but it had rained a lot and so we changed our plans and decided to go somewhere there was a lot to do – even in the rain. We drove all the way from the Bay of Islands in the Defender that the Duder’s lent us.
Our first day in Rotorua was AMAZING!!!!! In the morning, we went to the lake for a walk but we’d had so much rain that the paths were all flooded so we had to move on to ‘Plan B’. We went up the mountain to SkyLine where they have a massive, scary swing ride; Luging – which is basically go karting but waaaaay more fun and Zip lining over a massive mountain bike race track.
First lets talk about luging. So luging is when you sit in this small, black, vehicle thingy. There are handles like a bike in the front and you just ride around a downhill track through a forest. You control your speed by pulling back the handles, which causes the luge to slow down and it’s so super fun! As a family, we all went down together racing and over taking each other. There was a beginner’s track an intermediate track and an advanced track. The advanced track was shut which was really disappointing but we still had so much fun. After the first run I said it was the best thing I’d ever done. Also, when we’d first arrived and were getting our tickets, a man came and gave us some of his leftover tickets so we got 7 extra rides which was such a bonus!!!!
After that, we went to weigh ourselves for the zip lining. Everyone except willow was heavy enough so we had lunch. Everybody except dad had an enormous chicken curry and afterwards Willow was heavy enough because she ate so much curry!!!!!
I really liked the zip lining because we had really cool gear on. The harness we had to wear looked like a big, oversized nappy. The ride was about 20 seconds long and at the end there’s a big bump to slow you down because you’re going so fast.
Finally, there’s the swing. This swing was no ordinary swing. This swing had three 25M high towers where you were pulled right up to the top and then the riders in the carriage have to pull a rope and it releases you and you go flying!!!!!!! When Lola did it with mum it looked like she was going to pee her pants. I did it with dad and when we stopped going so fast the first thing that came out of my mouth was “I FEEL LIKE A MINION!!!! I DON’T KNOW WHY!!!!” We bought the video that they make as it really made us laugh. We put some clips of our day in Rotoroa together in a video here:
The next day, mum got her hair done and Lola, Willow, Dad & I did school work. On Wednesday we drove to the Duder’s holiday home in Pauanui on the Coromandel.
When we got to Pauanui we went for a walk on the beautiful beach and then out for a valentines day meal to a restaurant called JK’s. Mum and Dad got free champagne. I had (another) delicious chicken curry.
On Thursday, we went on a hike to Cathedral Cove. Cathedral Cove is a beach that has a massive mountain rock thing with a huge hole in it. It was quite a long (10k) hike in really hot weather and up and down some really steep paths. When we got there it was amazing, but the waves at the beach were sooooooo big. They were so big that a girl who looked about 15 went out and she got caught in a riptide and was pulled out to sea. Luckily, on the beach there was a guy in a kayak and he rescued her.
After that we went to a beach called Hot Water Beach. At this beach you are supposed to bring a spade (but annoyingly we forgot) and dig holes in the ground and you would sit in them and really warm water comes into them from the ground and its like a homemade jacuzzi. There was a sign close to the water saying “CAUTION VERY HOT WATER” and we just thought it would be a bit warm but it was BOILING!!!!!! We went in one of the holes and it was so good but then we got out to ask someone if we could borrow their shovel and when we got back some people had stolen our hot tub!!!!!! ( BTW we didn’t ask anyone for a shovel because Willow and I were a bit shy).
On Friday, we left to go to the airport to drop off Mary-Lou’s Land Rover Defender. When we got to the Key Drop Off the lady at the desk said we hadn’t booked it so Mum said “ok then we’ll pay you just take the keys” but then the lady said ” Yeahh but it says here you have to book online” and then mum said “Then we’ll pay online” but then the lady at the desk said ” but it says here you have to book online at a minimum of 4 hours earlier” and I mean how much harder can you make that for us??!!!!! So in the end after Mary-Lou had a chat with the lady at the desk and she still wouldn’t budge so we hid the keys in the wheel.
After that, we went to the airport, met the Mews and then flew to Nelson with them to start our next adventure.