Monday, January 12, 2009

Going South...

After Christmas is was time to get out of Tauranga for awhile and see more of New Zealand. With Mark's sister Brenda relaxing in back of our travelin' van, we set off south. Our first stop was just one hour away in the thermal and adventure city of Rotorua. Rotorua is one of New Zealand's largest thermal areas and is filled with bubbling mud pools and resorts. It is also known to be an adventure destination. Skydiving, zorbing (see past blog), sheep shearing, you can do them all in Rotorua. We opted for the gondola ride and luge. After riding the gondola for a short time, you are then deposited at the top of a hill where you collect you helmet and get in line for The Luge. This Kiwi version of the luge is a like a tiny go cart that your race down a track. Once you get to the bottom, a snail-like(I say this because I got drenched in the pouring rain as it inched up the hill) chairlift brings you back up to the top for another go.
Our next stop of the day was Huka Falls and Lake Taupo, where we spent our first night. Then it was on to Wellington and the South Island.
Sweet Helmets Mark and Brenda ready to rumble
The view of Lake Rotorua from the top of the Luge

A view of one of the tracks from the chairlift

The Huka river is full of hot springs, Mark hopped in to check them out We went to all the nicest parking lots
Well actually, this one had view of Lake Taupo and Mount Ruapehu (you can see the volcano shape in the distance).

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