First we walked through the Government Gardens by the Museum which was unfortunately closed due to earthquake damage assessment.
A quick stop at the lake.
Where's Waldo?! (err...Sebastian)
A different side of Anneke - haha!
Then, we walked through Ohinemutu, a Maori village, right by the lake. Every Maori community has at least one of these carved sacred meeting places. This one is used rarely for tribal meetings but we saw more smaller ones in the same community that get used regularly. The carvings all have meaning to each specific tribe. The shiny eyes you see are shells.
This is a graveyard of Maori soldiers. We were wondering if they buried their people above ground because underneath is all thermal...
We stopped at Kuirau Park for some free glimpes at the thermal landscape (they've commercialized almost everything here!). The younger kids weren't very excited about the sulfur smell so they high tailed it to the playground - haha!
The lake was so green!
Very smelly but the surrealness of seeing such hot mud bubbling makes you want to stay.
Our next stop was very North American. There's a huge Californian Redwood Forest here! We had a good walk through. The sound of the cicadas was so loud in the tops of the trees.
These kinda creeped us out and then we looked closer and saw they were only shells. The cicada starts its life under ground (2-17 year depending on the species!) and then crawls up whatever is nearby, sheds its shell and lives the rest of its life in the trees.
You can hear them on here...
Perfectly clear water with all the dead branches on the bottom. Beautiful!
L for LUKAS! :)
We ended the day at Kerosene Creek a little ways south of Rotorua (before getting groceries and heading back to the cottage). It was a gorgeous spot!
Today we had a quiet day here, and tomorrow we're off to Masterton! We could have spent more time in this area for sure but maybe we'll be back on our way north again.