Saturday, 25 November 2017

Don't leave Town until you have seen your Country!!!

So many people never travel around the country they live in or check out the local attractions, but choose to travel abroad, stand in ques, and pay the big bucks that tourist attractions cost.  I have not been out of New Zealand and probably will never get around to doing so.  My travel is done via books and fantastic things I watch on the good old reliable TV from the comfort of my lounge. Suits me fine.  I am not against people traveling, I admire them, I just haven't done it.  Anyway, I digress.  This week I was taken to Rotorua and hour and a half drive south from Hamilton by my youngest son as he was off work. 

He suggested we go to Rotorua and do the Treewalk, who was I to argue about a day out with my gorgeous son.

The Redwoods Treewalk is nothing short of beautiful, all those spectacular tall Redwood trees.  Even the Loos (top right photo) were bloody wicked!

So this is the tower you climb to the first platform.  The man taking our tickets said "only two rules, no running or jumping".  To which I replied "Do I look like a runner or jumper?".  He laughed saying you just cannot tell these days.  So up we climbed.

Ok so at this point I shall say that I am not overly keen on being up high so this was always going to be a test for me.  But I was determined to attack this head on!!  The moving sensation when walking across the swing bridges wasn't as bad as I thought it would be or how high up I was, so it didn't take too long to get comfortable.  I was just glad we were pretty much on our own.  Tour buses were on their way.
Each swing bridge was a different length but all led to the safety of a platform. The David Trubridge designed lanterns were amazing and they light up for the night walk, might have to return to experience that one.

Every platform had things for you to read so always something interesting to discover.  The builder son was fascinated. 
This platform looked like a new addition and I just had to scale the stairs that moved to check it out. The views were stunning and all you could hear were the sounds of Nature.

I could not bring myself to stand on the Glass Floor, and going back down the stairs was interesting! The whole 'Don't Look Down' thing and all.
With a quick selfie in the tree tops with my son we continued on.  Below us were tracks where you can go on a walk.  We saw numerous people doing this, some with their dogs on leads, and you can even do a bike ride.  All of those activities are FREE!!

We crossed the last swing bridge to return to the starting point, the tower.  I personally think it was well worth the $25 to walk among the trees for over half a kilometer.  So very glad we did this, and very keen to return and do the night walk now.

Next time tho I will go dressed as Little Red you know who and lurk about in those magnificent trees!!!!

As we were so close my son suggested we drive to The Blue Lake for a look.  So pretty, and believe it or not there were young people swimming!!

The water was so clear you could see the Duck legs paddling.  The bottom right photo is on the drive back to Rotorua where we stopped for some lunch.

Near the Hospital you can go to Kuirau Park which just happens to be FREE so we decided, WHY NOT!! The smell of sulphur is evident but not too strong when we were there.  Although you could let a sneaky bit of wind loose and no one would know!!

There are tracks and board walks you can wander about on and marvel at the steam that rises above the pools of geothermal activity happening in the water.

I think this would be a good thing to do on a cool Winter day as it is reasonably warm to be near.  Our day was Hot and Sunny, a beautiful day. 

We then decided we may as well go pay to see some Geothermal Wonder which just happens to be at Te Puia.  Both of us have been here before but years ago.  So it was time to mingle with the Tourists that were there by the Bus load and do it!!  

For a Tourists they charge $54!!  But for us NZers with a flash of our drivers license the price goes down to $38.  Some will say this is still expensive but how often do we visit the local attractions? This is Whatitoka Waharoa, the gateway.

Our first stop was the Whakarewarewa Geyser Terrace

Pohutu Geyser was doing it's thing!!
Apparently Pohutu means constant splashing in Maori.

 The information boards are always handy!!

It is quite the walk, passing Native Bush, The Te Puia Pa (top left) which is a historical and sacred site as it housed Maori for hundreds of years.  Over raging water and along winding paths we went.

 A much needed rest stop for me with this guy!

The Waka (boat) was so intricately carved.  You can visit the Carving School where trainees from around NZ are taught and guided by the skills of the Tohunga Whakairo, the Master Carvers.  I love the fact that these traditions are not lost.  We didn't visit tho.

 Another very informative board!

Pikirangi Village is a reconstructed historical village that you can wander around.  The guide information says 'this gives you the feel for how the Maori lived before the arrival of the European'.

Our next stop was to go inside the Kiwi House, where you are in pitch black darkness!!  We followed the dimly lit had rail to the viewing part where once our eyes adjusted we actually saw a Kiw!!  Our countries Native Bird, a flightless little bugger that likes to only appear at night.
As you are not permitted to take photos I have stolen borrowed one off the old google images.  Thanks Google!!  Totally cute little bird but somewhat endangered so major breeding programs in on the go around our beautiful little country.  PHEW!!

We saw small pools of Bubbling Mud on our walk.  And what a walk it was.  For someone as un fit as myself I sure knew the next day that I had participated in some walking activities!!!  I don't have a FITBIT but my FATBITS were telling me lots!!!

Again I thought how this place would be best seen in Winter when it is cooler and the rainfall helps the viewing of the Mud Pools.  Not that I was disappointed at all.

Especially when we arrived at Nga mokai-a-Koko mud pool.  This large pool of boiling mud is named after a famous Chief of the original fortified settlement.  According to my guide it reminded him of the playful nature of children. The Maori name of the mud pool translates as 'the cherished ones of Koko'.

With one last look at the Geyser we climbed our way back up the pathways to the carpark.  We were in dire need of cooling refreshments for our drive home.

Thanks Jak for taking me and Thanks New Zealand for being such a gem in this world of conflict and ongoing unrest.  I encourage you where ever you are to visit the sites of significance in your country, be they free or not.  Play at being a tourist in your own place like me!!

Many a young New Zealander has felt this,
and most come home eventually.

So where shall I go next?
Will you come with me?


Goody said...

Thank you for the tour! Bubbling mud-who knew?

sallyhicks said...

That was such a treat Sue. I was born in Wellington and first went toRotarua when I was six. I remember that visit clearly. There were no charges then and I have photos of little naked Maori boys standing on a bank beside ar river and we would throw in coins from a bridge and they would dive in and always came up with the coins. There was also a pool where you put pennies in and they would turn silver. Your beautiful photos brought back many happy memories. At the back of the hotel they had boarded baths out side where you could lie in and enjoy the hot mineral water. The only thing I didn't like was the smell. It was so strong. My mother loved it but she liked blue cheese!. What a handsome strong son you have. You must be really proud. Xxx

Julie said...

Great outing Sue. I have not been to the tree walk but it looks amazing. Your photos have captured it wonderfully. I agree with your verse at the end ... my youngest son always thought New Zealand was "so boring" but when I picked him up off the plane from being overseas his first words to me were "gosh we live in an amazing country!!" Sometimes they have to go away to learn this!!
Great photo of you & Jaks.

Nancy J said...

Wow!!! Our family live just across the Tarawera Road from the Redwoods, and bike the trails there so often. Our daughter has done the swim,bike and run, between Blue Lake and Lake Okareka. We lived at the very end of the road at Lake Tarawera for some 25 years!!! But I have not been on the high swing bridges, a fearsome( [pardon the pun) fear of heights. Thanks for all the photos,and so glad you both had a wonderful time together.

Nancy J said...

I forgot the most important part of all, both our grandies were born in Rotorua, and I worked in the Hospital there for many years. You captured the true essence of that area so well.

Kiwionholidays said...

Sue you have a way with pictures and awesome the blog you do along with them Thanks so much for some memory lane . Have yet to do the high tree ones you guys did but Its sure on the "to do"list

thanks for the blog so enjoyable all the variety and fun things you post!!

Fiona said...

The Treewalk looks fab, I love those 'lampshades' and look at the size of that fir cone! Now wish I had made the effort to pop over to NZ on those three trips to Oz. Like you say, so often we don't explore our own country, I am guilty of not going much further north of London.
I sang a song about Rotarua in the Brownies and can still remember it!

Serenata said...

Very true, although it took leaving NZ to get to actually see the South Island!

This beautiful post just makes me feel some homesick though, I wish and wish I could return to live, but have finally accepted the fact it is just a dream, so my heart breaks...but at least I get to come back to visit once a year and February will be here before long the rate time seems to fly by now.

Thank you for your wonderful post.

Leeanne said...

Its great to look about our own beautiful country,there is so much to see. I have been to Roto-vagas many times and to the Redwoods, but all for the mountain biking son. I say you were getting a bit familiar with that large man's inner thigh??? :-)

Polyester Princess said...

If I lived in a country with natural wonders as stunning as yours, I wouldn't be tempted to travel abroad either ... I applaud you for doing the Treewalk in spite of your vertigo. I'm not good with heights either, and the trouble is, I always want to do such things but then at the ultimate moment my legs turn to jelly and I have to turn around ...The geysers are awe inspiring and how intriguing are those bubbling mud pools! Thanks for showing us some of the wonderful sights your country has to offer! xxx

kiwikid said...

Thank you for the wonderful day out!! I will gladly come along next time. I have walked among the Redwoods in Rotorua and found beautiful clear bubbling natural springs but have not seen the walk up in the trees before. Will have to put that on the to do list! I took a friend to Te Puia and the park in Rotorua back in Feb and we had an amazing time. There is a lot to see and do in NZ, I miss it a lot. So good you got to see a Kiwi too! You had a wonderful day out with your son.

Vix said...

Kudos to you for tackling that rope walk, Sue.
You've got some amazing sights and these photos are fantastic. If you're happy staying in one country all your life then that's fine, my grandparents never left the UK their whole lives. xxx

chris azzopardi said...

Your blog always makes me homesick, It is a great country to see, can still smell Rotorua. You raised your boy right Sue, none of mine would be seen dead with their mother. look forward to your next trip. Chris xoxo

Beth Waltz said...

Bless you, Sue, for walking the tree bridges and capturing the experience for those of us dwelling in flat Midwestern fields (and suffering from ye fear of bridges that move). Your photos give a sense of space and silence that makes me want to retire to NZ.

Bibi Maizoon said...

I had no idea there was a stand of California Redwoods outside of my native California! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. I really hope to visit NZ someday as it looks absolutely gorgeous!