Thursday, 15 Aug ’19,
Finally a sunny day!!!
We decided to wake up late this morning and missed our mud pick up at 8:50AM. We desperately needed our beauty sleeps many days with long walks. And also we needed to wake up early morning tomorrow and the day after tomz. (￣▽￣)
On this beautiful sunny day we walked around the city and checked out Rotorua Lake.
Rotorua Lake is the second largest lake in the North Island of New Zealand by surface area, and covers 79.8 km2. The lake was formed from the crater of a large volcano in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Its last major eruption was about 240,000 years ago. After the eruption, the magma chamber underneath the volcano collapsed. The circular depression left behind is the Rotorua Caldera, which is the site of the lake.
We had our brunch nearby the lake, at the Terrace Kitchen. This restaurant opens as early as 7:30 in the morning until 10:30 PM. The place was quiet and highly recommended for those who stays around Rotorua city.
Now our next stop was the mud pool. ＼(￣▽￣)／
According to Google, we had to take bus #11 and alight at Fenton Street – Fronting No.406 (SH30) bus stop. From there we had to walk to Holiday Inn hotel for our shuttle pick up to the mud pool. However we confused the bus driver and in the end we had to walk back to i-Site and took a cab from there to the pick up point. We rushed because we had paid for this activity from KLOOK Hells Gate Mud Bath and Spa (cost S$63.15 per person including shuttle) and we were trying to catch 12:50 shuttle – since we missed the 8:50AM.
The hotel staffs were all friendly and helpful. One of them even called Hells Gate and asked the driver to pick us up from Holiday Inn. The driver came not long after the call and off we go to wallow in the mud! \(★ω★)/
Hells Gate, also known as Tikitere, was once used by Māori warriors to heal their battle-scarred bodies, visitors now use the nutrient-rich waters and mud to ease inflammation and arthritis, as well as rejuvenate the skin. This unique blend of awe-inspiring power and natural healing properties is a thing of cultural legend – having been used for over 800 years.
Tikitere has been a destination for spa and nature seekers since 1871. In 1934 noted Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, visited and cited it as inspiration to change his once atheist beliefs. In awe of the boiling mud and steam billowing into the sky, Shaw is said to have exclaimed “this could be the very gates of hell.” Upon hearing this, local Māori decided the English name for the area would become Hell’s Gate.
To visit this rejuvenating pool, don’t forget to bring along: swimsuit, sunglasses, your own bathing things (shampoo, shower gel, etc), and towel (unless you want to rent NZ$5 towel from the check in counter). After checked in, we walked to the pool area to borrow a big black box to put our things – there were no lockers, you can put your box nearby the pool still within your sight. ٩(◕‿◕｡)۶
After changed to swimsuit, we were advised to rinse for a while. Our first pool was the mud pool where we were only allowed to wallow inside it for 20 minutes. After the time’s up we had to rinse the mud then moved to sulfur bath. Here at the second pool we were allow to stay as long as we want. We didn’t go to the third mud due to we didn’t have enough time; our shuttle back to the city was the one at 3:30PM and we still had other appointment after this. (*≧ω≦*)
Back to i-Site, we walked to the pick up point for our next appointment, at Māori’s Gathering Place, just walking distance from the i-Site. This time we booked Rotorua Maori Hangi Dinner and Performance from VIATOR and it cost us S$118.
Gathered at the village, I believe there were more than 200 people that night joined us where our tour guide showed us a video when the first Māori came to the land. The tour guide was also appointed one ‘un-voted chief’ – I do want to be one too! (눈_눈)
From the gathering place we were transferred to the Marae (Māori village) by bus. Arrived at the village we were greeted by the Māori, where the chief greeted with Hongi. After the formal greetings we were allowed to get inside the village where we can interact with the local Māori doing their everyday stuffs – from making a campfire, wood crafting, weaving, playing with their sticks, and others. We then proceed to see our Hāngi cooked and buried underground. After this was the Haka songs and dance then we continued with our feast. It was practically similar as the one we took at Te Puia. (＃￣ω￣)
This activity lasted for about 3.5 hours. After everything done we were dropped back to our motel.
To compare between the two; Te Puia Night offered better food and a night walk around the Pōhutu geyser. While Rotorua Maori Hangi Dinner and Performance offered fun interactive activities between the visitors and local Māoris. It was however about S$27 more expensive than Te Puia Night. For me personally I would choose this activity I took today – since I get to see the geyser in Hell’s Gate anyway. <(￣︶￣)>
We arrived back in our motel around 10PM. We had to hit the bed fast because our pick up for tomorrow activity will be at 6:35AM. So see you tomorrow! (((o(*°▽°*)o)))