Once upon a time there was a guy named Jeff…
That’s actually Tom Hanks not Jeff, but hilariously enough there was a lady in NZ who kept saying Jeff looks like him. Hmmm, insult or compliment?? Lol
So on Day 6 of our adventure, we explore the volcanoes. We also visit a Maori village and Jeff gets named Chief. I’ll let him tell that story in Part 2 (it’s a highlight of the trip for sure). But first, we get to see the majesty of two volcanoes!
Before I go any further, let me just say people warned me about the smell. They told me, if you go to a town on the east coast of NZ that has hot springs, it stinks like hell. Well, they underplayed that card!
We left the mountains behind and headed to Taupo. This one wasn’t smelly. It was actually stunning.
That’s a hill in the middle of the lake. The lake is in the crater of the volcano. Yes, that blue in the back of the pic is the lake. Actually can’t see the end of it, it’s that big. The whole area, including where I took this pic, is literally a volcano.😱
Once we got to the lake crater we go exploring
Jeff always in my damn shot 😡
Those are black swans y’all!!😍
So the rocks that are surrounding the crater are volcanic rocks of course, and surprisingly many weigh close to nothing!
Oops, I was supposed to say they weighed a lot! In any case, welcome to the Gun Show ladies 😉
After collecting a few of these rocks (which, btw, made it through customs, whoohoo) we take off to our next destination: Rotorua!
We stayed at the Ibis hotel, which was nice. Considering the fact that pretty much all the hotels and motels were booked that weekend, it was a miracle they had an opening.
Before I go any further, let me just say, DO NOT listen to little brothers. Especially if they have a Gypsy soul. He convinced me before we left to plan only half of our trip, including lodging, so that we could play it by ear the rest of the time. DO NOT DO THAT PEOPLE! At the very least, secure lodging. The Gypsy would’ve been fine sleeping in the car, windows rolled up, sweating a stinky pond. Or windows down, freezing our arses off a la Dumb and Dumber
Ok, so the smart sister books the hotel and off we go! The drive was a little insane, curves and cliffs abound! And remember, driving on the “wrong” side!
We gawk at the beauty that is Rotorua. Until we step out of the car. Y’all, the closest way to describe it is putrid, rotten eggs. Mind you, the scientific 👩🏻🔬part of me understood it was the sulphur…
Upside is that there were some shops in this town, it was pretty good size. Especially compared to the other places we stayed. In one town, there were no gas stations, closest one was 20 miles out! And they had no police station! That blew Jeff away. Closest one was “three towns or so away.” Wow.
As we checked the city on the volcano, we noticed something pretty cool. They had bean bags everywhere. I mean, people straight up lounging in bean bags at the corners of the streets!
Guess who has to get in on the action 🙄
They love their Maori culture, beautiful sculptures on every corner.
My spiritual statue, Rubbing Belly Queen
Before the night is through we soak in one of the acclaimed Polynesian geothermal hot springs. Omg!!!!!
There was a spring called the Priest bath.
Jeff loved it and swore it worked! Lol
Don’t drown princess 👸🏻
This really is Part I of our Rotorua day. Believe it or not the best is still to come of this day! Posting a teaser pic, let’s just say Hanks never did a Haka!
Yes, this fool was elected “Chief.” TAKE ME…TOTHE VOLCANO!