© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_nz_rotorua_03

New Zealand – Rotorua – 22nd November

Our chariot of fire / hotel on wheels was due her 10,000km service (that’s 10,000km of 280,000km!) so we decided to get her checked into the car doctors for a thorough examination. Advantage Autos in Hamilton provided the service and at $135 wasn’t all that expensive. Whilst the work was underway we headed into town to get some free public zone Wi-Fi, a very rare occurrence in NZ so well done to Hamilton for this service. After a replacement and top-up of vital fluids “Po” the van was ready for action and we headed to Rotorua.

This is quite a drive and took around three hours arriving first at the I-Site for local information and deciding to do some tourist attractions. Firstly we booked two tickets for the Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland which is out of town for the next morning and decided to hit the Polynesian Spa that evening. Another spa treat to sooth our muscles, well thats what we keep telling ourselves!

Before the spa evening we explored the local park which has some impressive (as far as a free attraction goes) mud/hot water pools and smelly sulphur air. Afterwards we headed to the Government Gardens and museum which we didn’t actually go in we just explored the gift shop. Dinner was cooked by the van at the side of the lake before heading to the spa pools. The Polynesian Spa has several pools at the lakes edge fed with hot mineral spring water from two different springs. Out of 9 pools 3 are marble-lined with alkaline water reaching 38-39 degrees C and 3 Priest Spa Pools (39-42 degrees C) offering special thermal bathing in acidic water, rich in minerals known for its therapeutic properties. Just lovely!.

After our steamy evening we headed onward to the DOC campsite at Rerewhakaaitu Recreation Reserve. We got there quite late so it was straight to bed as the next day we wanted to be up early for the Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3 & Sony DSC-TX5)

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