Cruise Control – Blowing Off Steam

Tauranga, North Island, New Zealand

We didn’t book the ship tour – way too expensive – but chose a similar one through Zealandier Tours. We had no problems with meeting our driver and were back at the ship in plenty of time to sail.

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The trip stopped at Kiwi 360 where we learnt some interesting information about growing kiwi fruit then visited the gift shop to sample some liqueurs. Maybe it was just too early in the day, but they seemed quite potent and not particularly good. I suppose this might have been interesting for some, but I thought it could have been skipped. It didn’t do anything for me.
P1020709 P1020711 IMG_4009We had a brief stop to watch some white water rafters who may or may not have been crazy. It was a bit cold for me to be in the water but it did look like fun and I’d give it a go on a warmer day.

IMG_4016 IMG_4034 IMG_4035We moved on to Rotorua where we had a drive around some of the lakes and a stop to view the exterior of the museum. A lovely looking building. And, being great fans of museums, somewhere we’d like to go back to.

IMG_4060 IMG_4056 IMG_4066We had a lakeside lunch at a cafe that was nice enough but a bit expensive. One of the downsides of being a captive market.

From there it was off to  the main destination of the day: Whakarewarewa cultural village.

This was most definitely the highlight of the day. We had an excellent guided tour by one of the locals – this is a living village where Maori live traditional lifestyles as far as they can. It was an intriguing look at a part of the culture that we hadn’t seen on previous trips to New Zealand. The tour ended with a well presented performance of song, dance and haka and a demonstration of the use of flax. Our only regret was that we’d already had lunch. We would have loved to have sampled the traditionally prepared and cooked food, steamed in the hot pools that were all around the village.

IMG_4074 IMG_4079 IMG_4086 P1020730 IMG_4092 IMG_4099 IMG_4101 IMG_4120 IMG_4140 IMG_4167 IMG_4178 IMG_4195 IMG_4217 IMG_4250 IMG_4252One of the things that is synonymous with Rotorua is the bubbling mud, so we were quite keen to see it. Our driver did seem a bit disinterested and dismissive but pulled up at a little roadside stop so we could get out and have a look. I’m quite sure there’s a better bubbling mud experience. We’ll investigate further when we visit again. And I’m sure we will be back.

IMG_4275Back on board we had a nice dinner followed by a couple of drinks.

And I’ve lodged a formal complaint about the noise in our cabin. Hasn’t helped, but it does make me feel like I’m not being a mouse and just putting up with it.

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5 thoughts on “Cruise Control – Blowing Off Steam

  1. Pingback: Dances with sticks | The 3rd Drawer Down

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