Our next stop was Rotorua for 4 nights and things got more interesting (& better). Before I continue, my hostel in Rotorua was fantastic ine every way so if you’re looking for a budget accommodation, go and check out Rock Solid Backpackers in Rotorua!
I don’t know why, but I simply love Rotorua. I could spend in Rotorua days on end just wandering around the lake and be happy than spend more than a week in a city like Wellington were your options are limitless (more on Wellington later).This was my second time in Rotorua so I visited Wai-O-Tapu, Rotorua Museum, and the Tamaki Maori Village the last time (Highly recommend all three). This time around I only revisited Hobbiton. Most of the time, I explored Rotorua and its surrounding Redwoods.
After a short bus ride, I reached the Redwoods and took a map full of hiking trails. I had no idea which one to take so I thought that the recommended Poharturoa track of 7.5km should be a great way to spend the morning. The estimated hiking time said two hours but I ended up walking for three and a half hours. I’m not the most athletic person to begin with, but I also decided to take my time and endjoy the scenery. It wouldn’t have been me if I weren’t taking tons and tons of photos. Don’t worry, I’ll only share with you my highlights because at least 50% of them were photos of fern trees and fern plants (I’m obsessed with fern plants).
(Click on each image to enlarge them)
Hobbiton! Oh how much I wanted to go back to Hobbiton after they re-built it! You can read my Hobbiton experience from 2009 in this earlier post. Let me tell you, if there is a rain god out there, then we must’ve had a favour with him/her. Early in the morning it was raining cats and dogs and we were frightened that our Hobbiton experience will be desastorous. During the busride to Hobbiton it was a mix of rain and sunshine. However, as soon as we left the bus, ready to begin our guided tour, the sun came through! We were so happy. By god, Hobbiton really is as beautiful as it appears on screen! As we began to approach Bag End, it began to pour down again! All the way to the party tree, our group tried not to fly away so strong was the wind! Then, poof, sunshine again. It was crazy.
At the end of our tour, at the Green Dragon, I had my own hobbit moment. As part of the tour, we could pick a drink (I got the cider). I also decided to buy a scone as I got hungry. But I was so excited to be at the Green Dragon that I took dozens and dozens of photos rather than eating and drinking. So when it was time to leave, I’ve just started to eat and drink. I really didn’t want to waste that delicious scone and cider so I stuffed my mouth panic stricken, to the delight of everyone else.
There is so much I could write about Rotorua itself, so I’d rather do it in a separate post. So make sure to come back!