Rotorura’s Steamy Smelly Sulphur City

RotoruraAfter my caving adventure in Waitomo and Stray’s cultural overnight stop in Mourea we drove to Rotorura, the north island’s steamy, smelly sulphur city. I am really enjoying that Stray does things out of the ordinary. Stray is the only bus travel company in New Zealand to stay at a traditional Maori, while also stopping at various sites other companies exclude. I came to New Zealand to have an authentic experience, rather than a cookie cutter tour of the islands. When we arrived in Rotorura our driver, Seagull, gave us a quick orientation tour of the city highlighting all the points of interest. I decided to “hop off” the Stray bus to spend a night in Rotorura considering it is one of New Zealand’s ‘must see cities’. I was interested in exploring the city’s geothermal activity. Continue reading

Staying at a Maori Marae

Maori MaraeFrom the Waitomo caves, we crossed the Bay of Plenty to Mourea to stay at a Maori marae-a Maori meeting place. Mourea is home to a number of small Maori communities. The Ngati Pikiao people, a sub tribe of the New Zealand Iii of Te Arawa are some of the most spiritual and inviting people I have met throughout my travels. Their traditional welcoming onto their land gave me goose bumps as we walked silently toward their scared marae. Continue reading