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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I, or Jennifer and I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 | Japan in winter 2017 | Great Britain in 2017 |

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2015/01/25 New Zealand Days 16-17: 2 days around Rotoruta, New Zealand's Yellowstone
π 2015-01-25 00:00 in Nz2015, Trips

So Rotoruta is actually tourist destination and as a result has a lot of things to amuze tourists that have nothing to do with the region. Usually we'd skip them, but this time we made an execption because they were just so much fun, and not something we were able to do elsewhere.

We started with rainbow springs to go see Kiwis as part of a backstage tour where you see how they take care of the babies that hatch in their nursery (kiwi birds do a very poor job raising their young and only 5% survive to adulthood in the wild. Actually kiwi birds are just not meant to survive unless they are alone, they don't fly, don't run fast, and can be easily eaten by any of many mammals that were introduced to New Zealand):





while they don't care for humans, they are cute :)
while they don't care for humans, they are cute :)




baby kiwi being weighed
baby kiwi being weighed

kiwi in its enclosure
kiwi in its enclosure

The park had a few other animals and birds:

kea, their local parrot
kea, their local parrot

the tallest land bird, now extinct (Moa)
the tallest land bird, now extinct (Moa)


their local pigeon, it's quite fat :)
their local pigeon, it's quite fat :)

Next, we went to the Gondola for a view of the lake higher up, and 6 consecutive rides of luge, which was a lot of fun. You can go quite fast with them, catch serious air, and if you're too fast in turn they'll tilt and slow you down without flipping over. They are quite well designed. You then go back up with a ski lift chair and go again :)
Needless to say that I went full bore on the expert track quickly being a bit competitive and all :) and let Jennifer get a good head start before trying to catch up with her. I managed most times except when the tortoise beat the hare :)



Wee! :)
Wee! :)


(I get good air around 0:47 and pass Jennifer at 0:55)

Next, we went to Ovo to try Zorbing, a New Zealand specialty. You're inside a giant double layer ball which itself has water inside, so the ball is falling down the hill while you are sliding around the ball on the water (if you wonder, you can't be inside too long since you'd run out of breathable air, but for the downhill length, it's not an issue):





This left us just enough time to drop our luggage at our hotel, and go to Mitai, a 3H Maori experience, including slow cooked lamb and chicken in the ground:



We then had a tour of the grounds and saw another Maori performance:







The next morning, we quickly went around Rotorua to see some of its geothermal activity and went to see a Maori Village built on heat vents for free cooking and hot water (in hindsight, Rotorua was totally skipable compared to what we were going to see later):






nice hot bath
nice hot bath

hot water is channeled
hot water is channeled

cooking corn
cooking corn





Mud pools are fun to watch:



Next, we went to Waimangu, towards Taupo Lake and did the walk down to see geothermal activity down the road










The next location, Waiotapu, also had a mud pool next to it and a long walk showing you all the features there:












When we were done, we drove through Taupo to get to our Chateau Hotel for the Tongariro crossing the next day:


Huka Falls
Huka Falls


Taupo lake
Taupo lake


Tongariro NP
Tongariro NP

Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Chateau Tongariro Hotel



.

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