Days 3& 4 of our trip were busy, busy indeed. I can’t believe how much stuff we fit inside a day and we weren’t even that tired!

Day 3: Matamata & Rotorua

Early in the morning, we set off toward The Shire!

After we had finished there, we turned back toward Rotorua and got to go on the Gondola and luge tracks. This was another effort to eat up some of the day since our next booking (for a Maori Cultural Dinner) wasn’t until later that day.

The Luges are great fun, but make sure your helmet is secure. Mine began to fall off less than a quarter of the way through the first track, hence my face as I turned around a really sharp corner.



After we had our fill of the Luges, we went on a scenic route around Rotorua to check everything out.

Then we were off to a Maori dinner at Tamaki Maori Village! My camera battery died half way through the festivities, but we got a couple of snaps out of our phones.

Off to Whakatane!


It was dark by the time we left, so no cool scenery pics!

Day 4: White Island & Taupo

Whakatane (pronounced more like “fok-eh-tah-nee”) is a small bay city that outlooks the infamous “White Island”, home of a semi-active marine volcano. We wanted to check it out, so we booked a tour through White Island Tours to board “PeeJay IV” and get to walk around the island. It was well worth the price and super interesting- just to note though: you leave smelling very much like rotten hard boiled eggs.


If you want to check out photos of what’s happening at White Island right now, you can check the VolcanoCams they have that are set up around the island. If you click through all the photos you can see when little tourists are on the island because of the yellow helmet-dots that are scattered about!

After the volcano, we apparently couldn’t get enough of the sulfur smells. As we headed toward Taupo that afternoon we saw a sign for some Thermal Wonderland and decided to stop by. They were almost as smelly as the volcano, but had some really amazing colors!

After we arrived at Taupo we ate at a place called Lotus Thai, which was very good. We also took a stroll near Lake Taupo, but the Ironman NZ competition was finishing up so things were a bit more busy than usual. We called it a night early to rest a bit.

More to come: Skydiving & Possum World!

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