Lake Rotorua is a very popular tourist attraction!
27.12.2013 - 27.12.2013 70 °F
Up early, and headed to a fun filled day in a town about 45 mins south of Tuarnga. We reserved a night with the maori tribe, and planned to go ZORBing and/or ziplining or luging...
ZORBING-kids found it amazing fun- the 3 of them squeezed into a hole and found themselves inside a huge blow-up plastic ball that got filled with a few inches of water. The hole zipped up, and they were pushed down a giant hill- the result was sort of like an inside out water slide! Max & Sam loved it so much, they paid their own money to do it again!!! Now, Steve did the 'dry' run, where he was zipped inside, but was strapped to the side of the ball and pushed down the hill- He wishes he had not done it! He had major motion sickness!! I laughed very hard as I watched all of them roll down the hill, and espcially when I saw Steve roll past the ending area and kept going up a hill til he hit the fence, then came back down. Little did I know he had exceded the weight limit, but they let him go anyway!!
The New Zealanders have crazy extreme sports here, and do not pay quite as much caution to being overly 'safe' like we do in the states... Which takes me to the luging we did after the ZORB adventure... It started with a gondola ride to the top of the hill- where there was a winery, retaurant, icecreamery, and jelly-belly store! We took in the scenery over looking the Rotuara lake- this place is like a lake Tahoe type place- tons of things to do nestled around a very popular tourist summer lake shore. NZ is just breath taking from the top views.
So... when we got off the gondola, we went to the top of the LUGE- we each got our own coaster, and we free-steered down these windy paths going up to probabally 15-20 mph- it was insane! (No padding, by the way!! except for a helmet) & No surprise there was a first aid tent at the bottom of each run!!-LOL But wow, was it fun! Our 'joy-ride junkie' family Loved it!!
Ziplining was out, not enough time to get to our Maori Village... A REAL tribal village, with real carvings, tikis, and Maori people put on a real tribal peace challange, showed us games and warrior training traditions they participated in in years past. Most Maoris now live like modern day, especially in the cities, and suburbs of the cities, but are still a few remaining (3rd world-ish) places here that are very remote.
A typical story of their people being overcome by the new settlers, with civil wars, peace & land treaties that were not 'really' followed, the Maoris TODAY are making their stories know and trying to assimilate their culture into today's world- we learned they teach Maori as a second language in schools and some schools teach in Maori as the first language, English second. So 'experinces' like we took in are very educational and very REALISTIC.
We ate Maori food, cooked and served (a Hangi) which is a pit dug underground, hot stones, and a covering so the meat & vegetables & pudding steams. It was delicious!
We watched dancing, war dances (from the heart- which meant they were getting passionate & 'fired-up' to go to battle) and learned some of the carvings and what they meant. Steve and Sam both participated in different activities.