We're just leaving Rotorua. We've had a great time here. We stayed at a pretty nice little hotel that's right on one of the lakes. Pretty views and they have a geothermal hot tub that you can reserve, that was lots of fun too.
We went to the museum here - it's in the old bathhouse. It had interesting information on the area, the volcano eruption in the 1800s, the culture in general, and the history of the bathhouse. The bathhouse treatments were crazy - electroshock therapy, all sorts of different acids, colon flushing, and other crazy stuff. The top of the bathhouse had great views of the city though. Then the Gillards came up from Hamilton and took us to lunch, which was really nice of them. After lunch it was pouring rain but we still went to Whakarewarewa. That's a village where the people still depend on and use the geothermal that they have in the area. They have several really really hot pools - 100 degrees Celsius and 150 degrees Celsius on the surface. We also saw a cultural performance there and a geyser. It was pretty neat, but my new shoes didn't hold up all that well in the rain :).
We also went to Wai-o-Tapu, a geothermal reserve about 20 minutes out of Rotorua. There we saw another geyser go off and we did a big hike around the area. It was really nice, pretty interesting too all the formations that have occurred because of the geothermal stuff. After that we headed back into Rotorua to go on a gondola ride to the top of a mountain and do some luge rides. The luge rides were awesome. We did 2 rides - the first was a scenic ride down the mountain and the second was an advanced ride where you go flying down the tracks and around tight corners. It was pretty sweet - I even caught some air (I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to though).
It's been a really fun area. Great fish and chips shops, great views, great hikes, and lots of fun.
Now off to Hick's Bay - it should be a really pretty drive around the cape, and then to Gisborne tomorrow.
Love you all!