Wednesday, this morning brought with it me still feeling washed out and not 100% luckily only an hour ride to Rotorua from Taupo. This I took Nakedbus to get there for around $20. I arrived just before 11am, then walked around 500m to the YHA from the central bus stop. I thought I would be too early to check in but thankfully It was a free room so I got to put my kit in straight away.
Well the beds are basic and that’s not an issue, the issue was that there were no lockers in the rooms and the only lockers were $2 per use, this annoyed me as I dont like to leave my small bag with camera equipment and all my valuables not locked away. I complained at reception to which they said I could use the $2 lockers, very helpful! funny enough they also dont accept responsibility for lost or stolen items!
I took a wander around the town to get my barrings and also a quick shop at countdown for some bits and bobs i needed. I then headed back to the YHA and had a nap as was still feeling tired. After this I took a wander through the local park seeing lots of small bubbling mud holes and a hot lake! this lead onto lake Rotorua where I wandered past a Maori area. Here I got some good pic’s over the lake.
That night I had dinner and was in bed for 9.30pm but had a very bad nights sleep. Its meant to be one of the best YHA’s as its custom built and modern. Well who over designed it is an idiot and clearly never stayed in a youth hostel in their life’s the heavy room doors that make a nice banging sound could be heard the other end of the corridor all due to the walls being so thin! There are no personal lights over each bed and so the only option is to have the main light on or off! There is little room in the rooms for peoples belongings and so they have to sit by the side of your bed. In my mind very poorly thought out.
It also clams to be a very eco-friendly with trying to recycle as much as possible, this is great but why then is it so hot in the corridor that I think I might have walked into a sauna? Also why is the kitchen so high up that there is alot of wasted space meaning that when the air con is on it will take alot more effort to cool the room, even more so when they leave all the windows open.
Thursday, I tried to lie in this being not effective with everyone moving around banging doors again. I got up around 9 in the end and was a grumpy sod. I really wasn’t happy at all. I had decided today I was going to go to Rainbow Springs to see Kiwi birds, which did excite me somewhat. I complained to reception after being persuaded to do so, they said they would monitor the noise that night and make sure after 10pm people were quite.
I took the bus to for $2.50 to the place which was very cheap! its $2.50 to go anywhere on the bus service here which is really cheap as you can travel from Ngongotaha all the way to Rotorua airport about a 30km trip for $2.50/£1.30
I got to Rainbow Springs and its a small wildlife park with lots of native animals to NZ. I was there to see the Kiwi’s and was a little disappointing that it was really a small part of the park. It sadly is a park designed for children with lots of rides and activities, still it kept them away from the Kiwi’s and I got lots of time to see them in their enclosure. They even had one Kiwi that was 30 years old the day before I was there. I was transfixed watching them running around hunting for food, I was also amazed how big they get as well, much larger than what I had originally perceived.
I headed back to town and in the afternoon wandered around the government house gardens. Here they had a vary large rose garden that had wonderful smells from the different roses. In the center was a seating area that looked out over gardens. From here I walked through the gardens and past the main house which is of tudor style and on to the Polynesia Spa, one of the Top 10 spa’s in the World. I looked and the prices and decided I would visit Saturday afternoon.
In town I found free Wifi and it wasn’t running properly so found the guys running it and they sorted it out. Its a great connection 100mb up and down 🙂 it makes Skype very good. So a massive thanks to http://www.aicom.co.nz
That evening while cooking dinner I got chatting with a chap called Jerry from Wales and we sat and ate together, he is travelling around NZ by bike over a period of 4 months while his wife is at home in the UK working. After dinner we headed to the night market together and had a wander around before heading to the lake side while chatting bikes, cameras and much more. On the way back we stopped at the famed Pig & Whistle to purchase very expensive beer and cider respectively.
On going to bed Thursday night I decided to crack out my earplugs, despite hating to use them.
Friday, brought a better nights sleep but I still didn’t feel great at all 🙁 I got up and went to find the free Wifi in town and had a Skype call which massively help to cheer me up. I then went back to bed to get a couple more hours sleep. Then back to the free Wifi to get some research done that I need to. On returning to the YHA for lunch I saw Jerry who had been to Te Puia, a Moari culture exhibit and also had a number of geysers, he handed me his ticket as it had free return entry on that day and suggest I went, saving $42 entry fee!
Just after lunch I headed out to the Agrodome, this recommended by my mother. It was a sheep show which explains the different breads and there benefits in NZ. They also cover how you should sheer a sheep and then how they can use 1 dog to control 3000 sheep and they will happily run up to 60 km in a day! They are very well trained even barking on command which reminded me of Shadow who also does this. Its fun to watch but not sure I would go unless I had been recommended.
After the Agrodome I took the Bus back to town and transferred to go out to Te Puia. Here I go my free ‘return’ entry and went to see the geysers. They were quite impressive but didn’t take long to see and was glade not to have spent $42 on entry.
I returned to the YHA quite happy with a good day out, I saw Jerry again and we cooked together our pasta dinners! We shared the rice pudding I had as desert and both felt full after. We took a stroll into town and said fair well as he was going to be up early Saturday to cycle to Taupo and I was of to hope on the Wifi in town for a bit.