Heading south again to Rotorua

After spending a fantastic evening in Coromandel, it was time to hit the road again towards the Maori cultural cultural town of Rotorua. Highway 25 hugs the coast through to the town of Bethlehem, then turns inland towards Rotorua.

Rotorua 1

I was once again treated to amazing weather as the early morning clouds cleared away, and settled into a relaxed pace on the Suzuki.

The previous few days of packing and unpacking the bike had allowed me to establish a good routine for having everything necessary close to hand, without having to waste too much time in the morning.

Today I had a schedule to keep, due to a planned visit to a Maori reservation and cultural centre during the evening. I arrived in Rotorua around 5 PM, and had time for unpacking and a quick shower before being picked-up by the tour bus.

Unfortunately the weather had turned unpleasant, with heavy rain falling through out the afternoon and evening.

Maori cultural cultural centre at Marae

When the bus arrived at the centre in Marae, we were greeted by various members of the tribal family, who shared interesting and funny stories during the introductory drinks.

We’d all be treated to a ‘Hangi’, which is ceremonial dinner after the tour of the area and demonstration of the cultural arts, including the famous ‘Hucka’.

I really enjoyed the dances and warrior demonstrations, and the search for glowworms during a walk thorough the reservation was also great fun.

The river running through the reservation also provided an amazing backdrop for the warrior boat parade and surround hot and cold springs.

Today has been a great introduction to New Zealand’s Maori heritage, and the people at the centre couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly.

Tomorrow would see me heading to Napier, but not before stopping at a few more interesting cultural and geological sites along the way.