This morning we drove to Rotorua and went to Te Puia, a Maori cultural experience and geo-thermal area. We got to see a show with traditional songs, dances, and battle moves. It was much shorter than I expected but very cool. Afterwards we went to the wood carving and weaving schools where we got to see a few people working on various products. Then we walked around the mini-village and our guide told us about the buildings and how a traditional village is set up.
We went to the geyser area next. There was a small one going and the big one was getting ready to go. There isn't an exact time that it goes off but it tends to stay somewhat consistent. The big geyser's name is "The Big Splash"; we soon found out why. This geyser shoots up about 30 meters and was incredible! The guide told us shortly after it started that we could see it better from the other side because of all the steam. So we all took off towards the other side through a band of fog only to suddenly be down poured on! It was dumping sulfur water on us all. The tour guide got quite the laugh but she was right about being able to see the geyser better from the other side.
We saw one of the mud pools next, which was quite literally a bubbling area of mud. However, the mud is very good for your skin and can help reduce pain. Then we went to the Kiwi House where Te Puia currently has a 7-month-old female and a 5-month-old male chick. They were both asleep though so we didn't get to see either of them unfortunately. That concluded our tour besides going to the gift shop of course.
We drove to see a waterfall along the Waikato River on our way back to the hostel. Due to a road closure we couldn't get as close as originally planned. The river and waterfall was so pretty though, especially because of how pure teal the water was. Our bus driver Jamie was telling us about how it's illegal to kayak over this fall (though he has some friends who have done it) because of how strong the water can be there.
The day ended with a short drive to Taupo where we are staying at Blackcurrant Backpackers. Erin, Alyse, and I walked down to the short of Lake Taupo where we made some duck friends and found tons of pumice and beach glass.