Is that you I smell? Or Rotorua?

I hope Rotorua doesn’t get unfairly short-changed in our memories because… we have reached the point in our trip where most of us are sick of most of us. Except for Cameron, who unfortunately never tires of being glued to me. And Quinn, whose irritation with any one person has nothing to do with their behavior and everything to do with unknown whims inside his brain.

After spending all of all of these days with all of us, not only does James now have a complete appreciation for my frustration at the end of some home days when I hiss “I just don’t want to hear my name again” under my breath, but every day he tells me he too is OVER hearing the word “mom”. “What would you say, it’s gotta be 250, 300 times a day they say it?”

I wouldn’t necessarily say my kids are Mama’s boys, but certainly every little thought that comes into their minds needs to be shared with ME specifically. A privilege at heart, but AHHHHHH my ears. (And Cameron actually IS a Mama’s boy, thus far.)

Over three weeks in, so not bad, and maybe we have just been suffering farm withdrawals.

The day we left Otorohanga, Quinn was our first car sickness victim when we forgot the dramamine routine. With only a two hour drive to Rotorua, we stopped halfway to do the super-touristy tour of Hobbiton because one, maybe two of us wanted to. I’m the one writing this stuff, so I am going to suggest you skip over that stop if you are around these parts. I can sort of appreciate the effort Peter Jackson went to to create the little world, but I also don’t care 😉

Is this interesting to anyone?
Anyone?

We arrived late afternoon into our next house, which is a little “meh” and clearly had good lighting when the online photos were taken, but receives bonus points for the fact that there is a forest literally across the street and a bakery two doors down with: the first New Zealand coffee we’ve had that tastes good, award winning sausage rolls and cinnamon “scrolls”, and an ultra-friendly owner/ baker.

There is a forest just right there

We visited a couple parks, the lakefront and a treetop walk in the Redwood forest over the next couple days and worked on getting our mojo back.

Lake Rotorua

Like everywhere, they have been having to purposefully plant forests for about a hundred years after chopping them all down too fast
These boys went all the way down the long twisting ramp this way. Weirdos

The next day, still a bit grumpy, we headed out to Wai-o-tapu, the tip top geothermal display in the area. Rotorua has a distinctive nasty sulphur smell that varies in it’s intensity; it is entirely due to the huge amount of geothermal activity around here. Wai-o-tapu is a big bucket of bubbling mud craters, rainbows of colors that have been brought out by minerals in the earth, and stank.

Waiting for the Lady Knox geyser display
Super touristy part where they force the geyser to go off during the 10:15 show every morning. The water initially shot up about 30 feet in the air.
Brief history of the tribe who owns the land this site is on

A little lunchtime reading: Definitely an op-ed but pretty strong language on the (potential?) NZ/ Australian political and cultural animosity
After lunch the weather was turning rainy, but knowing it would stay that way the next day, we headed out to check out Blue Lake, or Lake Tikitapu if you want to sound more Maori. After pausing at a little playground, we wandered on to the bush walk track that goes around the entirety of the lake. My mom mentioned it was beautiful. It was. After twenty minutes or so James and I made either the most okay, or by far THE worst decision of the trip thus far, depending on which Fisher you are talking to. We decided to keep going all the way around.
I had FOR SURE been a little wishy washy about how long the route was and then lost cell phone service (gasp) so couldn’t give the kid who was the most miserable an update on how much was left. We paid for this error with the draining of our very souls and made it back to the house after a few hours in the rain in really really beautiful territory! If only we had had ear plugs (and blinders), it would have been another highlight for me. Ah well, family members. You drink heavily, forgive, and move on.
Playground with playground chicken
This random chicken was pretty ballsy. Kept walking up to each of us, looking for food I assume
When everyone was still enjoying the walk
Practicing “black belt” staff skills
An hour in, the moods are a-changing

The rainy day was well spent taking the boys to buy a souvenir each, watching lots of TV, making a delicious steak dinner, and heading back to do the tree walk in the dark when they light up the trees.

We are feeling better, the storms are clearing and we have a big last day planned here before driving a little ways North to our last New Zealand stop, Tauranga, on Thursday.

1 thought on “Is that you I smell? Or Rotorua?”

  1. Nicholas thinks the hobbit holes are incredibly interesting! We are having a Tolkien moment in our house, though…. Enjoy your awesome adventure and get back home soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *