Rotorua & Maori Experience

Rotorua is famous for their geothermal pools, ie. hot springs and the smell of sulphur. At first, the smell does not bother me, but around Day 2, it becomes a little too much. The North Island also inhabits the majority of the Maori tribes. To get the Maori Experience, I visit Whakarewarewa Village.

Thermal Spas & Cookers

Welcome to the Maori village – Tewhakarewarewatangaoteopetauaawahiao. It’s a mouthful indeed, hence the short form “Whakarewarewa”.

Note on pronunciation: the wh is more like an f sound, and I feel like I’m swearing when I say this aloud.
This is our guide Girly. Geothermal activity surrounds us, as depicted by the steam.
Here is a steamer. No oven, stove (cooker) necessary to cook meals. Just put your food in, leave it in for an hour or two, and voilà! Dinner time.


Left: Before the bridge was built, people were carried over/swam through the river to get to the village. Now, you see penny divers in the river. Tourists throw in coins so these children would dive for them. Right: Thermal baths with water pumped from the hot springs. Men and women would bathe in these openly. It’s fairly hot.
Maori sculptures / carvings protecting the tombs.
Geyser about to erupt.
Geyser erupting.



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