Monday 26 November 2018
I’m not flying until 11pm tonight, so heading out for the day.
It took a couple of hours to drive to the first stop – Waitomo caves.
These caves are full of thousands of glow worms. Sadly we weren’t allowed to take photos anywhere.
The first part of the caves were limestone formations – stalagmites and stalactites. And a large cathedral area, which is often used for small concerts. No visible glow worms around here.
Then we headed into a dark area and into boats. We bobbed along the water for a short way. More and more glow worms visible – a ceiling of blue. It was amazing.
Then more driving. Towards Rotorua.
We stopped off enroute at some farmland, a few cows, alpacas, ostrich and emu hanging out.
For lunch we stopped at the small town of Tirau. It was a bit random, lots of shops made out of corrugated iron. Some in the shape of dogs and others in the shape of sheep. We were only here half an hour and I didn’t spot any vegan food. So lucky I had a store of carrots and apples with me!
Rotorua town was busier than I had expected. Lots of industrial parks on the outskirts, and a busy touristy centre.
Rotorua is a geothermal area. Dotted around several places in the town was steam rising out of the ground. Including a fence which had started to burn!
We headed to the Te Puia area. Here there are lots of geothermal features – a geyser, mud pools and sulfur lakes.
There is also a Maori college, where people can come and learn Maori cultural crafts. You can watch them making sculptures out of stones and rocks.
I wandered around and was lucky to catch the geyser erupting. The ground all around was steaming and hot. So cool.
Then for the drive back to Auckland.
The scenery in the north island isn’t as dramatic as South Island. No mountains. Just more flat farmland and towns.
We got back to the city around 6pm. And I hopped straight onto the Sky Bus back to the airport.
There was no vegan food in the airport lounge, so the chef made me some. I ended up with so much, but it was amazing! Ready for the looooong journey home. 12 hours to Kuala Lumpur. Then 13 hours to London.