Thursday, February 13th
Our day began with learning more about Rotorua’s geothermal background by visiting the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. It was created by a volcanic eruption that occurred in 1886.
We also took a cruise on Lake Rotomahana. It was created after a volcanic eruption in 1886. We passed steaming vents and geysers along the lakeshore.
On our way to lunch we walked through Rotorua’s Government Gardens. The site that the gardens are on is historically important to the local Māori people because many significant battles occurred in this location.
We saw some pukekos or swamphen.
We spent the afternoon in Te Puia, the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute and walked through the Whakarewarewa thermal area.
At the Whakarewarewa thermal area we saw the boiling mudpools and the Pohutu geyser.
This evening we experienced a hangi. A hangi is a traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking food using heated rocks buried in a umu which is a pit oven.
A Māori cultural experience of songs, dances, and the hangi was enjoyed by all!
It was another busy day exploring New Zealand!