On the Road to Rotorua

(June 8th 2006)

After chilling out for a few days, we hit the road for Rotorua. We decided to take it slow and spend a night somewhere along the way. Nothing has been booked and we will pick a motel along the route. We might even go back to the Auckland area for the night if there is something we felt like we have to do before leaving Auckland permanently.
More likely is a trip to the Waikato region, allegedly the holiday heartland of New Zealand (I’m sure the other regions would suggest otherwise, but there you go). Hamilton is the capital, and this is one of the places where Hobbits live (honestly, look here). The area is also home to the famous glowworm caves of Waitomo, which does look amazing, so that might be a decider.
The Waikato river is the longest in New Zealand and you can go on river cruises on a paddle boat, not a bad way to laze a few hours away if we don’t feel like walking too far. ‘Join us as we cruise New Zealand’s longest waterway, the mighty Waikato River. Enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner as lush willow-clad banks and an ever-changing skyline slip slowly by. Learn the rich history of the Waikato River as we pass historical sites, sacred Maori villages, ancient native trees and other scenes of beauty and interest. This is the most idyllic way to see the Waikato River.’

Maybe more interesting is a visit to a winery or two. There are quite a few here including the ‘red only’ Judge Valley winery, or Rongopai winery which has won quite a few awards for it’s wines. The only problem with winery visits is that the poor driver (me!) can’t quite enter into the spirit of the wine tasting, so I can’t see us visiting too many of these and we might wait until we get to the Marlborough area later on in the trip.

By pure concidence we’re arriving right at the start of the Super 14 rugby tournament and the Waikato region is home to the Chiefs so you never know, if we can get tickets and the fixtures
work out….. Mind you there a few Super 14 teams in New Zealand and we’re there for a few weeks so I guess there may be a small chance of seeing one game at some point.

After doing all that, the next day we drive to Rotorua and we have the pegs ready for our noses.

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