Monday, 22 April 2013

Free in Rotorua, New Zealand, April 17th 2013

Free things to do in Rotorua

Harnessing nature then getting tourists to pay extraordinary amounts of money to see it has become a fine art with the kiwis as I have discovered across the last 5 weeks. Rororua is no exception to this with a plethora of overpriced experiences to choose from. For example, a geothermal area has been fenced in and contains the only geyser for miles around - £25 to wander around here, and that's per person!

There are however some free things to do, even for tourists in a rush! A walk around the lake - about an hour maybe 2 according to the receptionist at the hostel. Secondly, a hike in the redwoods, completely free and gets a look over the geothermal park, all this for free, for now anyway!Today the lake, tomorrow the Redwoods.

The lake front is just a 10 minute hike from Blarneys, nothing too strenuous on this nice sunny autumn morning in Rorotua. This is a tourist town, so this is a tourist lake along with the plethora of paddle boats, a bigger steamer replica ship for those serious about cruising and also a couple of float planes for those with some money to burn who want to see it all from above. But, for me it's a hike along this lake front - well maintained paths and boardwalks to keep excited visitors from straying onto the marshes and swamps.

Plenty of geothermal activity to observe - hot bubbling mud, steamy pools and plenty of sulphur in the air. Signs warning visitors to stay on the path since falling into a boiling pool of sulphur won't be a pleasant experience at all! Birds like it all though with swallows, seagulls and sparrows resting on the warm rocks. About an hours hike, the it all ends at the city museum and Polynesian spa. About £20 for a 20 minute dip in a thermally heated pool, no thanks, I'll settle for coffee at the museums coffee shop, and good timing as the weather turns and  starts to drizzle. Well, that was a pleasant look at how nature can release its frustrations  and seeing the consequences is quite fascinating. Google if you want  more on the volcanic activity around Rotorua, but for now that all since I need to do a supermarket run, again!

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