Sunday 7 January
After the concert we were taken into the dining hall for a traditional hangi. Hangi is the traditional Māori way of cooking food. A huge pit is dug, the food is placed in baskets in particular layers and the pit sealed. It is then left to cook for several hours.
As there were many tables, each table was called up in turn. The table I was at was one of the last to be called up, so we missed out on a couple of things. I had kumera, potato, roast lamb and chicken. Dessert was pavlova and steamed pudding. I had both - yes, yes, I know it was greedy, but what the heck, you only live once and who cares about calories when they're on holiday anyway?
I bought a glass of "Tamaki Punch" which was $6.50. At the gift shop, I later purchased a fridge magnet in the shape of a kiwi for $7.80.
Suddenly it was after 10 o'clcok and it was time to head back. We all piled into the bus filled with bonhomie and food and at our driver's instigation started singing a song or two.
As we approached the roundabout to turn into Rotorua, our driver said, "Come on everybody, let's all sing The Wheels of the Bus" So we sang along with him - "The wheels of the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, The wheels of the bus go round and round..." and as we turned the roundabout, to our amazement, he didn't go to Rotorua, but kept going around and around and around in circles. You should have seen the looks of surprise at the drivers (and passengers) of the cars stopped there as not one, but five or six buses went around and around and around one after another.
Mark told us they did this every night - the locals are used to it and sometimes come out to watch, but the tourists don't know what hit them! We were all in stitches, almost rolling around on the floor with laughter.
This was the highlight of my New Zealand trip, as I knew it would be and I would recommend to anyone going to NZ to do this tour - it's fantasy, history, and fun all rolled into one.
Tēnā koutou katoa
This is all about New Zealand - Aotearoa - and the time I spent there. Magical times, beautiful scenery, gushing geysers, thermal wonderlands. Hear about Waitangi Day, discover the meaning of the word "Aotearoa", see the Glaciers, read about hangis and Hakas, and visit the beautiful Bay of Islands. So come with me on a journey - a journey to The Land of The Long White Cloud.
CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE TRIBUTE 2011