Welcome to Katie's Travel Blog. This is really Jenny-doesn't-get-to-travel blog where I (mom) keep track of Katie's adventures so I can have some vicarious enjoyment! Here's a look at what one globally-aware kid from little Santa Cruz, California gets to do these days if her mom's willing to keep working!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 3: Lake Rotorua and Life on the Marae

When we wake up, they are still sound asleep (I hope) getting ready to live one day ahead of us. Looking at the clock, they are five hours behind us, so things really don't get moving for them until after lunch our time.

I heard briefly from Katie while she was at the Brisbane airport. She was sock shopping and not finding a darn thing. Now I'm really glad I slipped my pair into her bag. Viber seems to work pretty well too!

Other than that, I don't expect to hear from her for awhile. They are in Hobbit country and after their tour of the movie set, they spent the night on a farm and today are off to learn about the town they are in and the natural beauty surrounding it. Apparently Rotorua has hot springs a lot like Yellowstone so there should be some cool stuff to see (and smell - that sulfur smell is memorable).

They join the Maori people tonight for some dancing and singing and then sleep there on the Marae (links below). I found a photo of this cool Maori Meeting House - I wonder if they will see something like it there.

UPDATE: Katie sent a very short video of the guys doing their Maori Haka dance. You might have to watch it a couple time to get it. It should look something like this.

From the People to People Itinerary:
Located on the shores of Lake Rotorua, the city of Rotorua has a long tradition of Maori culture and history.th century by canoe from Polynesia. The area is a geothermal wonderland, much like Yellowstone Park, with spouting geysers, boiling mud pools, and warm hot springs.
The first Maori inhabitants arrived in the 14
  • Say farewell to your farmstay hosts and exchange addresses and contact information so you can keep in touch!
  • Experience an official civic welcome at the Rotorua Council Chambers by a member of the City Council, who will share insights about local government.
  • Visit Mount Ngongotaha via a gondola and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Rotorua.
  • Test your courage during an exciting luge ride to the bottom of the mountain!
  • This evening, spend the night in a Marae – an authentic Maori meeting house and the focal point of the Maori culture.
  • Learn about Maori culture through songs, stories and dances.
The gondolas going up Mount Ngongotaha.

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