I’m in Rotorua!

After a 4 hour coach journey form Auckland, I’ve come to Rotorua to check out some volcano’s, go on a trek and see some hot springs. My Fitbit is going to go into crazy mode after this week is done.

My last night in Auckland was spent going bar hoping with George and Lauren (the two awesome couple that were in my shambles of a hostel). After heading down a long street named Karangahape Road, one in which I just had to Google to get any idea of spelling it, we soon discovered the dark side of Auckland.

Strip club after strict club seemed to occupy this road, as we were scouting out a bar one of Lauren’s friends had suggested to go. After finally finding it, the place was surprisingly elegant after seeing what kind of establishments occupied this street.

We sat outside of the bar in the lovely Auckland evening, going through drinks the bar girl would get us. The apple cider that was filling my gut was pretty decent. I mean it was no Recorderlig or Kopparberg, but it was better than whatever the crappy watered down thing was that they were serving at the ‘rooftop bar’ at the hostel. The rooftop bar that was on level 6…seriously, there were people going back to their car in the public parking lot that had better ‘rooftop views’ than us.

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After going through our drinks “on the house” we were feeling a little merry, so decided to grab some food. Now with our bellies full of pizza, something amazing came over us. We decided to go to Habana Joe’s. This was the bar that the hostel were just shoving down our throats to go to. We were there for an astonishing 15 minutes before leaving. It was, as expected, god awful.

We finished the night sat outside of a much better drinking establishment, and were looking back on our time in that hostel just laughing.

The next morning I had a bus to catch, one that was taking me to Rotorua. Auckland had grown on me and I looked back really liking the place. Whilst I wouldn’t want to live down Queen Street, Auckland had a lot to offer and I hope to go back sometime.

As the coach entered Rotorua I could tell that this was a drastically different place. Gone was the hustle and bustle of city life. I was introduced to a place where nature was at the forefront.

One of the things I was looking forward to the most during my travels was to experience different cultures and the Rotorua region was a hell of a lot different to Auckland. It’s amazing to see two completely different ways of living from a short 4 hour coach drive away.

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I had arrived to Waiteti Trout Stream Holiday Park to a calm and peaceful environment. My first introduction to the owner of the place was him having a go at my taxi driver for not dropping me off at the door. I was about 30 feet away from it. That moment I was wondering what I had got myself in for.

It turns out the man couldn’t have been more welcoming. He gave me advice on where to visit, printed off page after page of bus routes, directions to the local supermarket, highlighting the free parks to visit for incredible scenery, I couldn’t ask for any more than that.

I dumped my bags in my room and decided that I first better do some laundry. Once that boring stuff was out the way, I went to walk to the local supermarket to check out the area and to get dinner. The hush of silence I experienced on my way into Rotorua seems to have implanted itself onto its suburbs too. It was so strange that a road of shed-like houses could be so quiet. My music became too loud for me not to turn down, which is a rare thing for me to do. My ears were thankful.

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After finally coming across the supermarket, the town didn’t have too much to offer. I don’t mean for this to sound offensive, but it was as though it had previously be wiped out by some kind of disaster and it had recently been rebuilt from what was left. It was very to a lifestyle I’ve ever experienced that’s for sure.

I was carrying my bags of fresh fruit, milk, pineapple juice and Cheerios back with me when I found a diversion. At the end of the dead-end road was a huge lake. Now you’ll have to excuse my ignorance of not knowing what the lake was called, but if you lived in the house next to me you had a pretty darn good view out of your window.

Once I got back, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had already used up my wifi allowance by watching a 40 minute video. It turns out the place doesn’t offer you a lot of wifi access. Waiteti Holiday Park is a little away from central Rotorua. Google maps predicted it’ll take 1 hour and 55 minutes to walk.

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I decided to do something I’m not too good at, relax. The small box room that I had wasn’t quite doing it for me so I remembered the lovely man said that the place had a lounge. Once I got there I could tell that there wasn’t many people staying at this holiday park. I had only seen one other person since checking in.

After channel flicking, I realised it has been a while since I was sitting watching TV. Monster University had just started, which isn’t a bad movie luckily. I enjoyed it. I took my sketch book out, started drawing and settled on the sofa.

My evening ended by reading my book on my bed and using my newly purchased WiFi access to chat with family and friends back at home.

Tomorrow it was time to explore Rotorua. My first stop? The Rotorua Museum to learn it’s history and about its culture before I start my treks.

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