17.10.16 – 19.10.16
Tauranga (toe-runga) is about 3 hours south-east of Auckland on the coast. It is a lovely town with plenty happening. To make life easier, we hired a car for two days to zoom around the North Island ans visit friends we had met in Cambodia. The only reason we came here was to catch up with the Sinclair family, but we soon found out that Rotorua was less than an hour away! Such incredible people. We were really blessed to spend to nights with them.
We had a spare day and spent it at Te Puia, a Maori cultural village that run tours of the geysers on site, have traditional Maori dance performances and let you wander through the carving and weaving institute. See Monday Moment 43 for more information.
The rest of our day in Rotorua was spent exploring the city centre and driving through the forest areas just outside of town. The landscape and scenery everywhere in New Zealand is incredible. Spending time on both islands let you appreciate the difference between the two.
After our two nights in Tauranga, we had to make it back to Auckland to catch our bus to Putaruru (pronounced poo-tara-roo and not puta-roo-roo as Nathan thought). What a stressful few hours. After lunch we needed to drop off our car and got lost in the city and diverted by traffic works, then had to fill up with fuel, then pack our bags, then catch an Uber to the bus station. So much to do and we were running out of time fast. Luckily there was an Uber driver literally across the street when we needed one and were able to make our bus with a minute to spare, to meet our WOOFing family!
– Hire a car to get around New Zealand, it makes travelling easier.
– The Intercity Bus Company have lots of options at a good price if you want to bus around.
– Tauranga is definitely worth a visit, especially as it’s so close to Rotorua.