21 July 2011

Waitomo Caves and Rotorua – New Zealand Feb 2011

Next day saying bye to Auckland we started travelling south towards Rotorua, the Thermal Wonderland. Barry, our new chauffeur was quite amused by our group – a noisy, garrulous group of 6 women. He himself was quite quiet but every time I looked at him he would be smiling at our girly conversation!!!

As we drove along Barry pointed out some places with very Indian names like Bombay Hills and Coromandel Peninsula. These names have their origin in events like British ships called Bombay and HMS Coromandel landing there.

We had mentioned to Barry that we wanted to buy the local Wine and Cheese and the efforts he made for that was truly praiseworthy. First we stopped at a Cheese place and a little later at a Wine place. Both were closed. But Barry was not one to give up easily...he knocked on the doors, peered inside the windows, tried to look for back doors to get us inside, but no such luck.

Waikato region
So wineless and cheeseless we continued our drive through the Waikato region following the Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest river. Had heard a lot of raves about the beauty of New Zealand...the undulating green fields with cows and sheep looked very beautiful and fresh…but nothing unique. I have seen similar sights in Scotland, Europe and England. The real beauty of New Zealand that people speak about is in the South Island. But more on that in a later post.

Close to lunch time we reached the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. The glow worm is unique to New Zealand and a boat ride under thousands of these tiny creatures radiating their luminescent light was truly, truly magical. Everyone was totally mesmerized...no one made a sound!

A cute picnic lunch in Waitomo and off we were towards Rotorua.
picnic lunch

After a short rest on reaching Rotorua we grew restless and decided to go for a walk into town till Rotorua Lake. It was a longish walk - a good 2 kms walk either way from our hotel to the lake but the light cold breeze made it really refreshing. Sitting around at the lake reminded me of a joke someone had told me – “2 women decided to go on a pilgrimage and walked from Kanyakumari to Varanasi. After several weeks they returned and as one was going to freshen up she says – you wait here only I have something to tell you. Inspite of several weeks of yapping they still had stuff to gossip about!!!
The whole day in the van from Auckland to Rotorua we had yapped and the yapping continued at the lake and once we returned to our rooms also!!!


Hema said...

Was it on this day that Barry took us to a Supermarket and help us buy some Wine , which we had in the room later in the evening ?

Manpreet said...

Hema...yes it was. After not getting the local wine he decided that the supermarket was our best bet. He also helped us pick up the wines, which I think we all thought were good.