We made it to Rotorua on Friday, after driving successfully on the left, and stopped at the Thermal Springs Holiday Park for two nights. Having never been to a holiday park before (in New Zealand or elsewhere), I was impressed by the facilities: spacious bathrooms and showers, kitchen facilities with four sets of burners and sinks, hot water dispensers, toasters, a lounge with couches and wireless internet ($4/hour). And best of all, three mineral pools steaming away at a constant 38-40°C (100-104°F). After setting up the Spaceship and making a little dinner, we headed straight for the pools.
We spent most of Saturday at Te Puia to get our M?ori cultural fix, including a viewing of the Pohutu Geyser. We took a guided tour in the morning, drove around Lake Rotorua after lunch, and then returned to Te Puia for the “Indigenous Evening Experience”, a cultural performance (M?ori concert) and a h?ngi (M?ori barbecue) dinner.