by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : April 2011
self in boiling mud there are plenty of places that will oblige. We checked into our Lodge, the very well-appointed Koura Lodge, right on the banks of Lake Rotorua. Extremely nice and so it should be at $190NZ each for the night. Nice touch that the lovely couple who run it come from Preston a place very close to where I was born in the UK! We pick up a brochure in reception and at 4pm we figure we have just enough time to make it to HELLS GATE! It‟s actually called Tikitere and it is at the south end of the lake. Apparently for over 700 years it has been a sacred place to the Ngati Rangiteaorere tribe, and today is the only thermal park still owned by Maori. We learn that Tikitere was the name of a tragic Maori princess who threw herself into the boiling hot pool that bears her name today. I‟m sure it was just a nasty bungy jumping ac- cident that they were trying to cover up. It was pretty good value, $30NZ to get in and have a walk around, suitably smelly. I didn‟t go for the all over hot mud experi- ence, way too messy. Tourist trap triggered we head back to Roto- rua. Most of the restaurants seem to be along one road in the centre of the town, Tutanekai St. The busy street has traffic on it but the bottom third is a Cul de Sac and there are dining tables from most of the res- taurants placed out on the road. It seems to be Tango night. A very accomplished guitar- ist is playing great music for dancing and the diners are taking him up on the offer. He seems to have a radio connection to every restaurant on the strip and loads of people dance. Having just checked my diary I find that it was a Friday night so now I under- stand a little better why the place was kicking off. I had never been to Rotorua before and this quick visit already has me planning for a return. The train would be a good way to do it. Take it to Hamilton because Rotorua isn‟t on the line. Hire a car there and drive the 1hr 20 minutes to Rotorua. Have a couple of days there then whiz back to Hamilton and re board the train. This might be a good time to point out that about two hours south of Ham- ilton, Tangiwai to be precise, is the site of New Zealand‟s greatest rail disaster! At 10.21 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1953 the Wel- lington–Auckland night express plunged into the flooded Whangaehu River. Of the 285 passengers on board, 151 died! Greytown, Wellington and Kaikoura next month. Life, be in it!!! The view from the our room at he Koura Lodge. Moonscape at Tikitere (Hells Gate). Pity photos aren’t scratch and sniff, the pong of sulphur was mighty strong! Observation car on The Overlander.