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Home / Exploring Our World / Member Stories (31) / Amateur Writer (7) / Australia (5) / People: Rural (5)


Kiwi Travels Part 4

Email I Sent to Friends and Family While Living In New Zealand

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I was going to go rafting at river valley, but the river was too swollen because of the non stop rain. I needed that day anyway. It was nice and relaxing there. Just what I needed. The next day I headed north to Taupo. When I arrived I figured since I didn’t go rafting, ill go skydiving! Sorry mom! I know you didn’t want me to, but man! I’ll still go with you! I went from 15000 feet over Lake Taupo. You could see mount Rapahu (?) and mount doom from "Lord of the Rings". Since we were so high up I had to suck on oxygen. I think I had too much, cause I was chillin when it was time to jump! What a rush. The freefall lasted a minute and my landing was less than graceful. If landing on your ass is graceful, then I got a perfect 10! Yep, that’s about it for Taupo.

I headed north the next day to Rotorua where I went to a thermal bubbly mud pot and geyser thing. Pretty cool stuff there. Smelled like rotten eggs though. In fact, the whole city smelled that way. I went up a gondola thing and rode some luges. Think of the Olympic sport but on concrete and sleds with wheels. Not much else to do in Rotorua. That night I went with some others to a "Hangi," a traditional Maori meal. There were 5 buses that went to this place and on each bus a chief was picked. I was the chief of my bus. I lead them off the bus and to the front where me and the other chiefs stood in the rain waiting. Then a Maori warrior came out and did some crazy dancing and spear stuff and offered us a stick as a peace offering. One of the other chiefs picked up the stick and we lead our "tribes" into the Marae, or meeting place. They did all kinds of songs and dances and cool Maori stuff. As chiefs, we sat in the front. Definitely a perk! Then we went to eat and us chiefs got to eat first! Another perk! After about an hour and a half they called the chiefs up to the front and gave us all a tiki necklace. I can’t remember what it meant. Really nice though. Then on the bus ride back I had to lead our bus in song and conversation. It was a really cool experience.


From Rotorua I began my East Cape adventure. We rode in a small van of

About 20 people and we stayed at small private homes or backpackers. The first place we went was a town called Whakatane. Ok, repeat after me...fa-ka-ta-nae. Good! This was the last ATM stop for a few days and this is also where something with the Treaty of Waitangi happened. The Treaty of Waitangi is essentially the constitution of New Zealand. We were there for about an hour before we went to a small town called Te Kaha. Just west of Te Kaha, a couple of surfers got missing about 3 days prior to us arriving. Traditional Maori way was to keep the area of ocean off limits to any recreation until the bodies were found or a period of time passed. Unfortunately, we were in that area, so we couldn’t go fishing or swimming or anything, but it is a good honorable tradition. We stayed in this guy's home, about 15 of us. He was a rugby fan, so we all drank some beers and watched rugby. His wife and some other ladies of his family cooked everyone dinner too. It’s a small and personal setting there. We walked down the road to pick some wild berries to put in our ice cream! We all watched the

Sunset over the ocean. What a beautiful place that was.



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