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DAY 3: Auckland to Cambridge to Rotorua

Kia Ora Tatou!

Pack those bags we're travelers on the move! YES, day 3 and we are checked out of our hotel and saying goodbye to Auckland!

Today we travel south down the middle of the North Island, and we stop off for a beer excursion and lunch at GOOD GEORGE BREWERY in Cambridge which lies at the southern tip of the Waikato District. From Auckland the 2 hour bus ride to Cambridge is glorious, our route is straight south through the middle of the North Island.

We will explore the beauty of the North Island as we follow the Waikato River and it's meander through the middle of the Island. The caves, rolling farmland, and glistening lakes will be only some of the beauty that we will encounter, and as we enjoy the scenery we will stop along the way for sight seeing, our brew excursion and delicious lunch.

Haere mai ki te Wao Tapu nui ? Tane, Nau mai haere mai.

After lunch the excellent experience of the Whakarewarewa Forest will be the highlight of the day along with our Cultural Performance and Hangi Meal at the Māori Village. The forest is filled with giant Redwood Trees and the beautiful energy of the trees is highlighted by the Māori Village nearby, now we are in Rotorua!

Rotorua is filled with geo-thermal energy, Māori traditions, a small village of cultural Māori activities and our travelers on this day. Māori traditional cooking uses a technique called ‘hangi’, loosely translated means ‘earth oven’. In traditional hangi cooking methods a hole is dug in the ground, and hot stones are placed at the bottom of the hole. The food is then placed on top – usually meat and root vegetables – before being covered with a cloth and a mound of earth, trapping the heat within the hole. Whakarewarewa Māori Village is unique to the traditional methods used for hangi. They don’t need to rely on hot stones, but instead can utilize Mother Nature’s hot steam from our geothermal steam boxes, as well as the mineral pools to cook their kai (food in Māori).

Their mineral pool, Parekohuru, is the largest hot spring in the village, and is used for cooking leaf and root vegetables, seafood and the beloved corn on the cob. We can also purchase delicious Geothermal Hangi Meals that are available in their café.

To cook in their mineral pools, the food is placed in a muslin cloth, or a flax basket that is lowered into the pool for a desired amount of time. Can you imagine food that has been cooked within a natural hot pool?! Traci tried to climb in while the food was being prepared, luckily the Hangi Head Cook saw her in time and stopped her from bathing with our food!

We enjoy the day, each other and realize our connection to all people, the earth and the Maori traditions. Our stay at Rydges Rotorua is only a 20 minute walk from the village, so the energy and experience will carry you through the evening and through a restful sleep as we listen to the sounds of the forest drifting off to a meditative sleep.

See you tomorrow morning my travelers!

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