( My blog has had a make-over for 2012! )
Yesterday I returned form Rotorua, where I spent the weekend and officially graduated with a Diploma in Creative Writing. This post would probably be nine pages long if I wrote about everything we did and saw so I’ m just going to write about my favourite things. Summer this year has been seriously full-on. I feel like a lot more has happened this summer than last and its just been really fun. In the last week of January we had a our first BBQ, went out for dinner and to the movies, went to the Kite Festival and went to a Mexican themed 21st. Now that that’s over and I’m back from our big trip I can’t help but feel like I’m staring at a blank canvas – what will the last month of Summer involve?
Graduation Day and seeing my polytech was a surreal, exciting and somewhat scary experience but all in all I was completely blown away by it all. The two ceremonies were just amazing, well organised and really special. I feel quite proud to be a Waiariki Graduand. My highlights were the girl who sung at the Farewell Ceremony (can’t remember her long Maori name), walking into the auditorium (is that what it’s called) for the first time and seeing where I was going to Graduate – the lights, smoke, plants & decor and big screens and all of the people watching! and walking across the stage to get my Diploma. I still can’t believe I have it.
Rotorua is obviously famous for its geothermal activity and iconic ‘smell’ but I don’t think people can really bag on about it like they do. Its absolutely fascinating – to see steam billowing out of a drain, or bubbling out of a crack in the ground and the fact that everywhere you go there is a delicious hot pool to dunk your feet in. I think NZ is really lucky to have so many different landscapes. It makes me want to see more of it.
The Government Gardens & Kuirau Park
My two favourite places would be the Government Gardens and Kuirau Park. The Government Gardens is home to the museum (an absolutely fascinating building that I can’t even describe), the Blue Baths, the Polynesian Spa, some beautiful grounds and gardens and the Energy Events Center (where I graduated). I don’t know how else to describe the place other than by saying that its really, really pretty and there is so much to explore. It makes you dream of tea parties and Alice in Wonderland and picnics and vintage bicycles.
Kuirau Park is similar with beautiful gardens and pathways and bridges but it is also dotted with heaps of geothermal activity. There’s mud pools and steaming ponds and all sorts of other things just everywhere. And there’s hot pools to soak your feet in! Its the kind of place that I would absolutely love to live right next to so I could visit it everyday.
Kayaking on Lake Rotoiti
We went Kayaking on Rotorua’s second biggest lake – Lake Rotoiti and it was super fun. We kayaked over to yet another neat little geothermal spot where there were about 5 baths to soak in and we went for a swim in the lake. The kayak back was my favourite part as I felt all warm and relaxed after the pools and had gotten the hang of the steering of the kayak. Also the sun had just started to set and the lake was super calm.
Sunday was our last day in Rotorua and this is when we went to Kuirau Park. We also wandered along the Lake shore and visited a historic church. Lastly we went to the Blue Baths which was also beautiful. It was like (mums words) an old Roman bath house, with a big 30 degree pool in the center and a soaking tub on each side. And for most of the time we were there we had it all to ourselves. Oh yeah, and first thing in the morning on Sunday we had breakfast in an old paddle boat (is that right?) on the lake. Buffets are the best way to stuff yourself full of deliciousness.
Well this is a long post and I haven’t added any photos yet. In my next post I will write about my plans for February.