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Day 6: Tu Puia & Rotoura

August 29, 2008

Today we arose and decided to see a few more sites in Rotoura before heading back to Auckland to fly out to Sydney.  We went to a Maori gathering place and a church that was in the same complex.  It was a very pretty setting as it was on Lake Rotoura.  We then decided to venture to Te Puia, a Maori cultural center with sulfur thermal baths.  We went to Te Puia, but not much was open as it is the off season.  All that said it was still interesting and did have a geyser.  Once we left Tu Puia, we ventured to Mantamata, the location where Lord of The Rings was filmed.  Unfortunately, you have to take a tour out to the location in which it was filmed as it is on private property.  We didn’t have time for that, so we settled for just milling about the town and having lunch.  After lunch we decided it was time to head back to Auckland to find our hotel that we are staying at before we fly to Sydney tomorrow.  That said, the rush hour traffic in Auckland is horrible, but luckily we were able to find our hotel and return our car without much trouble. 

New Zealand has been super fabulous.  I came into this wondering if I would gnaw my arm off before leaving the country and I will leave knowing I will return soon.  It is such a beautiful place and the plane ride is not really as bad as you would think.  The coffee really is that bad though.  That is a concern to me as I am a highly caffeinated individual.  Makes for a rough morning.  Their coffee has a tang to it, I can’t quite place it, but won’t be unhappy that I won’t have to choke it down every morning.  It was so bad, I actually went to straight espresso so the pain would not be as prolonged.  I just held my nose.  Well off to bed, we have to get up at 2:30am to make our flight to Sydney!

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