Last weekend my flat packed our matching red overnight bags and headed off on our first flat trip (!!!). We went to Rotorua because it has the luge which has been one of those things that we love to dream and talk about when we are meant to be doing other things ie. study. Life was on our side though because we realised Kat had to go down anyway AND the rest of us had a free weekend so we decided to do what we do best and give into our poor impulse control. Rotorua ready!
Things I Liked:
Rotorua is crazy to behold. I can’t explain to you the exact geographical reasons for it but I know it is built over natural thermal pools, I know it has something to do with sulphur and I know it results in all this amazing steam billowing up in clouds from storm drains, rivers and small cracks in the ground. We went for a hike up a hill to see the town and it was incredible, so much heat resulting in such a crazy looking landscape.
The Luge! They’re like these tiny motor-less car things that you drive down a course – I really don’t know how to explain but it’s a great time. I had a mixed experience because my first luge was actually broken so you had to crash to turn corners and it was so against instinct to drive but the rest of them worked and honestly 10/10. You also get a gondola ride to the course area and have to take a chair lift from the bottom of the track to the top so it’s three sorts of adventures in one.
Pretty skies. My favourite places are ones where the skies are long and clear and light. Kind of rural, kind of blissed out pink and blue. Kind of fresh. It reminds me of summer and reminds me to breathe.
Minigolf! We went to the place near the luge which is open at night and is outrageous. Think minigolf in the dark – but then think smoke machines, bubble machines, coloured lights, blasting music and massive beautiful bunnies for you to pet. My family likes minigolf so I have become grudgingly ok at it in my lifetime and had a great time.
Things I Didn’t Like:
Rotorua stinks. Literally. That is the downside to the thermal pools. The whole town smells and tastes kind of off – which you really do get used to but it’s not the kind of town you visit to breathe in that clear, fresh New Zealand air.
There were a lot of cockroaches up where we stayed – apparently they like the sulphur.
Rotorua is a great stop for tourists and also just everybody. As well as the Luge there is Zorb which are the massive balls you roll around inside, the sky swing and zip lining. There are also amazing redwood forest hikes, a beautiful lake and hot pools – including a free one referred to as ‘hot and cold’ which we ran out of time to see but had rave reviews.
Shout Out To:
The Mana bus. The fare was reasonable and you got us everywhere pretty on time. The driver was nice, the seats were ok (up the top- front is the best stop) and there is a toilet on board which is a bonus. Also the bus journey from Auckland to Rotorua and vice versa wasn’t too bad at all! Long enough that we all dropped off to sleep once or twice but also short enough that we weren’t totally dead by the time we got home.
Fat Dog café. Apparently this is the place to go as far as reliable, quirky cafes. Pretty good coffee, ok counter food, lots of people enjoying themselves. Would rate.
The trip itself. I kind of forgot that I had been to Rotorua before but I saw it again and remembered that I actually experienced one of the most iconic nights of my life there. This trip was really nice in that I got to reminisce but also add some more, really pretty, memories to a place already warm in my heart.
I think my best advice is when opportunities to go away with your friends like this come up you have to go. Realistically there will never be enough money and you will always be tired or stressed and have work and uni but also you won’t always have each other as much as you do now. Now is the time of friendship and adventures and just going with it. YOLO right (unironically haha) and it’s a pretty good life if its filled with times like these.