Rotorua is a city in the middle of the north island of New Zealand. It's well known for its geothermal activity and maori culture, but mostly for the geothermal stuff. The entire city smells like a serious fart, and it takes some time to get used to. When I woke up in the morning my first thought was that someone had let one rip, but then I remembered that it's just the smell of rotorua.

It was about 8pm when I got to Rotorua. I stayed at a cute little place called The Funky Green Voyager. I stayed here 5 years ago and really liked it. It's an eco-friendly, clean, very friendly backpackers. They recycle and compost, and they have a beer fridge if you want to buy just one beer.

This was on the notice board.

The first thing I did was make dinner. Then I headed over to the Polynesian Spa for an evening soak in the spa under the stars. It was more expensive than I remembered, but well worth it. After my 40 minute race to the bus in Wellington and my 8 hour bus ride, I was relishing a hot soak in the mineral pools. They close at 11pm and I got there just past 9:30. It was plenty of time, and it wasn't crowded at all. I got these pictures from the website. I went at night so the atmosphere was much different. There were seven pools of varying temperatures and stinkiness. I tried them all.

Oh my god...that felt soooo good. And I slept so well that night. The owners at the Funky Green are fantastic. I hung bout the place the next morning. It was Anzac Day, so most of the shops in town were either closed or weren't opening until the afternoon. After some internet and phone calls I headed to town.

This used to be a giant bath house back in the day. Now it's the Rotorua Museum. I'd already seen all this before on my first trip to New Zealand. I had to catch a bus to Auckland later in the day, so I didn't have time to check out the museum again. Though I remember it being fascinating, for me.

I ran into a girl from my room while I was walking. I have a bag with a giant strawberry on it. My mom got it for me in Taiwan and it says "STRAEBERRY" on it. Anyway, the girl said she only recognized me because she remembered my strawberry bag. Too bad I couldn't stay because she had a car and was going someplace cool. I forget where. Oh well, she was very cool anyway. And she had a map and pointed me in the direction of the lake.