Saturday, October 3, 2015

New Zealand - North Island Day 5 (Part 2 - To do/see, to stay, to eat)

To do:
587 Waimangu Road (PO Box 6141), Rotorua, New Zealand

There is plenty of things to see here and covers quite an expansive area. The general advice is to walk from the beginning to the end as it is a downhill walk. Along the way are 3 main bus stops for pick-up and drop-off.

Felt like walking on eggshells when crossing this wooden bridge as it is so steamy and the river flow is at boiling point

Don't climb to Mt Haszard Hiking Trail. The ticketing person informed us, there isn't any volcanic activity on this route and we should have heeded her advice. It is kind of wasted effort unless you are keen to see the crater. SO did not wish to backtrack as he was still hurting from the fall. Pat on his shoulder for braving the pain and climbing up the hill with me.

Midway, we saw a very gung-ho traveller disregarding the warning signs and went to play with the water along the river. We are pretty much aghast and he even show us how his hands are still fine after the dip. #_#||| Walking along the track, we do see steam phewing our from the hills and the bubbling sounds of boiling water in the lake.

The geysers while on the cruise

I was quite undecided on the lake tour and did not plan on joining this tour but since we have quite a bit of time to kill we went for it. We had the boat all to ourselves for the 1.10 pm cruise.  Truth be told, the ride is a little boring for me (a lot of talk of the surrounds little sights) and there isn't alot of volcanic activity except for the play of 3 geysers towards the end.

The lake looking oh so so serene
The entire track is an estimated 3 hours walk and including the boat tour is 4 hours. So visitors should plan at least half a day here.

Waimangu is worth a visit with a variety of volcanic activity to see. Though, i will opt out of the lake cruise as i didn't quite enjoy it. And to pay the amount of price just see the 3 geysers just doesn't quite make the cut.

OGO Rotorua
525 Ngongotaha Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua, New Zealand

The initial plan was for both of us to take the 2 to go rides together. As SO took a tumble at Wairere Falls, he was fearful that the ride will aggravate his wounds. In the end, he opted out and became my impromptu videographer for the day.

I don't have any photos to show on the grounds but there are changing and shower rooms. There is also a hot tub to dip in after the ride.

As it was a pretty chilly day at 12 degree celsius, the staff are very helpful and give very clear instructions. They did everything to keep me warm and comfortable as the temperature is slightly colder on the hilltop where the rides start. It may appear from this video that its quite a slow ride down the slope i can assure you that's not how you feel when you're inside the ball. It is a little cray as i kind of get thrown all over the place in the sidewinder. When you think it slows down abit, it starts rolling crazily downhill again.

This is the most adventurous thing that i did in New Zealand and i will recommend anyone to try it as its not as bad as it looks.

To Eat:

Ciabatta Bakery - 4 stars, budget
38 White St, Fenton Park, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand  

This wall is adorned with patrons of this little restaurant and also story of how the restaurant start out.

Tried their chocolate cronuts and the crust is fried to pastry like crispy but paste at the centre is too sweet for me.
Croissant and Cronuts
Croissant is also highly recommended. Though its not as crusty or buttery as tiong bahru bakery but still extremely tasty.
Garlic Parmesan Ciabatta
Garlic Parmesan ciabatta off the ham is the best of the 3 bread we tried today. Good taste with swiss dressing that is sourish and topped of with local fresh lettuce with a very thick yummy piece of ham.
A meal is never complete without coffee
The coffee brewed is also quite up to standard.

It is a definite place to recommend as its very budget and very yummy. The place is a little inaccessible like almost in an industrial area kind of place and parking is relatively limited. Well i end up just parking anyway that doesn't obstruct any passing vehicles.

Fat Dog Cafe - 4 stars, budget
1161 Arawa St, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand 
Presenting the so so tall burger called dog bollux burger.

We tried the tallest burger on the menu to share and its turned out to be really huge.  This super-size burger is one of the signature of the cafe. The height is that of a satay stick from end to end. I was quite shocked when it was delivered as it isn't what i imagined.

Though tall, i like the beef patty and the lettuce and huge onion rings. Taste wise its equivalent of the favourite burgers i like in Singapore (i.e Fat boys burger and Omakase).

For drinks, i order lime shake but it kind of taste like vanilla ice-cream blended instead. We didn't really tried alot on the menu as we grabbed a bite at the cafeteria at Waimangu early to stave off our hunger at 3 pm.

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