Our day started in Tapua where we got to experience the Geothermal Valley. The parts that we saw were the geysers and mud pits. The 4 geysers were beautiful to see erupting. We learned that the water under the ground gets extremely hot (around 85 Celsius or 185 Fahrenheit!). The water got this hot because the magma from the volcano underground. Even the pool at our hotel was heated by the The heated water came out of the ground as steam! The mud pits were really cool as well. They take just about 110 years to fully form because things like rain cool down the pit. One name the mud pits had were “frog mud pits” because sometimes the bubbles of mud would pop and look like frogs jumping around.
Following the geothermal, we headed to the Agrodome where we had the pleasure to see a farm presentation. The presenter showed us the huge variety of sheep New Zealand has to offer, bringing each on one at a time. After they all arrived on stage, we were showed the shaving process along with milking and the herding of the sheep by sheep dogs. It was incredible to be up close and personal with these animals we have been seeing on our bus rides and we all really enjoyed it.
Next, we made a trip to the Maori Anglican church in Rotorua. The historic church is in the location of the first church in New Zealand. This beautiful building right on the water combines Christian and Mouri themes in its design. Intricate carvings along with stained glass covers the walls making for a very interesting interior. We can’t wait to be a part of their service tomorrow and play in this important and special building.
Finally we went to experience the Maori culture through dance and food. When we entered we were soon greeted by a ceremony of warriors and the chief who offered peace to our tribe and our leader (Mark White). We then went around their village and learned about their games and dances. They cooked an amazing feast and all from a steam vent from the earth. The food was wonderful and so was learning about their traditions.