Yes, our ship was still in port over in Tauranga. And, yes, today was a very busy day, as you’ve seen these past two weeks. So far I’ve shown you the Rotorua geothermal area, the Living Māori Village, the redwood forest of Whakarewarewa, and rafters going over the falls at Okere. Can’t be a whole lot left to do, right? Wrong. Today we begin with Kiwifruit Country, a tourist attraction north of Okere Falls.
We arrived there courtesy of our tour hosts at Custom Day Tours.
Here, everything is kiwi. Even the tourist train:
But Kiwifruit Country is first a foremost a kiwi farm:
One last look at Kiwifruit Country before we head on up the road toward a bit of local indigenous flavor:
We now head back south toward Rotorua arrive at Te Puia. Last week we took a look at the geothermal area here, but today we’re going to take in some Māori culture and traditions.
It’s time for us to head over to the Te Puia Opera House, where a very special event awaits us:
But before the show begins, let’s take a closer look at the interesting building to the left:
Uh, oh . . . this fellow looks ominous:
Before this show began, the audience were advised to take this seriously. Laughter is not appreciated during this welcoming ceremony. And, despite the stern look of our greeters, we were in fact being welcomed in the traditional Māori manner.
Once welcomed into the opera house we were entertained with traditional Māori folksong, dance, and storytelling:
This week’s Fun Photo Friday concludes our look at the Tauranga and Rotorua areas of New Zealand. Next Monday we head to one of my favorite cities, Auckland. Here we disembark from our cruise, and I shall spend the next several weeks showing your around the city.