As planned, we came back to Rotorua to the cultural evening. The day off was great and we decided to spoil ourselves in the spa. Hot natural pools (up to 42 degrees celsius) were built long ago and went through renovations over the years. The pools are in the open and the view of the lake and the mountains around adds to the experience.
I already wrote about the Tamaki experience but I'll write again with more details this time. At 18:45 we set off to the Tamaki village. On the way the driver was eager to teach us some words in the Mauri language and also chose a Chief to represent us in the welcoming ceremony. I must say that the ceremony was more impressive than I expected. After the ceremony we were invited to the village. There are few village houses, in each one Mauri people explain on their culture: food, games, surviving skill and more, all with humor and the visitors get to participate. I tried to dance their dance, it was fun, but as they said, I should keep my day job. The dinner was excellent, Maya and I enjoyed it very much so we went for a second round, well, with buffet we always go for second rounds, but it was really good.
The day after, we drove to New Plymouth on "The Forgotten Road" - route 43. The view was nice, simillar to some roads in the north. In the middle there is a republic with great population of 30 people. An iconic hotel offers some refreshments as cold bear and ice cream, and you can see photos of the presidents, the bachelor of the year and also that for a few years a goat was the president of the republic.
From New Plymouth we continued to Wellington, about 4 and a half hours drive. We only got to taste the great Pomodoro Pizza (open only 4 hours a day in the evening 17:00 - 21:00) and the next day we took the ferry to Picton, which is the only way to go with a car from the north island to the south island.