Trying To Be A Tourist In Rotten Rotorua

Through the awesome website I have found a host who will put me up for free for my three nights in Rotorua. Just the same, for this is tourist-land and they sure know how to cash in on the holiday makers, eager to tick of yet another must-see destination from their list. I very rarely find myself doing that sort of thing, but this time is different; I have decided to be a genuine tourist and “do” Rotorua. At least, that is my plan…

Now where did that image go?

Rotorua is much more than just a hole in the ground, and yet holes like this one is what attracts thousands of tourists to the town every year. Judging from the smell this could be a special kind of hole…

Richard – my generous host – tells me over the phone that he unfortunately won’t be home before much later that night, but that I should just let myself into his house and “get stuck in”. I find the keys in a hidden spot and enter his dream of a house. Richard is a doctor and his solid income is nicely reflected in his dwelling: Luscious rooms full of tasteful record and book collections; marvellous kitchen with a monstrous marble slab for a table-top; class A touring bikes in one corner and a pantry full of organic foods and homebrewed beer. Getting “stuck in” has never been easier and before you can say weary traveller, I have already lit the fire, made myself a hearty omelette and slipped into Richard’s comfortable couch.

Now where did that image go?

Who needs hotels when you can stay in a house like this? For free!

Around 10 pm the incredibly trusting Richard turns up and I find myself in the odd position of being able to welcome home in his own house. We hit it off immediately and it is only the advancing night that breaks off our flow of words – Richard has work in the morning. I decide to get up early too and ride with Richard into town as he lives a good 15 minutes drive out in the hills. I wake up to yet another rainy day but determined to be a good tourist, I drag myself out of the soft guest bed to go exploring in Rotorua.