|the museum in Government Gardens|
Although I was really there for work, I did make time to visit Cottage Flair, a lovely quilting shop on Fenton Street. They had a lovely Jen Kingwell cushion pattern made up, and I bought a few fabrics for when I make it myself at home. I received Jen's book Quilt Lovely for Christmas, so I've already got the pattern.
On Saturday morning everyone split up into groups and went golfing, mountain biking, walking in the Redwoods forest, or exploring the geothermal areas. We chose to go to Waimangu Valley which includes the beautiful Lake Rotomahana.
|Inferno Crater Lake - do NOT enter - boiling hot|
|steam from boiling water in the cliffs on the side of the lake|
|native bush - I love the greens|
Lake Rotomahana was created when Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886, killing 120 people and burying the pink and white terraces. You can see more about the pink and white terraces here. They must have been beautiful and it's such a pity that they now lie 60 metres (200 feet) below the lake level.
This volcanic area is still very active today, but there are many monitoring systems in place and the guide assured us they would have two weeks notice if there was to be another eruption. This valley is linked to White Island, and New Zealanders all know it still erupts from time to time.
|Mt Tarawera as seen from our boat cruise on Lake Rotomahana|
You can read more about Waimangu Valley here - there's a lot to see in the valley, so allow at least 3 hours if you intend to visit. Like most of the geothermal areas, there are admission costs.
In the afternoon we went up in the gondolas because it was such a gorgeous day, and you do get a great view from the top.
The Crankworx mountain bike event was on at the base of the gondola, so it was a very busy day with sightseers, mountain bikers, and people riding the luge.
Somehow Rotorua has acquired the nickname Rotovegas, but it's good to see them embracing it.
All up - it was a lovely break away, even if I did have to work part of the weekend. We're fortunate to live in a beautiful country.