Mud Baths and Rotten Eggs in Rotorua

I went to Rotorua. I still smell like eggs.

To get around NZ I’ve purchased a national bus pass through InterCity. While I found it initially confusing (sorry for the borderline harassment, Brock!) it’s a pretty cool system. Besides not having to drive and do everything opposite (look out for me, Australia!) you get added perks along the way, including a tour guide telling hilariously bad jokes (which I unfortunately snorted at a few times) and free excursions such as a cave tour I tagged along on. Taking the bus does mean sacrificing time, which may bother me more as this trip goes along. For now it’s suiting me just fine.

Mid-afternoon we rolled into Rotorua, and I could smell it before seeing any of the steam clouds. I had kind of forgotten that I went to Hawaii last year and had my mind blown repeatedly at Volcanoes National Park, so I have to admit my expectations for Rotorua were a bit lower. Interestingly, in Hawaii there are signs everywhere warning you about the dangers of the sulphur but none to be found in NZ.

Initially I had been hellbent on going on a Zorb ride. YouTube clips made it look awesome – why yes I would like to tumble around in a giant hamster wheel. But after seeing it up close, I came to a realization – I am almost 28. Even when I was a wee one, I don’t think I would have enjoyed rolling down a hill in a barrel full of water. And as a grown-up, I don’t think I would enjoy paying nearly $50 for that experience. So I decided to think like an adult and went to a geothermal walk and mud spa instead. As I sat there covered in mud, my memory flashed back to covering myself in wet sand when camping as a child, and I realized that perhaps I am not capable of thinking like an adult at all! Regardless it was utterly relaxing and certainly helped cool down my sunburn. Until I got in the steam bath and likely burned off an entire layer of skin in the process. Ouch.

Despite the old-school chemical peel, I slept like a baby. This could also be due to the mild concussion I keep giving myself on bunk beds.


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