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Rotorua Rafting –
Day 1 – The sun was shining and it was time to meet everybody for our first trip of the season. With a full bus everybody was excited for the week ahead and after a quick introduction and it was time to hit the road. First stop was Matamata and gave us the opportunity to stretch the legs and buy some food. This is where the games began. For the next hour we switched seats every song with the hope of meeting everyone on the bus. This switching of seats was both loved and hated but the end result was great. Driving into Rotorua (meaning two lakes) offers the most amazing views of the lakes and is always a gorgeous drive. Until you hit the smell. The bubbling hot pools and mud baths in the area let off a gorgeous aroma of sulpha and rotten eggs. After checking into our accommodation it was time for rafting. A pickup was waiting when we arrived and we all headed out to the Kaituna River. Here we were briefed on safety, suited up, and were assigned rafts. We were away and the rapids were exhilarating and got the heart pounding. It wasn’t until we all stopped upstream to talk about the ‘speed bump’ ahead that my heart stopped. The ‘speed bump’ a seven meter waterfall lay in the way of me and the rest of my life. We all tucked in, shut our eyes, screamed our last goodbyes and we were off. The plunge was epic, in most instances the boat was fully submerged, lucky we were all wearing dry suits. Boat after boat of our rafters went through the same fears and triumphs and by the end a lot of mentally and physically exhausted people made it home for a warm soak in the pool and drinks. Pizza and more drinks were consumed before heading over to the Lava Bar where a free shot train (VODKA and Redbull) was set up for us. We all partied and drank the night away and shared our stories of the amazing Rafting Tour.
Day 2 – After a well deserved sleep in some worse for wear faces emerged from their beds for Breakfast and our departure to Whakarewarewa Village where we were given a guided tour of an ancient Maori village, experienced the food home cooked in their boiling mud pools and experienced the culture. A cultural show was put on for us and we were welcomed on their land, then a haka (war dance) finished the proceedings. It was truly an exciting experience. From the village we went to the Gondola and Luge (a trolley down a narrow steep track) where we arranged racing and time trials. I felt like i got about 3 foot of air as i went over one of the jumps. OGO balling was next and those that were game enough all got in their togs and rolled the OGO ball (a giant bubble in which you sit inside) down the steepest hill you can imagine. I had the chance of running everybody over when you arranged everyone to lay in its path. After a quick spa to warm up everyone was back on the bus and heading home. A lot of sleeping bodies on the bus on the way home suggested to me we had another successful Student Trip weekend in one of the adventure/adrenaline capitals of the world.
Check out http://www.studenttrips.co.nz for your Rafting adventure! Sweet As!