Rotorua sits right on top of a hotspot, and the town smells continually of hydrogen sulphide. In addition, it was really wet on the first day, and my shoes and socks got wet, and started to smell. So did Rachael's feet. Then I managed to splash petrol on my trousers. So it was quite a smelly week. But it was all worth it.

Sigrid had a great time at the youth camp, and appears to have survived without injury or hypothermia. We picked her up on the way down. Just about managed to squeeze everything in the car.

We did the museum on the first day. It used to be the old bath house, and you can go down into the basement and see all the pipes. There's also a cinema. They call it a cinema. They don't tell you about the earthquake simulator in the benches. Or the other special effects. Quite an experience.

We then visited some of the local thermal areas and geysers. It's a little unnerving standing next to a drain hole in the street with steam and a hissing sound coming out of it. We went to Wai O Tapu and the Lady Knox geyser, which they set off every day with a block of soap. It looks really corny with froth pouring out the top, but it quickly turns into a proper fountain. We also went further south to Orakei Korako (or something like that) where there's another thermal valley. It's smaller, but less people, so it was more peaceful.

Add in the gondola, the luge, the Paradise Valley wildlife park and you've got quite a packed week. Rachael wanted to do a Zorb (rolling down the hill in a big inflated ball) but she was too small for the harness in the dry version, and didn't like the idea of the wet version where they let you slide about in a few inches of water. Plus it was $45 a roll, so we gave that one a miss. We dropped in on the Hobbiton movie set on the way back, and Sigrid went out on the tour while we had lunch. Attempted to break into the Ngatea water gardens, but they're closed on Fridays. Got home, rather tired.

School tomorrow. Not planning anything today. I think we need time to recover!

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