Hi from Rotorua

Today we write you from Rotorua, a medium-sized town about halfway down the North Island.  New Zealand is, in a word, gorgeous.  What’s really amazing is that everyone we’ve talked to says that the North Island is pretty boring–you have to go to the South Island to see the scenery.  Whatever.  This place is out of this world, it’s just so completely bucolic and peaceful.  Today, after a walk through a temperate rainforest along some pretty waterfalls, we stumbled right onto a pretty meadow full of sheep.  Picture perfect.

We’ve seen the ocean, and the city in Auckland, and a zoo with natural NZ fauna.  Today we saw the hot springs around Rotorua, in a Maori settlement called Whakarewarewa.  It’s fairly touristy, but definitely worth it.  Our only complaint is the prices.  Even pub grub, like a sandwich, will run you upwards of $15.  How the mighty dollar has fallen.