slivka.com > Trips > New Zealand 2002 > Tue Dec-24

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Tue Dec-24 Flying Fox Zipline, Drive to Rotorua, Cafe Banco, Agrodome, Okawa Bay Lake Resort (Backroads Day 5)
We got up, ate breakfast at Puka Park Resort, and then drove over to Damian (Johansen Adventures, Ltd.) Johansen's place for the "flying fox" -- a zip line. You climb up a ladder, crawl through a tunnel, and walk across two rope bridges (one rope for your feet, two ropes at shoulder level, you are snapped on to a line above and wearing a climbing harness) to the top of the zip line platform on a tree some 40 feet above the ground. The zip line is a steel cable that starts at the tree and bows down to another tree some 750 feet away and below. There is a "carriage" with two metal wheels that rides on top of the steel cable. Your climbing harness is hooked to the carriage, and you hold onto two handles on the carriage. Then -- the moment of truth -- you step off the platform, the cable takes your weight, and you zip down toward the ground and tree below. As you reach the "landing area", you start running and slow yourself down to a stop -- it's all over in ~17 seconds! Max did the zip line twice!

We piled back into the vans and headed out for Roturua. We stopped for lunch at Cafe Banco in Te Aroha, then continued on to the Zorb site in Rotorua www.zorb.com. Chris, Donovan, Katie, and Lori did the "wet zorb", and then it was on to the Agrodome, where we learned about the nineteen major different breeds of sheep in New Zealand, watched a sheep get sheared of its wool, and learned about two different breeds of New Zealand sheep dogs and saw them strut their stuff.

Then it was on to the Okawa Bay Lake Resort, where we were treated to an introduction to the Maori culture by Napi, and Uncle Max. As we entered the room, Nathan challenged us in the traditional Maori style, then Napi introduced Ben as the chief of our tribe, and then our Max as the young leader. There were six women and four men total, and they sang several songs. Then Uncle Max explained the songs, introduced some Maori vocabulary, and then had the visiting men come up to learn "Haka", which is a combination of body stance, facial expressions, stomping, and chanting, designed to intimidate a foe. Then we sang a few songs, and Napi thanked Max and our Nate for their contributions, and it was time for dinner, accompanied by a bottle of Piper Heidsick non-vintage champagne.

Rooms for 2 nights:
Okawa Bay Lake Resort
Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua
Ph: 64-7-362-4599
Fax: 64-7-362-4594
http://www.okawabay.co.nz

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