Let me just say this right off the bat: The people here are just so nice and helpful.
We drove straight to Rotorua without stopping. I was just a bit focused on the driving to try to figure out how to get to the Waitomo Caves. Maybe we’ll hit that the next trip to New Zealand.
Mom’s taking a rest right now, and then we’ll take a walk into the town. We ate a huge lunch just when we got here, so neither of us is hungry.
Which brings me to nice, helpful people: The waitress/manager at the restaurant where we had lunch (can’t remember the name right now, but I will definitely post it when I find it because the food and wine choices are stellar) immediately got that we’re American and told us she and her family are going to the US for their vacation at the end of August. So we had a nice exchange. She told us which Maori experiences to choose from, and we told her definitely Disneyland and California Adventure over Knott’s. They’re also going to San Diego, Las Vegas, and New York. That’s covering a lot in one trip, if you ask me.
Anyway, back to Rotorua. We haven’t yet had a chance to look around, but we have a fantastic view of the lake from our room, and the sulfur smell is not bad at all. The Sudima Hotel is where we’re staying–beautifully refurbished recently, from what we understand, and very nice and quiet.