After a pleasant night in the Coachman Motel, the first stop is the gondola up Mount Ngongotaha to take in the views of Rotorua and to go downhill luging. They have three tracks to try. It's suitably fun while's not very much traffic, and I reckon that which enough lean, it's possible to get down the fastest track without touching the brakes.

Also at the top of the gondola I have the opportunity to experience New Zealand's legendary crime problem. I've left my backpack somewhere I can see it from the chairlift. Unfortunately, that means I have an early opportunity to notice that it's no longer there after my second run. But because this is New Zealand, it's been handed into the relevant authorities (in the shape of Kiosk Girl), rather than being left on bricks lacking its tires. I caffienate before gondolaing back down the mountain.

On a whim, I nip next door to the Rainbow Springs wildlife park, which turns out to be excellent. It has a multitude of native birdlife and some trout.

It's really nicely presented and like most of the country, pretty empty. The only disappointments are the keas hiding in their barrels and the kiwis aren't easy to spot in their noctural house.

Te Puia is another Thermal Wonderland[tm], with additional Genuine Maori Cultural Experiences. It's a little late in the day by now, so I rush round the thermal bits in order to get back for the Genuine Maori Dog and Pony Show. Least said...

The tour starts next, taking in the exciting geysery bits plus a carving workshop and other stuff. The end of the tour is also chucking out time, which must make it pub o clock.

The pubs are a disappointment in this country. This one is chainy and plasticy, and the breed as a whole is short on interesting beer. Or perhaps I'm still pining for Scotland.

The ticket to Rainbow Springs is a 24 hour ticket, and they're still open. It's even more relaxed than during the day, there are fewer than about half a dozen people in the entire park. The big attraction is the cage of kiwis on the correct time zone. Once it gets dark you can go in and catch a glimpse of one without glass or chicken wire in the way if you're still enough. Rather excitingly, my patience results in a kiwi shuffling out of its jungle and giving me a good sniff before turning round and wombling back.

The kea's also in evidence tonight. Still mostly hiding in its barrel, but occasionally popping out and screeching the place up.

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