The day started out by mentally preparing for the “Olympics” in Rotorua. http://www.skyline.co.nz While we have completed the sport of luge in Lake Placid, both during the summer and winter, we were still not prepared for the luge in Rotorua. After a gondola ride up to the top of the hill, we got in line to get the instructions from the “coach” or attendant before racing down the first course in the racetrack. Dave quickly picked up speed and rounded a corner overtaking Kathy, zipping in and out he passed several slower “athletes” to find himself down at the bottom before Kathy could catch up. After a ride up the chair lift, we decided to try a more difficult run. Dave, again being the gentleman, let Kathy get a head start and then promptly passed her as he sped down the hill (weight can be helpful at times!) This time Kathy and Dave both passed slower riders, but Dave still managed to beat Kathy to the bottom of the hill!! Another run, another attempt for Kathy to try and redeem herself! This time, the “expert” track was decided upon that required the “athlete” to navigate obstacles and occasionally catch air as the luge flew over bumps in the track. Kathy, ever cautious, was passed by rider after rider and Dave waited patiently at the bottom for Kathy to reach him….dead last!! Kathy and Dave then decided upon a scenic run where we meandered down through the shade. One last run, Kathy opted out and Dave took the expert run so that he could risk it all to achieve maximum air!!! He came back with no bumps or bruises and did not overturn his luge. Success!!!
Then it was time to find some mellow activities. A walk through Kuirau Park where we had the opportunity to view multiple geothermal features. We were able to sit and stick our feet in a manmade geothermal pool (one that was a bit cooler) and watch the tourists (us included) marvel at the warmth.
Winding down, we visited Government Gardens where we saw black swans, pied cormorants, Australasian swamphens and some apparently lost Canada geese. It was interesting to walk around the gardens, read the historical information, and watch the people play croquet. It was a great way to end our last full day in Rotorua!!