Lake Okataina ~ a tucked away little gem!
I think that Lake Okataina is one of New Zealands little known gems. Tucked away at the end of a long and winding single track road, the lake is surrounded by dense native bush and little else. The waters are incredibly clear, I was amazed at how deep you could still see to the bottom.
There is a lodge near the edge of the lake, offering accommodation (quite expensive I thought, rooms were approaching $200 per night) but that, apart from a small picnic site and a boat ramp, is all.
We spent a quiet evening here just enjoying the peace of the surroundings and the birdsong.
You would need your own transport to get here...from Rotorua take State Highway 30 to Lake Rotoiti. Lake Okataina is down a right hand turn before you reach Gisborne Point. Do go if you get the chance, I'm sure yu won't be disappointed.
New Zealand Farm Show
this is quite a nice place to visit especially if you travelling with little children and young kids. they'll get to see a wide variety of animals for example, one of new zealand's endangered fish, the trout, birds, cows, sheep, and there is a special show put up to show the prowess of the dogs which help to round up the sheep. pretty cute things!
This is the best Thermal pools I went to while in Rotorua. Loads of people go but its very large so its not to bad. If you have a choice between Hells Gate and WAI-O-TAPU, I would recommend WAI-O-TAPU.
The Agrodome Sheep Show and Farm Tour
What a great day we had at the Agrodome! We arrived in time for their 9.30am World Famous Sheep Show and followed that with the Organic Working Farm Tour before lunch.
The Sheep Show is a fun experience. You get to see a sheep shearing demonstration, learn about and see 19 different breeds of sheep, and audience participation features heavily! I volunteered to hand milk a Jersey cow on stage (I have my Certificate of Udderance to prove it) and working dogs join in the show. Lots of fun and not to be missed.
Following on from the Sheep Show you have the option of joining the Organic Farm Tour - you can book tickets for both as part of a 'combo deal' which works out cheaper. A trailer takes you around the farm (a working farm) to see more sheep, cattle, deer, llamas, alpacas, ostriches and emus. Regular stops are made to hand feed the animals as well as honey tastings, kwi-fruit wine tastings and a tour through the kiwi fruit and apple orchards and the olive grove.
We then enjoyed lunch and a browse round the gift shops and chocolate shop. A really great day out.
The audience was from all parts of the world: New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and China. They sheered a lamb in front of everybody, giving each audience member a small piece of sheered wool Next, they asked for volunteers for the next thing. The Lamberts, especially Jonathan, volunteered me to ride a bull (without horns, of course). After the show, Jonathan and I rode the bull together. For folks wondering how I got that piece of wool back to the United States: I stuck it in my shoes.