December 31st, 2014

Down Under Day 10

Today's schedule started off with a trip to a local (mega)farm called the Agridome. We saw a farm show showcasing a bunch of different sheep breeds they have there, as well as a demo of sheep shearing, lamb feeding, and sheep dog herding. It was adorable. And smelly. Then we took a farm tour in a tractor through the various areas of the farm. Got to pet some sheep and alpacas, and see some deer, bunch of different cows, and some ostriches (emu?). Also got a lot of crap (literally!) on our shoes and had to clean then off at a special wash stand. Yuck.

Lunch was eaten at McDonald's because we were pushed for time. Though, their beef patties are unique in that they use local beef sources, and certainly tasted different from US ones.

Next we stopped at a place for bungee jumps cuz a few folks in our group signed up for it, and the rest just wanted to take pictures (and live vicariously through them crazy kids). Have I ever mentioned I'm not too fond of heights?

After that we made a stop at the Huka Falls. Though, I would call it more like a steep rapids than "real" waterfall. Very pretty though. And definitely the short of place I can imagine a gaggle of dwarves in empty wine barrels to sweep through to get away from the scary elfking. Not that I think that scene from the Hobbit was filmed there. But it does suit the scene.

Last main stop was at the Te Puia, the indigenous Maori village place. We got to tour the grounds, see a demo of there woodwork and weaving crafts (the leaf weaving was awesome), some dance performances (with a lot of half naked buff guys...mmm...'dem abs), and a buffet dinner. The food was cooked in their traditional style, which was buried in the ground and then heated on top. It gave the food a smoky quality and was quite tasty. I was stuffed. Finally, we took a short walk to see the local geyser, and got sprinkled with sulfiric water for our trouble.

Ah well, we managed to make it back to the hotel before the weather started sprinkling. We've consistently had pretty good weather this trip, which is kinda nice.

Also, later tonight our guide held (is holding) a New Years party just with some group contributed snacks and guide contributed alcohol. A lot of silly group games til midnight when the year turns. I stuck out early to use the lobby wifi to post this latest entry, cuz I don't want to pay for another full day when tomorrow is our last actual tour day and we'll be heading back to Auckland.

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