Page 6 - The Shores of Jupiter - January '22
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Page 6, The Shores
      Rotorua: Heart Of The Māori Nation

      By Don Kiselewski, MCC,
      D.S., Palm Beach Gardens
      Travel Leaders
        When the Polynesian
      Māori  (Mar-ee)  landed
      in New Zealand some
      800 years ago, they were
      attracted to the unique
      area on the northeastern
      part  of  the  North  Island.
      In exploring the area, they
      came upon numerous lakes,
      the second of which was named Rotorua, or simply, “the
      second lake.” Little did they know that this area would
      become one of the most popular tourist spots in New
      Zealand. Nine out of ten visitors to the country visit the
      area, and the local city has grown as a result.    of the 14 major Māori tribes located on the islands, and   the water at such speed that they draw only 2 inches of
        The North island of New Zealand is located on the   serves a three-year apprenticeship, after which they return   draft. These boats travel the zigzagging narrow river,
      “Ring of Fire” that surrounds the Pacific Ocean. This   to their tribes to educate others in their community. An   doing flat 360-degree turns as they skim the surface of
      string of volcanoes that tear through the Earth’s crust,   active  community  of  Māori  still  lives  just  outside  the   the water. Like bungee jumping or zorbing, it is no place
      forming the circle, is perhaps most appreciated in the   gates of Whakarewarewa, following the same lifestyle   for those with a weak heart.
      area around Rotorua. Lake Rotorua has filled the crater   they have practiced for centuries.           Accommodations in Rotorua are excellent, with
      of a volcano, and all roads go up to the edge of the crater     Mountainous  terrain  around  Rotorua  does  not  lend   lodging capable of fitting any price range and need. No
      that surrounds the community. The water in the center of   itself to agriculture, with the exceptions of the Chinese   visit to Rotorua would be complete without the experience
      the lake is heated by the thermal activity. The network   gooseberry, better known down under as kiwifruit.   of the traditional feast, the Hangi. In addition to those
      of past geological activities can be enjoyed through the   However, the terrain is perfect for grazing. Holstein and   that can be enjoyed at the tribal Great Houses of the area,
      Waimangu Volcanic Valley with a climb, by foot or four-  Jersey cows are the most popular for milk production,   cultural parks present a nightly Hangi as part of their
      wheeler, to Mount Tarawera, the culmination. The sides   and New Zealand claims to be third in the world in   entertainment activities, which reflect the lifestyle of the
      of these volcanoes are covered with rich flora, generated   exporting dairy products. There is very little doubt that   Māori. Regardless of where you participate in the Hangi,
      by the high mineral content of the ash.            New Zealand has the best ice cream in the world … it’s   the food will still be cooked using the thermal steam …
        The Māori were attracted to this area because of the   easy to get hooked and almost all residents are addicted.   and the song and native dancing unforgettable.
      natural thermal condition that occurs in the area. Thermal     Some 14 varieties of sheep are grown in the country,     New Zealanders have a keen awareness of what is
      geysers, hot mineral baths and bubbling mud pools are   with Merinos being the most popular. In the last several   important in life. It’s an expression of respect for all living
      found just outside Rotorua in Whakarewarewa (Fak-a-  decades, the economics of raising sheep have caused   creatures. They encourage you to do three things: Relax,
      ware-a-ware-a). The  Māori  utilized  this  underground   many of the sheep herds to be replaced with red deer.   Enjoy and Toitu Te Whenua (leave the land undisturbed).
      energy source not only to heat their homes, but also to   New Zealanders have found that deer consume less food   This attitude has been amply expressed in their position
      steam and cook their food. Today, the food for the Māori   in grazing and are more profitable at the market, both   regarding French nuclear testing in the area.
      Hangi (banquet) is still cooked by this natural steam.   for meat and for antlers. Currently, New Zealand is the     Today’s sights and attractions of New Zealand are
      Fish, meats and vegetables are placed in oven boxes, set   largest exporter of venison to Europe.    reminiscent of those of our own national parks some 40
      on the ground over these steam outlets, where they quick     Special farm shows – such as the Agrodome and Long   years ago, when they were in a more natural state, and
      cook to perfection. Even fresh boiled corn on the cob is   Ridge Farm – educate visitors on the animals of the   before they were overrun by the population. Now is the
      enjoyed, cooked directly in mesh bags and dipped into the   area, and how they are raised, sheared and marketed. In   time to visit these beautiful islands, before too many
      thermal pools. Thermal energy from below the ground is   addition, Rainbow Springs, in cooperation with the national   people get in the way of your photographs. Rotorua and
      converted to electricity and heat for many of the homes   government, is breeding trout to fill and enhance the streams.   all of New Zealand is waiting to show you its magnificent,
      in the area.                                       Fly-fishing for trout in the rushing streams of the area is   warm hospitality.
        The  New  Zealand  Māori Arts  and  Crafts  Institute,   another popular activity, which draws countless visitors.     Don Kiselewski writes from his personal experiences,
      located at Whakarawarewa Thermal Reserve, has captured     New Zealanders have always lived on the “edge” in   having traveled in 122 countries and cruised the oceans,
      the heritage of the people and continues to propagate their   their sporting endeavors. The “All Blacks” rugby team   seas and rivers of the world. Palm Beach Gardens Travel
      culture. The center contains authentic buildings of the   is one of the toughest in the sport; bungee (or “bungy”)   Leaders,  his  family  owned  and  operated  agency,  is
      Māori,  including  the  Meeting  House, Weaving  School   jumping and zorbing originated here; and the America’s   located at Mirasol Town Square, 11360 North Jog Road,
      and Carving School. Meeting houses have traditionally   Cup, one of the world’s most exhilarating boating   Building A, Suite 102-6, Palm Beach Gardens. The agency
      been the center of the tribe and they are used for all tribal   experiences, can be found near Rotorua. The Kaituna   has been serving the travel needs of the South Florida
      affairs, including the Hangi. Craft schools teach the native   River acts as the arena for “jet boating,” a unique sport   area for over a quarter of a century. Contact him at (561)
      arts of weaving to the young women and carving to the   of New Zealand. Specially designed boats that hold more   694-9696 or
      young men. Each young craftsman is selected from one   than a dozen people are propelled across the surface of                Photos by Don Kiselewski

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