Day Seventeen: Christmas in Rotorua!!


from Rotorua, New Zealand!!

Kiwi 12 days of Christmas (photo by Dian)

Kiwi 12 days of Christmas (photo by Dian)

We didn’t leave town today, because darn near EVERYTHING was closed for Christmas! We splurged and ordered our eggs and toast from the hotel, because we weren’t sure we’d find anyplace else open. We hung around in the room quite a while, waiting to see if the rain would stop. It did, and we grabbed jackets and headed out to take advantage of the break in the weather. I’m happy to report that as we were driving to the lake we spotted a business with several cars parked in front of it: Praise be, it was a coffee shop!!

Art Cafe International outside

Art Cafe International sign

Thank you thank you thank you to business owners who realized that we MUST have our coffee!

Thank you thank you thank you to business owners who realized that we MUST have our coffee!

From there we went down to the lake and wandered around. There is a waka at one end of the parking lot, and then way past the other end of the lot is a grouping of many buildings that proved to be well worth checking out. The end with multiple buildings was VERY sulphury smelling and there was steam coming out of both random places in the ground and areas where it was clearly meant to be coming out of. It wasn’t exactly pleasant to smell (to say the least!), but it lent itself to the overall “atmosphere” of the place!

waka 1

waka 1 sign

waka back end detail

waka back end detail

waka front end

waka front end

couple of locals

couple of locals

duck grate

Smaller than ours at home, but just as noisy!

Smaller than ours at home, but just as noisy!

The Birds, Rotorua style...

The Birds, Rotorua style…

Seagull wins King of the Can game.

Seagull wins King of the Can game.

Disrespecting the trolly / trundler!

Disrespecting the trolly / trundler!

afternoon walk 1

afternoon walk 2

afternoon walk 3

afternoon walk 4

afternoon walk 5

afternoon walk 6

Afternoon walk another angel

afternoon walk 7

afternoon walk 8

afternoon walk 9

afternoon walk 10



afternoon walk 12

Public toilets, open on a holiday, and they had TP! Only in New Zealand...

Public toilets, open on a holiday, and they had TP!
Only in New Zealand…

afternoon walk 17

afternoon walk 16

afternoon walk 15

afternoon walk 14

afternoon walk 19

afternoon walk 20

afternoon walk 21

afternoon walk 22

afternoon walk 23

afternoon walk 24

afternoon walk 24

afternoon walk 25

And after all that walking it was time for a break. We dropped one person off back at at “home” and then Dian and I went our for a drive so that she could practice driving on the left side of the road before renting a car for her solo couple of days on the south island. With all the stores closed, it was easy to practice in large parking lots first, and then get onto the street. She did really well, and I cracked up when she did her first hit-the-windshield-wipers-instead-of-the-turn-signal error. I cannot possibly tell you how many times I’ve done that on this trip. It’s the “last minute” decision to signal a turn that is the one that I automatically hit the left side handle…and turn on the darn wipers. It does take patience and practice to get it down smoothly! And do not get me started about the design of our rental car! You can not see either the hood nor anything past the back window (as in the entire trunk  [“boot” to you Kiwis] is out of the sight line!!). Pain in the patootie to park that baby!

Yup, driver sits on the right side, and drives on the LEFT side of the road.

Yup, driver sits on the right side, and drives on the LEFT side of the road.

Dian drove for a while and we decided to take a break before going back up the road…which meant another drive around to look for a place that had any cars around it! For the second time today, we got lucky:

afternoon walk 26 Lotus Cafe

afternoon walk 26 Lotus coffee

afternoon walk 27 Lotus front

And what tourist Christmas would be complete without the traditional Chinese Food dinner? Not ours, and that is exactly where we headed. The only thing that was a surprise is that we couldn’t order a Tui pale ale to go with the food because alcohol can not be sold on Christmas Day in New Zealand!. No problem, we stuck to tea and soda instead.

Christmas Dinner in Rotorua

Christmas Dinner in Rotorua

Merry Christmas, one and all! Big love / aroha from me.

Enjoy your holiday where ever you are reading this.

Tomorrow is a travel day for us, one of us is going to the airport to head to the south island, and the other two of us heading for what looks to be a very fun place to stay.

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6 Responses to Day Seventeen: Christmas in Rotorua!!

  1. Robert Starkey says:

    Merry Christmas! 30 degrees here in Sonoma County.

  2. jack and Diane says:

    Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!
    Did you get my email of the tree?

    Much Love,
    Dad and Diane

  3. Kim Burke says:

    Hello Bonnie and Elke! I just got your postcard – had no idea you were there already, B, and no idea you were going E – what a neat surprise to learn otherwise. Looks like you are having quite the adventure – how fun to spend part of Christmas day looking at your photos. Wish I could have joined you for a drink at the Green Dragon! If you happen to pass through Paeroa, my friends Nick and Pamela Aranyos own the Take Note Stationery and Lotto store there. I’ll continue to monitor the blog over the next weeks. Would be GREAT seeing a photo of you two…hint…hint…Love, Kim

    • brabett says:

      Kim, you KNOW how I feel about photos of me. We’ll see…
      Have a marvelous Christmas! Just back from dropping Dian at the airport. Saw a really funny Santa that I’ll post later.
      We’re having a great time. Rotorua has managed to stay cool for the entire time we’ve been here, and that suits Ms. E. to a tee! 🙂
      The adventure continues… today it’s on to one of our wackier lodgings.
      Aroha from Rotorua,

  4. Gretchen says:

    Merry Christmas, Bonnie! You’ve got me thinking about when WE can make it down to New Zealand now! So fun following you on your travels.
    We got a quick visit in with your Dad yesterday and saw the beautiful renovations at Coffee Grounds.
    Safe travels and thank you so much for letting us live vicariously through your blog!

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