Monday, 27 June 2011

Being a tourist in Rotorua

 Ohinemutu is said to be the earliest place to be settled in Rotorua. Imagine living with steaming hot vents and springs at your doorstep. I love the views out across the village to Mokoia Island, and even better, this is the view from one of my favorite cafes, The Third Place. This from their website:
Third Place Cafe is a charitable trust committed to local community and wider social needs.
The third place is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace. In his influential book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg (1989, 1991) argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.
Oldenburg calls one’s “first place” the home and those that one lives with. The “second place” is the workplace — where people may actually spend most of their time. Third places, then, are “anchors” of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction.
Love a bit of creative interaction, especially involving a short black (coffee that is of course).

 After our coffee, next stop is the Buried Village of Te Wairoa. In 1836 there was a massive eruption that left this misson settlement preserved deep under volcanic ash and mud. Today there is a lovely walk, which includes this waterfall.

There is a rather nice traditional tea house here too. And in case that is not enough eating and drinking for one outing, there is the nearby Landing at Lake Tarawera. Skip their food, but who can resist a real kiwi icecream in a cone?

My sister Deborah, and in the background, you can see what is left of Mt Tarawera. It must have been some mountain before the top blew off, eh.

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