NZ Day 32 and 33 – A day in Hamilton

Since my host John only expects me to stay one night, I leave his place to find a bike shop to change the tire and the break, although I only got 3 more days to ride, it would be nicer to sell the bike with better condition. After fixing both rear tire and break, I only have 2 hours to wander around this smelly sulphurous Rotorua. Being famous for its geothermal activity, geysers and hot pools, Rotorua is a superb place to relax and enjoy a hit spa. I have checked it on internet that in Southeast part of town near Long Miles Road, you can follow a trekking route to climb towards a lookout and enjoy the view of geyser for FREE! As I don’t have much time so I skip that, also after I know that put carbonate powder to make the geyser works for people to see, I am not that interested anymore although it is still a natural wonder.

Carrying on Thermal Explorer Highway, you can make a detour to Matamata, where Peter Jackson transformed it into peaceful Hobbiton in Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Superfans can pay around 100 NZD to enter the site, with add-ons for lodging and meals. I am not that crazy fans so I decide to pass that and go directly to Hamilton. On the way there is a car accident, those 3 cars are seriously damaged. That’s what I don’t understand why people drive that fast on the road, maybe it takes 10 mins faster to overtake cars along the way, is it really that important? Since I started traveling, I’d rather take this life slowly than rushing from places to places!

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Arrive at Warmshower hosts Bill and Jane’s place, they have a very organized organic garden which flourishes with different veges and fruits. Very kind and friendly couple, they share their biking experience in Europe with me for my preparation!

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Next morning I visit Hamilton Garden which shows a variety of gardens according to countries as well as function. I am particularly impressed by the Indian Garden and the Herbal garden.

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The Maori statues are incredible as well.

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Another site to visit in Hamilton is the Waikato Museum, I just learn there is still a Maori King existing, who is staying in a place called Ngaruawahia that I will go tomorrow. I also learn about the tribal wars happened between different tribes before European invaded the country.

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I am staying with another warmshower hosts tonight, Andy and Sarah who are experienced in traveling by bike in Europe and backpacking in South America. We have a movie night and thanks them for letting me know Johnny Depp is still ALIVE! I believed a rumor that he was killed 2 years ago until today…omg…that’s NOT funny… Thanks for Sarah’s yummy dinner and all the lovely conversation we have! Thanks Andy for pumping up my tire in the morning! Warmshower is absolutely a wonderful network for wide-spreading the friendliness of cyclist around the world!

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Rotorua to Hamilton 109km

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