Our first stop was a Maori Museum/Georthermal Park. They demonstrated how the Maori people carve and weave (it's actually a school for Maori people to learn). Then, the guide took us to see some geysers and a boiling mud pool. We wrapped up the tour with a kiwi bird exhibit. It was the only time we saw a kiwi bird while in NZ. They're actually quite rare and slowly becoming extinct because of possums and rats.
Stop two was our hostel. By far, this was the worst of all the hostels we stayed at. A freshman dorm Sunday morning after a night of partying would have been cleaner.
Stop 3 - The Luge. You ride a gondola to the top of a huge hill/small mountain, strap on a helmet, and ride a little cart down a cement path. At the bottom of the hill, a ski lift takes you and your cart back to the top.
Stop 4 - A Maori Cultural Show/Dinner. A Maori village has been recreated in the woods outside of Rotorua. While on the bus there, the bus chose a chief of our tribe/bus. It was his job to approach the chief of the village and show no fear while the Maori chief put on a show of strength. the Maori custom is to dance, stick out your tongue, and try to instill fear others to prevent an attack.
After the chief allowed us to enter the village, we were treated to a musical show of traditional Maori songs, then we ate dinner. The meal is called a Hangi; they dig a big hole, put in the food, and cover it with hot coals to cook (kind of like a Hawaiian luau). The food was terrible. But the dessert was great.
We went back the hostel afterward. We started the next day with s sheep-shearing show. It sounded a little lame, but ended up being fun because of the announcer. There was one of every type of sheep on stage (merino, leicester, etc). the announcer energetically introduced us to each one, then brought out a separate sheep to sheer. It took him about 3 minutes to watch him sheer the whole thing. Next up, he brought out his sheep dogs and demonstrated how they direct sheep just by using their eyes (demonstrated on ducks). Outside, we watched a dog move three sheep through an obstacle course to end the event.
We got on the bus and made our way to our next stop: Waitomo.