In the afternoon we drove to Lake Aniwheniwer which is a cultural stop. A Maori family own a hostel and have close links with the local community and mori for their tribe. So in that afternoon they take you to look at some stone wall carvings and then to the mori where they welcome you onto the land by singing and everyone completes the hongi.
That night they cook a hangi which is a traditional meal cooked in the ground. This was pretty tasty; mainly the stuffing!
This one night stop costs $95 dollars so it’s pretty pricey but quite a unique experience. If your tight on money, work out your alternate route (Rotorua to Taupo) in advance otherwise you won’t end up saving money. Unless you plan to hitchhike!
There were great (paid) activities you could do throughout the afternoon such as bracelet weaving, bread making, poi making and in the late evening eeling.
Can definitely recommend the bread making as it tasted so good ( its fried like doughnuts) and the late night eeling – used to feed the next stray bus so no waste.
Day 6 AM: Lake Aniwheniwer day trip to a maori school.
This was a very unique and nice experience to share with the kids from the school. Their school was fantastic and it was lovely to hear about their progress with their academic achievements because of the visits.
Day 7: Blue duck station (farm)
Quiet day just enjoyed being in the middle of nowhere. Did a long and very muddy walk to a waterfall.
If you are not on the Stray bus it’s not necessarily worth the detour. There are hikes there but we couldn’t do them due to the bad weather.