Moving on to Whakatane today after a good week in Rotorua. On Tuesday we went to the hot-water barium Polynesian spas - very relaxing, much like a really hot (44C) bath and apparantly good for you. Wasted Wednesday morning by getting up at 5.45am to see Arsenal getting knocked out of the Champions League but it meant that we could drive to Waiotapu Thermal Reserve to see the Lady Knox Geyser erupt at 10.15. Thought its regularity and accuracy was a bit strange and (sadly) it turned out that some bloke dumps a kilogram of washing powder down five minutes before. Anything for the tourists.

In the evening we went to Tamaki Maori Village, an excellent replica of a traditional Maori village at which your coach (with its elected chief) is greeted by Maoris in costume sticking their tongues out, rolling their eyes, grunting and waving sticks and spears at you. It’s supposed to be intimidating and a show of force. Dances, games and songs in the Wharenui and then a Hongi meal in the Wharekai which is cooked underground. Superb finale at the end of the night where all the guides and coach drivers perform the Haka inches in front of you. Can see why rugby teams facing the All Blacks get a bit rattled having to face that each match.

The Wai-o-tapu “Wonderland” was a bit crap, just lots of smelly sulpherous mud pools and bubbling water. Best part of the week, though, was going back to the Luges - a cart that you freewheel down to the bottom of a big hill really fast down a windy track, overtaking, going over jumps and swinging round corners. Of course I thrashed Sue over our five rides despite her whining about me almost knocking her off of the track and other pathetic excuses to be crowned Best Luger In The World Ever.