Rotorua (Tauranga), New Zealand

Tauranga, roughly meaning safe anchorage, is recognized as the landing place of some of the early voyages and canoes from Polynesia in the 13th century followed by the British 600 years later when Captain Cook sailed into the area in 1769. 1/3 of Rotorua’s population today is Maori, the highest in NZ.

White Island with smoke billowing from its top (picture taken from a safe distance!) This is the volcano that erupted just last December 2019 that killed 21 tourists and left 40+ in hospitals with severe burns.
This is our “safe” anchorage at port in Tauranga, New Zealand.

A Maori community welcomes us to their marae – a real-life working meeting place. We’re greeted by a traditional warrior challenge to see if we come in peace or not!  Then we received a warm welcome by pressing noses and were invited into their marae to learn about their tribal lives, carvings and arts and crafts.  

The tongue is to scare the enemy. The Haka scream that the New Zealand ALL BLACKS rugby team uses is a Maori warrior tactic to scare the enemy.  It must work, they’re champions.  Really cool ;-r)

There are tours in numerous NZ cities for the Hobbiton and “Lord of the Rings” movie sets. You can have a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.