The kids had had a few longs days in the car, so we thought we would do a shorter drive, and end up in Rotorua. This meant no Hot Water Beach, which really didn’t sound like a child friendly area. We hit the road at a little past 9:30.
Back on the 8th during swim at Waipatiki I got some water in my ear, and decided to hit the clinic before leaving town. No such luck there as their first free appointment was at 4:30.
We stopped in Tairua for lunch, and I checked out the local clinic to see if they would have time to fix up my ear. We were there for close to 1.5 hours, and yet they were closed for lunch the entire time. Not helpful. The kids got some time in the fresh air which was great for them.
From Tairua we backtracked a bit then headed west through the Coromandel Forest (yay we got to see at least part of it). In Thames we drove around the town a bit, and did get to see the Firth of Thames. The ocean water was very brackish that day, and very choppy.
From Thames it was south toward Rotorua. We passed through Tirau which had an infatuation with corrugated steel.
Once in Rotorua we had to find our way to our motel. While driving the car filled with a disgusting smell. I asked Sprout if he had tooted (passed gas), and he replied no. A few minutes later I smelled it again. I was starting to suspect one of the kids again when I remembered that Rotorua is laden with volcanic activity. Ahh, sulphur. The whole town periodically smells like rotten egg. Nice.
We found the Pohutu Lodge and settled in. Form this motel we could see the Pohutu Geyser which was pretty cool.
We asked the front desk where to go for dinner that was child friendly and they directed us to Breakers. Imagine Red Robbins, crossed with Kelseys, but with a surf theme. The other nicety here was that you prepay for your food. When you are done you can make a hasty or leisurely escape. Perfect.