Sunday, February 11, 2024
Today we are in Rotoroa, Tauranga. It is another beautiful, windy day. Rotoroa seems to be a larger city than the last few small towns we visited. Our day started with breakfast in The Restaurant, and then since our excursion didn't leave until 12:30 we walked into town after breakfast and looked around. And we might have done some shopping!
Then we headed off for our excursion, where we would be learning about the Kiwi. So what is a Kiwi? Well in this part of the world it can mean several things:
A kiwi is a flightless, endangered bird endemic to Australia.
But unfortunately, we didn't see a kiwi .... Darn!
A Kiwi is also an affectionate nickname for someone from New Zealand.
The Maori people are indigenous to New Zealand, so they could also be Kiwi.
And finally, a Kiwi is a fruit.
With that clarified here are some pictures and information about the Kiwi fruit and the kiwi people.
Te Puke is the Kiwi capital of the world. This area started producing kiwi fruit in 1953, and now produces 2.5 tons of kiwi fruit each year. There are 3,690 members of the kiwi collective that grow the crop in New Zealand.
There are three varieties of kiwi - the green kiwi, which is the one most of us know best; the gold kiwi, and the ruby kiwi which is rare. Kiwi has many nutritional and health benefits, and seems to be especially beneficial for digestive issues
We were very fortunate to see a group of school children from the local Maori school perform. Students are now relearning the Maori language and culture while living in a Maori township. The Maori still gather at local meeting halls for community gatherings and celebrations.
At the entrance of the harbor at Rotorua there is statue of a Maori warrior warning people who are not coming in peace to turn around and leave.
And lastly here are some photos showing more of the area of Rotorua, and how beautiful this area is.
Thanks Karen for all the great pictures.
Tomorrow is our last stop on the cruise, Aukland.