Māori culture is so engrained in Kiwi life. It’s in the names of the cities, in the every day phrases, the sporting events, churches, and schools. Almost every natural landmark has a Māori legend behind it.
Before we left Roturua, we made a final stop at the Buried Village. The Buried Village was established by a European Christian missionary in the 1840s and was a model village where both Maori and European settlers lived. In 1866, Mt. Tarawera erupted burying the village and more than 150 people in its mud and ash. The eruption also took with it, the eighth wonder of the world: The Pink and White Terraces.
Rise and shine! It’s time to head to along the Thermal Highway from Lake Taupo to Roturua. Our first stop is Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park. We’ve got maps sprawled across the back seat and tourism pamphlets sticking out of every pocket of our vehicle.