Today was the first day of our little adventure road trip. I was so glad to finally be doing something exciting and going to see some different places. We got up at 8am, and we were all packed up and ready to leave by 9am. When we had been driving for 15 minutes, we had to turn back because Gary had forgotten his wedding ring! He was terrible for losing it, it was too big so he was always taking it off when he did things where it might fall off, and then forgetting to put it back on. So we were half an hour behind schedule once all that had happened.
Luckily Rotorua was not very far away, and that was our first stop. The first place we were going to was Paradise Valley wildlife park. This was the place I was most excited about visiting in New Zealand because we could pet lion cubs. We didn't go to the 'Lion Man' park because it was really far away from where we were.
We got our tickets, went in, and the first place we went was straight to the Lion cub area.
I was SOOOO excited to see them, a real life Simba and Nala. We had to wait there for about 10 minutes for them to be brought out. They were the sweetest little things I have ever seen.
Because they had just woken up from a nap they were so excitable. They wasn't even keeping still for one second. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen, there are no words for how adorable they were. Their names were Benjy and Bella, and they were just 3 months old.
After we had seen the lion cubs, we walked around the rest of the wildlife park. It was small but lovely. It was so different to anything we have ever been to before, we could feed all the animals and there were not loads of tiny enclosures or anything. The only problem I had was that tis pig bit me! It was kind of my fault though because there was a sign saying keep your hand flat when feeding it, and I didn't.
We bought some packets of animal food and trout food before we went in. Feeding the animals was fun, but feeding the trout was not, they were boring haha. This is Gary feeding some trout.
Deer! I love deer, they make me feel like Snow White.
They were so sweet and friendly, they loved being fed, and kept licking my hands. They didn't mid being stroked at all and seemed to enjoy interacting with people.
Gary drinking the natural spring water
And feeding some more trout...
Eeeee baby ducklings, cute!
Wallabies were my favorite cute animals of the day, they were so friendly. I was in love with them, they were so sweet.
I could have spent all day with them, I wanted to just get in their enclosure and have a cuddle with them. They totally would have cuddled me back too, they were so loving and kind. They were so excited to see us and were eating the food and licking our hands and also grabbing our fingers with their little paws. I loved them so much.
This duck's facial expression makes me laugh...
More baby ducklings
These goats were insane, I think they would have jumped over the fence to get the food if they could have, they were SO greedy.
LOL at this funny guy's ears!
Ducklings again :)
I felt so bad for this little guy, the greedy goats had taken so much of our food, and we ran out right by the time we got to him. He was the very last animal and I got the impression that everybody ran out of food before they got to him. It made me really sad, he looked really depressed, like he thought nobody loved him because everybody else got fed except him. I stroked him loads as a way to try and say sorry.
We then passed the lion cubs so went to see them again, they had worn themselves out and were now really sleepy.
We then went to the other area of the parks to see the adult lions, which were the only thing we hadn't seen yet.
They were also sleeping, but they had feeding time in about 2 hours time, so we decided that we could go and get some lunch, and come back to see the feeding.
We went to Wendy's for lunch, which was about 10 minutes from the wildlife park. It was ok, just like any old fast food burgers really. We hadn't actually eaten at Wendy's in the USA so this was actually our first Wendy's, I'm sure its better in America.
After lunch, we went back into the wildlife park and still had some time before the lion feed, so we decided to go and see the wallabies again.
More sweet ducklings, this one was like half the size of the others, such a sweetie.
Also, I saved a whole bag of food for the sad depressed white donkey that didn't get any food the last time. I felt really glad that we had made the effort to make him feel loved, because it was really worrying me that he had seen us feed all the others and not feed him.
We then went back to the Lion enclosure to get ready to see feeding time. They were looking a lot more alert this time.
Gary lounging in the sun like a lion
I feel like they are all staring at me in this photo...
How mean does this one look!!
When the keepers came in and fed them they got really excited, there was meat juice flying everywhere and some nearly got on me. Totally gross, but at least they were enjoying their food. It was so cool to see how powerful they are just ripping into the meat.
When we were finished at the park we went to check into our hotel. We had booked it online yesterday and it was so cheap so we didn't know what to expect. I don't remember how much we paid in NZ Dollars, but I think it was the equivalent of about £15. When we arrived at the hotel we realized why it was so cheap. It was the tiniest room ever!! We laughed at it for about 10 minutes before we even went in, this is Gary planking across the whole room.
The beds were so small, not even the size of a single bed, and the bathroom you could barely stand in. It was hilarious. It had really good amenities though, a fridge and a microwave, and also a TV on the wall, so we were happy enough.
The area that our hotel was in was so rough, like we didn't want to leave the room. There was a small store downstairs where we got some snacks, so we got some to put in the fridge and then walked down to our destination for this evening, the Polynesian Spa. Once we got a few roads away from the hotel, the area was much nicer.
The spa has naturally heated hot springs, and they were actually really beautiful. There was a choice of loads of different ones, but we went to the Lake Spa, which were the outside pools. It was all so natural with rocks and stuff around, and there was a really beautiful view over the lake. Of course I took no photos as all of our stuff was in lockers, but if you google Polynesian Lake Spa Rotorua you will see how pretty it is.
It was early evening when we got there and we spent about 2 hours in the pools, they were really really hot, sometimes a bit too hot for my liking, but it was so lovely and relaxing. The only problem was the sulphur smell, which is so gross.
Once we had enough of the spa we started to head back towards the hotel. We wanted to get some dinner but everything was shut. We got back to the room hungry and I had a headache so I wasn't feeling so good. There was nowhere for us to get any food so I just laid in bed feeling bad because my head was hurting so much. We watched the Celebrity Apprentice for ages on TV, it was the american one where that country singer guy won, and then just fell asleep.