Lake Aniwhenua

I didn’t sleep well and got up early the next morning. With one of my roomies I went to a nice cafe for breakfast and enjoyed good and quite deep conversation and normal life instead of a quick bowl of microwave porridge early in the morning before hopping on a bus. Later the other two joined us and we sat lazily in the sunshine. At some point I rang my parents before heading back to the hostel and getting ready for my departure at 12.45 pm. I was sad I had to leave the three behind. Sometimes it’s hard to meet new people all the time and to have to say goodbye to those who became friends… On the way to Kohutapu Lodge we were accompanied by a Maori guide and stopped in a forest to admire ancient Maori rock art

and at Aniphenua waterfall on the Rangitaiki River.

At the lodge right at the stunning Lake Aniwhenua a very energetic but slightly fake host (too much acting going on) welcomed us. We enjoyed the scenery and got to know each other by learning Maori stick games and talking to each other while waiting for our traditional hangi dinner.

Most of us didn’t do the extra activities like learning to dance the haka, flax weaving or nighttime eeling as we had to pay extra. The dinner was delish but I ate too much. It was great to get salad and Maori fry bread (similar to “Faschingskuechle” 😉 ) as well. Before we had to wash up our host gave another too well prepared speech. The local town Murupara was once a thriving logging town, but unfortunately new technology has led to unemployment in the region. Our hosts believe that by growing tourism in the area they may be able to reduce the rising unemployment among their people. Their intentions are fantastic and they are doing a great job but it was just a bit too much acting going on for my taste. Apart from that I thought we would meet more local people and get the opportunity to talk to them. Two days ago at Tamaki Maori Village it felt a little bit like being on a conveyor belt but in the end it was more educational and hands-on then here and I probably expected too much or at least something different. After dinner we met around the fire and they told a few Maori stories. We heard some possums and even saw one in a tree. That night I had tummy ache and therefore again didn’t sleep great.