Return to Rotorua

Rose house Rotorua Ah Rotorua. The city where the ground boils and the air has a distinct odour of faintly rotting eggs. I’ve been here before, on a whistle stop tour, where I managed to take in some Maori Culture and a spot of geothermal activity, and back then I wished I had more time to spare in the place.

Now, my wish has been granted. Thanks going out to whichever deity sorted that out for me. I am now living in Rotorua, working full time in a pretty awesome hostel. As you can probably imagine, learning how to run a hostel has been a full time job, meaning that I’ve been spending a lot of time explaining to people about all the awesome things there are to do here, and not a lot of time actually doing them.

And there are loads of awesome things to do in Rotorua. From experiencing Maori culture with an evening hangi, to watching the ground spit steam and mud, to rafting over seven metre high waterfalls, to rolling down hills in giant hamster balls, to world class mountain biking – the list just goes on and on.

Beach sky lake Rotorua sulphur

The good news is that I intend to be here for a while, and I’ll be able to sample all of these things, then tell you about them. In the meantime, here are some things I have observed in my first two weeks.

  • It’s the small things that matter. Be this the sweet on the pillow, the spice rack in the kitchen, or the cheap beer fridge, little touches are what make a hostel an awesome place to stay and work. Happy people make a happy hostel :)
  • Running a hostel is a serious work commitment. 100+ hour weeks are not unheard of. And I’d thought being a management consultant involved long hours. The difference of course being that this is actually fun, and doesn’t involve any Powerpoint.
  • Being able to fix anything is a handy skill. My Dad would be proud of my hoover / window latch / door frame / lawn mower fixing skills employed thus far.
  • Circular saws are very effective ways of cutting things up.
  • Rain makes people sad. Being able to lie in a giant spa pool alleviates this sadness.
  • Knife sharpeners in the kitchen make cooking easier. All hostels should have these by default – cutting an onion with the equivalent of a wooden spoon in the shape of a knife is not fun.

I’m pretty sure there are going to be a lot more observations like this to follow. Plus hopefully tales from all the other adventures I can take part in. Thus far, I have learnt that take away food is remarkably cheap in Rotorua, and the Thursday evening night markets are home to the most remarkable chocolate brownies ever created. I am also becoming incredibly adept at folding sheets and making beds. Does the fun ever stop I hear you ask? I have no idea.


Finally, I’d like to take a brief moment to wish my most loyal reader a happy birthday. So, happy birthday mum, here is a virtual rose type flower for you. Until the next time…

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