After a great night’s sleep (that bed is so comfy), we were up around 8ish. Fingers crossed we’ve slept off our jet lag! We were welcomed again with another great breakfast of cereal, toast and porridge! Yum! Lounging around for a while, Lynda was keen to show us the local sights so we popped into Hamilton town centre. Hamilton is quite small yet it has a surprising number of pubs, good for students! And with the season just coming out of winter, it was still a bit chilly and the centre was host to a fake ice skating rink.
It didn’t take us long to walk around but we popped into a few shops including a great second hand book shop where we sold our South American Lonely Planet’s. With the 2011 Rugby World Cup on in the country right now, there was also a little rugby exhibition on so we also popped in there.
Lynda also took us to one of Hamilton’s famous sites – the statue of Richard O Brien dressed from the Rocky Horror Show. Yes, I found this a little odd but to be honest, with the amount of strange things we’ve seen in the past few months, this probably shouldn’t surprise me.
After visiting the town centre, Lynda drove us to the botanical gardens. Just coming out of winter, its not the best time of the year to visit but it was still beautiful, especially the international gardens.
As I mentioned earlier, the Rugby World Cup is on and because of this, there was a special Maori exhibition adjacent to the botanical gardens. It was only small but it had several tents, each with a different activity on inside. They were workshops on for this week only. We decided to sign up as it was only NZ$50 each (c.£25) to sign up for 3 activities including a hangi lunch (a traditional Maori meal cooked under ground). Although significantly more expensive than in South America, this was cheap for New Zealand. We decided to sign up to the Hakka workshop, weaving workshop and to go on the traditional Maori canoe called a Waka later in the week. Exciting times!