For my last full day in Rotorua, I head to the Redwoods for a full days tramp in the forest. I take the bus there, as I know the walk I want to do is 34km or 8 hours, and I don’t fancy making it any longer. At the Redwoods Visitor Centre, they slightly doubt my ability to do this walk as I don’t arrive particularly early (I had to catch the bank to close my account, as today is my last day in New Zealand with the banks open). Undeterred, I agree on a plan to hitchhike back from the blue lake car park if I find myself short on time.
The walk starts easy enough with a tramp through the forest along rather busy trails. Soon I leave the crowds behind as I climb up a rather long punishing ascent (I’m determined to walk quickly so that I finish the full loop track), with views through the trees to Rotorua and the corresponding lake of the same name. It’s a relief when I start the downhill. A couple of hours later I am horrified to feel blisters developing on my foot – I shouldn’t be getting them in these walking boots after almost a year of tramping in New Zealand! Turns out it’s my socks which have developed a hole in them. I opt for switching the holey sock over to the opposite foot which seems to solve the problem.
After several hours of walking I reach the Blue Lake. Yes it’s blue, so they called it Blue Lake. I find the path is a little flooded by the lake in places – must be all that recent rain – but the going is easy enough and I soon leave the hitchhiking point far behind. I had hoped to maybe go swimming in the lake, but the weather isn’t really that hot.
Further on I pass Green Lake and I’m rather suprised to find that it’s actually more blue than green, though the surrounding vegetation is very green. After a long walk along the side of the lake, the track starts the long journey back to Rotorua, mainly on forest tracks. As I near my destination I find the track getting busy again, this time with cyclists instead of walkers. I pick up my pace in the hopes that I might just catch the last bus back to Rotorua, but fail miserably. Having walked 34km in a little over 7 hours, I now have to walk another 4km back into town.
I take these last few kilometers at a rather slow pace, feeling very stiff, and stop at the first takeaway I come to for a sit down and a feed. This so happens to be Hell’s Pizza, a New Zealand based pizza chain, and they do excellent pizzas. After eating my pizza I go up and order another one: a desert pizza. Somehow I manage to hobble back to my hostel for a very welcome hot shower and sleep.