Rotorua, The Orlando of New Zealand, Part II

It seemed like it would be hard to top Zorbing, but our second day in Rotorua was loaded with activities that were equally as enchanting. European Kiwi culture perhaps reaches its apotheosis in the Agrodome’s world famous Sheep Show. We joined a tourbus full of Koreans and a few scattered Aussies for 45-minutes of unadulterated farm animal fun. The burly, tank-top clad host sheared a sheep, milked a cow, and commanded a dog to herd ducks all right before our eyes. McKane and Asher joined in the fun onstage to bottle feed some cute and cuddly lambs.

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Yes, those are dogs lying on top of the sheep. Don’t ask.

From the Sheep Show we headed to the Paradise Valley Springs “trout, bird, and wildlife sanctuary and Lion Park.” This little oasis nestled between hills many miles off the main road was brimming with hundreds of trout that looked good enough for Tom to eat. There were also some funky ducks, a few transplanted wallabies, and a pair of gnarly pigs with noserings who apparently have been roaming Rotorua for over 200 years! The kids had fun making them open their gargantuan mouths by dangling little pellets of all-purpose animal food above their heads. We visited the lion pens, a seeming non sequitur, but decided to support the Kiwis in their random jumbling of wildlife since the country was devoid of mammals for thousands of years. (You’ll have to read the upcoming Kiwi bird post to learn more about the islands’ historical ornithological hegemony—just a little flexing of the vocabulary muscle for all my SS kids who will be taking the SAT in the next few months.)

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After these animal extravaganzas, we still had a lot left to do. I’ll save the rest for the next post.

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