Before heading back to Auckland we went to a bird sanctuary where we actually got the chance to see a kiwi! It was the cutest thing ever. The old guy in charge told us about the kiwi he fixed up who had only one leg because it's other leg had got stuck in a trap. They even gave it an artificial leg so it could wander around! It was a pretty cool place to see some native birds getting looked after before being released.
We then headed back to Auckland and picked up the rest of our tour! There are some fabulous people who joined us and it's so interesting that everyone comes from different cultures and backgrounds. Since the weather was so bad, where we were going had been flooded and the bridges weren't useable, we ended up staying in an old Maori's house. It was a pretty bizarre situation since we just rolled up, greeted by "Uncle" and welcomed into a massive hall (with toilets and kitchen attached) with mattresses and duvets. Basically, it was a massive sleepover!
The next day we headed to a Maori village. It was a crazy place full of geothermal activity (Graham, you would have loved it) and they lived over steaming pools. They used the pools for everyday activities such as bathing, cooking their food and heating their houses. It smelt like sulphur too... not a good thing, admittedly.
They even performed a Maori show to us, and even did the Haka! I was actually pretty scared at the faces they were able to pull! I attempted my Haka face and failed miserably haha!
Annoyingly, we were meant to go whitewater rafting, but it got rained off. The river had risen too high for us to go safely, so we wandered around town before another amazingly cheap meal - ker ching!