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Europe's top film makers Mael Sevestre and Nathalie Cauvie were selected out of 4000 entrants in a competition held by European Homestay Network, Bedycasa. The New Zealand leg of their Round-The-World Homestay Tour started in the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.
The purpose of their trip was to uncover the hidden gems of Rotorua’s geothermal and Maori cultural activities through the expert local knowledge of Homestay Hosts.
Exploring Lake Tarawera
They began by retracing the steps of Rotorua’s original tourists. First 'Captain Dave' from Lake Tarawera Water Taxi and Ecotours took them by boat to where the famous Pink and White Terraces were formally located in Lake Tarawera.
Mael and Nathalie also explored the Lake Tarawera trail on foot enjoying lush native New Zealand bush and birdlife including silver ferns, tuis and bellbirds. They were also treated to a soak in a natural hot spring on the edge of Lake Tarawera, only accessible by boat.
Mael and Nathalie were home hosted at Lake Tarawera by Phillip and Julia at Maunga-Moana Mountain-Lake Homestay. Here they received a unique kiwi homestay experience, warm, clean and comfortable accommodation with options to chose other activities like kayaking and fishing.
Enjoying Geothermal Wonderlands
The next day their journey continued on to the geothermal Wonderland of Waiotapu on the outskirts of Rotorua. Here they got to experience the Lady Knox geyser erupting from the earth up to heights of 10-15 metres. They met other French tourists and heard their views about what New Zealand hosts have to offer.
Later that evening some of the local Rotorua 'Look After Me' Homestay hosts and friends organised a pot luck dinner. Everyone brought their favourite dishes and they shared a meal and wine together.
Embracing Maori Culture
On the third day, Mael and Nathalie wanted to further their knowledge of New Zealand's indigenous people and stayed with a Maori family offering a Maori homestay. Aha Ka is centrally located, right in the heart of Rotorua. Here, they were offered an authentic cultural experience which allowed them to utilise the thermal mineral pool as well as the option to cook food using the geothermal steam. They enjoyed a nutritious home cooked meal, learned about the importance of Maori traditionsl like karakia (prayer) and waiata (song).
New Zealand - home to World Class Hospitality
All of the 'Look After Me' Homestay Hosts took their special guests off the beaten track and shared local knowledge - secrets you can't always get out of a text book. Mael and Nathalie also spent an evening at Rotorua Homestay - Tulip Tree Cottage. The property offers accommodation only 4 km from Rotorua central city and has a very charming English Villa feel, with lovely cottage gardens.
Mael and Nathalie thoroughly enjoyed their time being Home hosted in Rotorua and enjoyed their geothermal and Maori cultural experiences. They loved the sanctuary of the magestic Mount Tarawera, her beautiful lake and the newly formed Lake Tarawera Trail.
They produced a beautiful video showcasing their adventures on Lake Tarawera, their wonder at Rotorua's Geothermal activity and embracing Maori culture. Find out why they were selected amongst the world's top videograhers!
Watch the video here (or click video link on this article). Don't forget to click 'CC' so you can see the subtitles. Please enjoy....
How can we help you meet the locals?
If you would like to learn more about staying with local Homestay hosts either in Rotorua, or anywhere else in New Zealand and would like to book accommodation please visit our website: www.lookafterme.co.nz
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