Had a great day with Des from Indigenous Trails. Went to the Albatross colony and the Yellow-eye penguin colony. Had a nice a great traditional Hangi lunch and then toured the Cadbury Chocolate Factory (got lots of free samples!
Since we had missed Christchurch, Des suggested we drive to Rotorua for our day in Auckland. It was a scenic drive with lots of lush green farmland. We stopped for views and also in the town of Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings). Mary from Indigenous Trails had made our group delicious muffins. We stopped at a park and ate them along with coffee, tea or juice.
In Rotorua, we went to the side of the thermal reserves that the cruise ship passengers do not tour. Des called it the visitor side versus the tourist side! We walked around and had a lovely performance of traditional Maori songs and dances. We then had a great buffet lunch at a local restaurant (very unique foods). After lunch we went to the Glow Worm caves which was another fantastic experience. Before returning to Auckland at the end of the evening, we also had dinner with Des & Mary at another local restaurant.
We only walked around the town by the port since it was raining while in Pago Pago. They incurred a lot of damage from the Tsunami and we could still see evidence of this everywhere. Felt bad for the people,however they still had big smiles on their faces and greeting us warmly.