Thinking Outside the Ball
“As I tumbled down the mountainside in a gigantic beach ball filled with water, feeling somewhat like I was in a washing machine, it occurred to me that there had to be a better way to experience New Zealand,” writes the Houston Chronicle’s Kathy Matheson. “Actually, that didn’t occur to me until after the Zorb stopped rolling and my screams had subsided into laughter. But I have since concluded that while New Zealand may be best known for adventure tourism — including sky diving, bungee jumping and Zorbing — perhaps the most enriching part of my trip was the cultural tourism that taught me about the Maori. At Te Puia, a Maori heritage centre in Rotorua, Matheson sampled hangi cuisine and “happy hip-swaying dances by Maori women in grass skirts”, and also took the tram to the Pohutu geyser, one of Rotorua’s many natural wonders, which include geothermal pools and bubbling mud.