Pulling in to Rotorua for a few days of thermal pool soaking and touristy wandering, we pull into the local Top 10 and get checked in. We browse the wall of brochures to see what there is to do around town and what catches our eye? Of course the advertisement for the first ever Oktoberfest to be held in nearby Okere Falls. They've got a drunk bus leaving from the nearby Burger Fuel and everything... this could be trouble.
A twenty minute ride later and we pull up in front of a small roadside store in pretty much the middle of nowhere. Granted just about everything looks like the middle of nowhere around here unless you're actually in a larger city. We figure we're probably stopping to pick up a few more degenerates, but nope, it's off-the-bus time. We're here?!?! Ok, around back we go to what could be described as a nice little outdoor beer garden type area – tables set up on terraces, a few small tents, a fire barrel and a window with two lederhosen-clad bier maidens shelling out the frosty cold beverages. Not to be deterred by the underwhelming nature of this Oktoberfest celebration (guessing about 15 people there once the bus unloaded, total), we head to the window for our first sampling. Twelve genuine German selections to choose from – why not just run down the list and get them all?
A new deck of cards quickly purchased from the store (naturally we forgot ours back at the camp site) and we were well on our way to a debaucherous night of drunken Gin Rummy. Watch out New Zealand!!! We hung out for a few hours, chatted with a few other travellers and managed to make our way through the entire list of beers, obviously doubling up a few times for good measure.
We unfortunately had to catch the bus back to Rotorua at 9:00, which only gave us three or so hours at the party. Courtney tried to muster up the drunken courage to join in with the locals and their sing-along, but after quizzing me about the full lyrics of “Like a Virgin” opted to pass on her opportunity to shine, Karaoke style. I have to think that if we were in Munich under the same circumstances we may have seen her best Madonna impression. Let's see if we make it there next year...