Rotorua heroes to rescue after tourist smash

By, Matthew Martin

Three young German tourists will go home with an amazing story of generosity and friendship after a group of Rotorua residents took them in after a car accident.

After a tip-off The Daily Post spoke with Joan Grace, who first met the lucky travellers after they were all involved in a car accident just south of Cambridge on February 4.

The travellers - Christian, Kevin, Phillip and their friend Friederike (who left soon after) - were involved in a head-on crash in which three vehicles were written off, including their own transport.

The four travellers escaped without injury and Mrs Grace, who narrowly missed being part of the crash, invited them back to stay at her Kaharoa home with her and her husband.

Between them and their circle of friends the Graces hosted the three men, who left on Thursday to continue their travels.

"The locals fed them, took them out to the lakes, we put on dinners for them and Kevin got two cakes for his 25th birthday," Mrs Grace said.

She said the tourists were very nice and their parents told them they didn't know there were so many lovely people in the world.

Through their links to a local kayaking club, friends of the Graces took them to the Hauraki Gulf where they fished, watched orca swimming and walked with kiwi in a native forest.

They also enjoyed camping and fishing trips on Lake Okareka, were treated to a good Kiwi barbecue and pavlova, a few hours on the Zorb and a trip down the Kaituna River.

"They were absolutely lovely young men ... when they left they told us they really didn't want to go.

"But it was not just us, all of our friends got involved, there was huge support for them - it's just what we do isn't it?"

- Rotorua Daily Post

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