Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Mid-semester Break continued

Hey there,

My last post was quite rushed because I wrote it while staying at a hostel in Nelson, where I had limited internet. This time I have the luxury to relax and update you all on my travels. I have decided to use a different type of narration structure for this post. Enjoy!

When we last left our heroes, the Betsy Trouble Squad featuring Devon was staying at the Anchorage Hut along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. They made it to the hut after a rainy morning of hiking. The next morning they intended to go sea kayking, but when the time came, and their alarms woke them at 6am, they quickly abandoned their plans. It was a dark and rainy morning, so they decided to sleep in until 9am. After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, cheese, and apples, our heroes made their way towards Pitt’s Head point, a beautiful corner along the coast with beautiful views of the ocean and glimpses of the North Island.  As they prepared to return to the hut, Daniel came across a hidden path through the bush. Not knowing where it led, and feeling filled with the spirit of adventure, he pushed through the bush, ignoring the cries of warning from his friends. When the bush thinned, Daniel saw that they had stumbled about something amazing. Climbing over the barnacled rocks that covered the shore, Andrew, one of Daniel’s companions, came across a cave. Our heroes found a small corridor through the far wall of the cave. After edging their way through the corridor, they came out into a beautiful patch of rocks, surrounded on either side by the cliffs of Pitt’s Head point! The cliff walls were dotted with small alcoves, filled with the nests of Shags, a local New Zealand bird. The Shags were in the middle of mating season, so little tufts of feathers were sprouting out of the heads in order to attract females.

Beginning the Abel Tasman Track

View from Pitt’s Head Point

Navigating the cave

Shags in their nests

After basking in the beauty of nature for a while, the heroes made their way back along the coastal track to their car, ready for the final leg of their mid-semester break. Leaving Abel Tasman that day, the Betsy Trouble Squad made their way along the western coast of the South Island, pausing along the way for lunch on the beach and a visit to the famous Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki! Excited at the prospect of famous pancakes at the pancake rocks, our heroes were disappointed to find that though the rocks were fantastic, the pancakes were over-priced, so they continued onwards. That night they decided to stay at Gillespie Beach. A beautiful beach, covered in smooth rocks and bundles of driftwood, it made a perfect setting. They set up camp, and then watched the sun set. They built a glorious fire using the driftwood, and basked in the glow of their primal creation. The next day they made their way to their final adventure. All that stood between them and the relaxing 9-hour drive back to Dunedin was 35km tramp on the Copland track! The hike to the hut was uneventful until Daniel, mistaking a pile of mud for a sturdy patch of ground, dropped his leg into mud until only his knees were showing. Quickly, Daniel leaped out of the mud, but the damage was done. Cursing the folly in his judgment and God’s cruel sense of humor, Daniel and the group continued on, stopping every so often to bask in the beauty of the green-blue colored river, the giant tree-like ferns, and the cloud-covered mountaintops. As the mud dried, Daniel and the rest of Betsy Trouble Squad crossed over narrow steel-wire bridges towards the hut. What made this hut particularly special were the natural hot springs only 2 minutes from the hut. So when the heroes took off their packs and boots, backs and legs aching, they relaxed in the pools of warm sulfur-scented water. The water ran through several pools, cooling as it traveled farther from it’s heated source. Afterwards, our heroes went back to the hut to eat and sleep. The next day, hiking back, they already knew, each one of them, that the car ride back, though long, would be a time to reflect on their adventures, the boundaries they’d crossed, and the limits they’d broken.


Pancake Rocks

Watching the sun set on Gillespie Beach

Relaxing in the hot springs on the Copeland Track





Leave a Reply

Are you human? *