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Camping Time

Classes ended on the 19th and we had one week off before finals started. Megan, Caroline and I decided it would be a good idea to go camping for the week. We started off planning to do a great walk but they didn’t have any hiking equipment so we ended up going on a little road trip and just camped instead of going to hostels. It was a blast. We started off on Sunday by going to the Waipoua forest to see the biggest trees in New Zealand. They are massive! It was so cool getting so close to them and realizing just how small we really are. We camped at a free site that night then continued making our way up north the next day.

Our first stop on Monday was at the giant dunes. We rented boards and got to go sliding down the dunes. It was a lot of fun and the hill was huge. It was really difficult to get back up the dunes though since the sand kept on falling down whenever you tried to walk up. After about 6 trips it started raining and we figured it would be a good time to leave since we were all exhausted anyways. We then drove to Cape Reinga and went to go to the lighthouse. At this point it was raining pretty hard though so we continued on to our campsite and sat in the car for a few minutes until the rain slowed then set up the tent. The girls stuck around the campsite to read but I went on a short hike to look around. It wasn’t anything special but I enjoyed walking around. After a lovely dinner of trail mix, an apple and an energy bar we went back to the light house. We got to see the Tasman Sea mixing with the Pacific Ocean which was pretty interesting. You can actually see waves forming up where the two bodies of water meet.

The next day we left the northland and started making our way to Coromandel for the second half of our trip. We stopped at 90 mile beach to walk around. If your car has four wheel drive you can actually drive the length of the beach which would have been pretty awesome. But we got a cheap rental for the week so ours didn’t. After that we say a sign for Doubtless Bay and decided that sounded interesting so we stopped by. It the weather were better if would have been a great beach to relax on. We then continued on to Coromandel. Around 6:00 we started getting sick of driving so we decided to just go back to our flats for the night since it was right on the way and we could take some much needed showers.

The next morning we made our way to Coromandel. It took a lot less time than I thought since we were just going to Thames that day which is right at the base of the peninsula. I went on a hike to the top of the Pinnacles while the girls went to the beach for the day. It was the best hike I have ever been on. The weather was perfect, the views were spectacular and it was just the right level of difficulty where it was a challenge but I never felt like I couldn’t make it. Near the top there were ladders and rocks that I had to climb which added some excitement and made it a little more technical which was fun. That night we camped at a site that allows fires (this is rare in New Zealand). Caroline taught us how to make Hobo Burgers. You take hamburg and cut up potatoes and add some seasoning and but it in a pouch of tinfoil with some water. Then you close the pouch and put it in the embers of the fire until it is cooked. The potatoes were a little undercooked but they were still really good.

On Thursday morning we went to Hot Water Beach. It’s a beach that is above some hot rocks so if you dig during low tide hot water will fill up your hole which makes it like a hot tub. It was really relaxing and nice since it was a little cool that morning. Then the tide slowly came up which caused the hot and cold water to mix which was really refreshing after sitting in really hot water for awhile. In the afternoon Caroline went to Scuba dive and I went for another walk and got some lunch at a cafĂ© since I needed something besides trail mix and PB&J. After she was done we went to Cathedral Cove which is a really cool area. That night we went up to the northern part of the peninsula to camp. We were all exhausted and fell asleep as soon as we put up the tent.

For our final day we woke up and went to a nearby beach. It was really nice out so we just sat there for a bit listening to music. Then we made our way back to Albany so that we could start studying for exams. This roadtrip was a lot more realxing than the south island trip and was just what I needed in order to get ready for exams. Tomorrow is my first one so wish me luck! Then I have another one on the 3rd and the 12th. After that I have a few days to pack and go on any last minute adventures then I go to Fiji for a few days before heading back to the states.

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