One Last Trip
Courses here came to end just over 2 weeks ago and I was left with 3 weeks to study for my first final exam. The study break period here is much longer than our break back in the States! So naturally with so much time to study I decided my time would best be spent by travelling for a bit so that I would have a clear and relaxed mind for finals. Sound reasoning right? I left the Monday after courses ended with 3 other friends and headed for the North Island for one last road trip here in New Zealand. Two weeks and a bunch of memories later and I’ve returned to my flat here in Christchurch to prepare for finals.
We had 4 main goals for things we wanted to visit on the North Island: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the Coromandel Peninsula, Cape Reinga, and Mount Taranaki. We planned the trip around these places and filled in the gaps with tons of other cool spots and activities. Unfortunately, no plans ever go as originally hoped and we never did make it on the Tongariro Crossing as the unpredictable weather here prevented us from being able to safely make the crossing even after 2 attempts. However, we still visited a ton of other cool places so now I know I still have a hike to look forward to when I return to New Zealand in the future!
Some of the other places we visited were the geothermal area surrounding Taupo and Rotorua where we soaked in natural hot pools, and swam in naturally hot rivers complete with hot waterfalls! We also visited 2 hot water beaches were a hot spring bubbles through the sand on the beach and you can dig a hole to relax in the hot water. Among other places we visited were a handful of waterfalls (one even having a cave behind the falls that we explored), some ancient forests with the largest and oldest new Zealand trees (the Kauri), numerous beaches including 90 mile beach which is a registered highway, and a couple of incredible volcanos. All in all the trip was incredible and was a great way to end my New Zealand tramping experience. It is somewhat bittersweet now knowing that I’ll be finishing up finals in a few days and heading back home to the states!