Blog Post 5: 3/24/16
Last weekend my study abroad program hosted “The New Zealand Experience Weekend”. Saturday morning we bussed a few hours north of Auckland to the Quarry Arts Centre. The few hours that we were there were spent making poi. Long ago, Māori used poi as weapons, as ways of strengthening their wrists, and during Kapa Haka (performances). To read up more about poi, check out http://www.homeofpoi.com/us/lessons_all/teach/History-of-Maori-POI-in-New-Zealand-34_293_1947 .
When we were finished at the art centre, we drove another hour north up to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. We perused the museum and took a tour of the grounds. At the end of the tour, we experienced a shortened version of a powhiri and watched a few brief Kapa Haka performances. If you would like to read up more on the Waitangi Treaty grounds, check out http://www.waitangi.org.nz/visit-waitangi/ .
After Waitangi we bussed a few minutes down the road to Paihia. We hopped on a boat run by “The Rock Adventure Cruise” (http://www.rocktheboat.co.nz/ ) to cruise around the Bay of Islands. Everyone in my program had such a great time. During that first day we each shot a paint gun at targets in the water, fished for our dinner (I caught 3 fishes!!), and at night we kayaked around the bay to check out the bioluminescence in the water. On Sunday, we woke up around 8 and went snorkelling. Afterwards, we boated to one of the islands and took a short hike to the top. The view was AMAZING. No picture can come even close to showing how beautiful the landscape was. During our time on the island, we collected shells, checked out the lagoon, and explored a few small caves. Some of us kayaked back to the boat afterwards, and then we headed back to Paihia. Back in Paihia, we had fish and chips (these were the best I’ve had so far) and got on the bus to head back to Auckland.
Tomorrow I leave for my Easter Weekend trip. More on that when I get home!