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


Time October 18th, 2012 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Rotorua is basically the heart of adventure on the north island. There is tons of thermal activity and lots of thrilling activities. IFSA-Butler brought us down to Rotorua for Adventure Weekend about a month ago. We got to go mountain biking, lugeing and sailing to hot springs. We were supposed to go white water rafting as well but sadly the river was too high. The mountain biking was pretty intense. Getting up the hill was by far the hardest part and my group didn’t even go that far. Once you got to the top the trip down was worth it. It felt like a roller coaster ride except that I was in control which complicated things. I’m not the most coordinated person so I ended up holding on to the handle bars for dear life. At the bottom of each track I had indents in my hands from the grip on the handle bar. It was really fun though and helped work off some of the extra Tim Tam weight.

The luge was the highlight of the weekend for me. It was the funnest thing I have done in a long time. We got five rides on it and we made the most of it. The first ride they made us go down the scenic route to get the hang of things. The next time though we went straight for the advanced track and it was much more exciting. You are actually able to get air at one point on the track. Our tour guides for the weekend organized some races which were all very exciting. I got cut off in one and ended up crashing into a sand pit. The next time I actually caused an accident but I ended up moving forward two places thanks to it and no one got hurt so it was a success in my book.

The next day we went on a boat for a little cruise. It was a really nice boat and we sailed around for a bit before going over to some hot pools. The weather was terrible, it was raining, windy and cold so the hot springs felt really nice. After hanging out for a bit we went back on the boat sailed back and had some lunch before going back to Auckland. Even though this weekend was great I felt that I hadn’t fully experienced Rotorua and still really wanted to go white water rafting so I decided to go back with some friends from my accommodation.

We went white water rafting first. Since we went on a Tuesday it was only the three of us and three instructors. It was really nice not having to wait for other boats. We went over the largest commercial waterfall which is 7m or about 21 feet. I was a little scared but it ended up being ok. We had a really smooth landing and the rest of the trip was great as well. I had never been rating before but have been white water kayaking. I felt much more comfortable with the rafting but if you are looking for a true thrill kayaking is the way to go.

After tat was done we went to go zorbing. It was such a fun experience. Overpriced but fun. If you don’t know what zorbing is it’s when you go into a giant ball and get rolled down a hill. They put some water in there with you so that you don’t get any friction between you and the plastic. It basically feels like a really fun and crazy waterside.  We got three rides and tried a different course each time. The first time I went down the one called the drop. It went slow at first then turned a corner and went down a steep drop. The second one was the zig zag which was really crazy. I got thrown around a lot and had no clue where I was going to go next. The last one we all went in one zorb together. You have to go down the straight path if you go together but we went really fast. We were laughing the whole way down.

For our last activity we went to Wai-O-Tapu which has a bunch of hot pools to look at. There is all kinds of different colored water due to the minerals which made for some really pretty sites. I’m really glad that we went because I have been wanted to see some natural hot springs for a long time. Every time that we went to go swimming in hot springs I thought they would be natural but it always ended up being a pool with just the water pumped in from the springs. It was too hot and dangerous to go swimming in these  springs but just seeing them was really fascinating. The trip was great and if you are ever in New Zealand be sure to check out Rotorua. I think the luge was my favorite activity overall.