We landed in New Zealand on June 22nd at 5 AM. The bus picked us up in Auckland at 7 AM. Our tour guide, Justin took us on an early morning hike up the side of a dormant volcano, Mt. Eden. That’s one way to introduce us to New Zealand! After that we traveled down to the inner city of Auckland and shopped. My friend Nicole and I found a small Japanese Diner tucked in an alley way, some of the most delicious ramen i’ve ever had! We eneded the first day in the famous Glow Worm Cave, our tour guide took us deeo into the cave where outside light could not touch, we all shut oue lamps off and looked at the glowing worms like they were stars! Nicole accidentally touched one and then tried to wipe it on me, I screamed and ran right out of the Cave!
New Zealand’s biggest export is wool, so naturally our group went to Sheep World in Dome Valley. We watched the valuabe trade of sheep shearing and how thier wool is turned into clothing and such.
We later relaxed in the natural hotsprings near Hokianga, it was relaxing but to this day I have not gotten the stank smell of sulfur out of that bathing suit! After our stay in Hokianga we drove north to Paihia, a small town on the most northern part of the north island!
My favorite experience was spending a full day with local Māori people at their cultural centers. We learned, ate, played, and prayed with these people and learned their way of life. The Māori children we played with also showed us how to do the Haka. The haka is a ceremonial Māori war dance or challenge.
In the Hokianga Bay we stayed on the beach and it was the most breathtaking sunrises and sunsets ever. The skies were so clear you could actually see the milky way in the sky. We adventured out into the Bay and boated around the Islands, it was slightly stormy so these 15ft waves were crashing into our boat! Everyone was fine, some got seasick though!
We finished our time in New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Groundss and learned more from the Māori people. We left New Zealand with much appreciation and love for them!
GLOW WORM CAVES︎︎︎
HOKIANGA BAY ︎︎︎
NEW ZEALAND LANDSCAPE︎︎︎
ALPACA FROM SHEEPWORLD︎︎︎
PAIHIA COAST & RUSSELL ISLAND︎︎︎
NATURAL HOT SPRINGS ︎︎︎
OMAPERE BEACH ︎︎︎