Geysers

Rafting

Wow, what a weekend! This trip was a trip full of thrills, adventure and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. Rotorua is the home of boiling mud pools and geysers – a beautiful place that is full of activities you really don’t want to miss out on. The first day we went white-water rafting. Some people got really nervous because of the seven-meter waterfall! It was scary but we had tons of fun! Also, some people went sledging instead of rafting. It was pretty intense thing to do… afterwards a few people had some sore muscles- But it was definitely worth it! Ryan found the whole thing a bit challenging, he kept sledging the wrong way over and over again. Poor him! Following the luge and rafting we made our way to the hostel. This is where the party got really started. Everyone came down to the hostel’s swimming pool and began to drink and listen to some music. We had many beers and pizza for dinner, which made everything complete. It turned out we were not the only one at the hostel. There was also a bachelor party going on! Who saw the big baby man jumping into the water with only a diaper? Afterwards we had a party at Rotorua’s famous “Lava Bar”. Shame on you people who were sent out of the bar! And too bad for the people who had their beers confiscated by the guard for drinking in the computer room! That aside, EVERYONE had a great time regardless!

The next day started with a visit to a Maori village. While some people were understandably feeling a little bit hangover, it was an awesome day. Within the Maori village there are lot of geysers to be found… It was so cool to see everything. Here you had the chance to eat a typical Maori pie, which tasted great! Later that day, we saw a presentation of the Maori Culture. They were singing all kinds of songs and did the “Haka” dance, which was very special to see. It is so interesting (and strange!) how they use their eyes and tongues during it.

After the visit we went luging. That was so cool! Again, everyone looked really pretty with the helmets. Some girls thought they were going so fast, only to be passed by a little five years old boy! Some people went off the adventure track. There was one hill which saw almost everyone jump in the air! But not everyone was adventurous enough. Kyra and Nina went off the intermediate track. Were they too scared for the adventurous one?

If you think that this was everything, you are wrong! The last activity of the trip was Zorbing. For those who don’t know what zorbing is: With Zorbing you roll downhill inside a plastic water-filled orb. It was so fun to do. You could go with between 1 and 3 people in one orb. With the final orb everyone on our trip laid flat in a line, and Laura and Liesette (who were sitting in the orb) rolled across them. It was a pretty scary thing to do. While Liesette was okay, Laura was screaming like hell! Long story short; this weekend was amazing! We had a lot of fun, made new friends and did amazing activities! Do you want to see al the photos? Click here

Black Sand Beach Day Trip

Piha Beach

On the 14th of February, we made our way to the lovely Piha. Our first stop was at the visitors centre where we had a great view out across the small town and beach. There was a small museum inside where you could see typical artwork of New Zealand that had been created and inspired by this region. Following this, and with some knowledge about this area, we went the nearby waterfall. To get there we had to do a little hike. The waterfall was huge and the surrounding area was stunning. Some brave people went for a swim in the waterfalls cold water.
Our next stop was Piha beach, which some of us might know from the popular NZ television series – “Piha Rescue”. This black- sanded beach is also well known for the “Lion Rock”, a rock that looks like a lion. If you wanted, you could climb up this rock, to have a great view of Piha beach. Some people were lying on the beach; others hired a surfboard to surf on the massive waves. It was a really relaxing day and we had a lot of fun!

Visit http://www.studenttrips.co.nz for your next #outtaaucklandadventure

Dolphin Swimming

Dolphins

This weekend was the Bay of Islands weekend trip. It was amazing! This trip is one of the best ways to meet knew people while also seeing the highlights of New Zealand. On the first day, we saw the New Zealand native Kauri tree. Those trees are massive! We went to the Whangarei falls afterwards. The view was amazing and some people went for a little swim! The best part of this day was undoubtedly the Glowworm Caves. No matter how often you go, it is special every time. It is one of New Zealand’s best secrets! Even though it is a pity that you were not allowed to take photos, it makes the moment even more special. We were going through the cave with the whole group and just a few lights. After a little walk through already a beautiful cave, we arrived at the glowworms. The lights went out, and when you looked up, you saw all the green glowworms. Two guides were with us and they told us everything about those worms. How old they will be, why they are green and some other fun little fact about those special animals. We ended the day with a delicious BBQ and a party!

The next day, after a bus trip through beautiful nature and landscape, we arrived at cape Reigna. Cape Reigna is the northernmost point of New Zealand. The view was amazing! It was so great to see how two oceans collide. Afterwards, we did some sand boarding. You go to a place that looks like a desert. No matter where you look, there is sand everywhere. You have to climb up a big hill and glide down the hill. It was going so fast, it was so nice!
We ended the day with another good party.

 

The next day we went on a dolphin cruise. There were so many dolphins. They swum next to the boat and one dolphin even jumped in the air! It was so amazing to see. One boat actually saw a whale. You don’t see that very often. Not only you have the opportunity to see dolphins, you will also visit another island and the hole in the rock. During the entire boat ride you have a stunning view. The weather was amazing and the Islands looked great. It was a pity that we couldn’t swim with the dolphins this time, because the dolphin had babies with them….But it was still a mint day!

This weekend was the best; we had a lot of fun and made a lot of new friends.

Make sure you visit http://www.studenttrips.co.nz to find out more.

Cathedral Cove Beach – Weekend Trip

Cathedral Cove

On the 13th of December our group traveled to the Coromandel Peninsula, a real treasure of a spot and a favourite for locals and tourists alike to visit and enjoy the weather, beaches and nature. When we arrived on the coast, we went directly to Hahei beach and met up with the local kayak guides to take us on our first activity. After a few minutes of explaining some kayaking techniques we were all ready to get out into the water for an afternoon of paddling. Our guides were really cool and filled us in on all the history of the surrounding areas. It turned out that where we were paddling was a marine reserve, and that there was no fishing allowed in the area-  making it the perfect place to see wildlife. We saw lots of fish, native birds, stingrays and even some penguins – no whales of dolphins this time unfortunately although I’m not sure I would like to have seen a whale show up next our kayaks!

The kayak took us around the coast to one the beautiful sandy beaches and a truly iconic landmark in New Zealand, Cathedral Cove. It is so named as on the beach is a rock-formed arch which looks like a Cathedral. We stayed there for the couple of hours, enjoying it when the sun showed itself and took a bunch of pictures.

After our paddle we headed to the famous beach located between Tairua and Whitianga – “Hot Water” Beach! Its name comes from underground hot springs which filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches. Armed with spades, our group had a chance to dig holes and make their own private Jacuzzi’s!

After a long day outdoors we arrived at our accommodation, which overlooks – and is right by, the beach. In the evening we enjoyed a delicious barbecue, had some drinks and played some games before heading out to the nearby town for a night of partying and live music at their local popular pub. The next day before heading back to Auckland we stopped at the local famous ice-cream house – special mention to Sanne for devouring an 8 scoop “gut-buster” ice-cream by herself!

 

Visit http://www.studenttrips.co.nz for your chance to get to Cathedral Cove.

Kauri Trees Weekend Trip

Bay of Islands Trip

On the 22nd of November we went to the Bay of Islands. On the first day we visited two waterfalls – Whangarei and Haruru. Also our fellow travel mates saw the famous local giant trees ‘Kauri’ and we were sure to give the trees lots of big hugs. Afterwards, we went to the historic place where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and went to explore a mysterious glowworm cave. The first day of the trip was busy, but we were not ready to go to sleep early! We had to finish the day off with an amazing party in the local club which is attached to the hostel. We all dressed up in the nights costume theme “beach” – this is how we do it at Student Trips!

The next day after breakfast and a little bit of time to recover and take stock of the night before, we went on a fantastic boat cruise. Along the way, the skippers navigated the boat towards the most famous dolphin spots. We were all a little nervous that the Dolphins wouldn’t make an appearance but before long we spotted them in the distance playing and dancing in the water. They even came right up to our boats bow to say “Hello”. The cruise also took us through the ‘Hole in the Rock’, an island in the bay that has a hole “just” large enough to let a boat pass through. Finally we stopped at a lonely island and were given the chance to hop-off the boat and explore the island.

Visit http://www.studenttrips.co.nz for your next weekend adventure.

Hobbiton

Hobbiton

This day trip was a great getaway and unforgettable for the LOTR movie lovers among us! The private bus took us out to Matamata, about 2 hours South of Auckland. It is here that they have set up the film-set of the Hobbiton for use in all of the movies. On arrival, our friendly guide, Billy, was ready to introduce us to this magical place and he was able to answer any and all the questions our group could throw at him. We took our time to walk through the village, exploring inside the houses (some of them have stuff in them!) as well as all the tiny intricate details. It is clear people had put a lot of time and money into making sure Hobbiton looked exactly how Tolkien had dreamed it would look all those years ago. To round things off, we visited the “Green Dragon” – the local pub that the Hobbits love to drink and sing at – and that now works as a fully functional pub/restaurant wherein we received a complementary Hobbit beverage, as well as had the opportunity to purchase “Hobbit-style” food! All-in-all, a wonderful and sunny day out for all our group.

 

Visit http://www.studenttrips.co.nz for more information.

Pinnacles Hike

Pinnacles Hike

This weekend was not for the lazy! It was high time to get out of the city and back into the beauty of New Zealand’s nature once more! The hike to the top of Coromandel’s highest point certainly had its highlights; rivers, swing bridges, stone steps and rugged bush track. It was all totally worth it – though! When we reached the top we were rewarded with one of the the best sights on offer – a sweeping view across the whole of the Coromandel Peninsula and the upper part of the North Island. Leaving our bags at the DOC cabin, we climbed on a little further to reach the top-most point of the mountain, and witnessed the most amazing sunset as the sun disappeared below the horizon and “into the sea”. We then returned to the cabin and played cards, shared some stories and cooked our food (we were ravenous by this stage!). Not wanting to miss an equally beautiful sunrise and in keeping with the motto ‘The Early Bird…’, at around 6am we once again climbed these famous Pinnacles and caught the early rays of the suns morning light. We were to be the first in the whole world to see the sun rising and welcome in the new day.

 

Visit http://www.studenttrips.co.nz for more details on this trip or others.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro crossing

Yes! we did it! We mastered New Zealand’s most beautiful day hike of about 19.4 km over the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

We started off with a great day around Lake Taupo. We visited the city and grabbed a bite for lunch before the brave ones amongst us dared to make a 47 meter bungy jump off a cliff high above one of the sections of the Waikato river. That night we made sure we were well rested, for we knew the next day was going to be a challenging one and that we were about to tick off another item on most of our bucket list’s. The night before we heard from the Ranger that this would be one of the last days where it would be possible to do the crossing before the conditions became too cold and windy and would require additional snow and ice equipment. We rose at 6 am to a beautiful day, there was not a cloud in the sky and it was relatively warm for this late in the year – perfect conditions for it! After a hearty breakfast to give us energy for the day, and were transported to the base of the mountain to begin our climb. By the end of the day, everyone had made it, a little tired and sore, but everyone had smiling faces and a real sense of accomplishment! Thankfully, back at the accommodation we were able to eat and relax our tired muscles in the hot pool. Been there, Done that!