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Goldmines and Beaches.
Day one: Writing these blogs has been a great way of remembering each amazing trip that the Student Trips Squad has experienced as a group. With the majority now having joined most of the trips everyone are now treated as friend and equals and i know that friendships and relationships will last for many years to come. Private jokes are common and people are settling into the grove of Student Trips. Number 12 especially;-) Bring on the weekend of Beach and Goldmines!
Theme song of the Trip: Brooklyn Baby.
Yet another perfect day the bus left the hassle and bustle of the city and ventured south. Paeroa was the first stop and gave the squad the chance to buy a coffee or the infamous L&P drink that is world famous in New Zealand. L&P for those not in the know stand for Lemon and Paeroa and was created by fusing Lemon and the spring water from Paeroa thus putting this town on the map. A quick drive up to the gorge saw us experience firsthand what an old New Zealand goldmine would have be like to work in. We explored the tunnels and swing bridges that connected all the mines together and learnt about some of the history surrounding methods used for gold extraction. Turns out Cyanide was used! From here we drove to the Mount in the Bay of Plenty region. An amazing holiday destination for Kiwis for years this area boosts amazing white sandy beaches, perfect coastlines, sweet as surf and an impressive 232 meter mountain. We all put our togs and headed to the beach for beach cricket, sunbathing and the hour long round trip hike to the top to enjoy the amazing view. At the top was an amazing show by the way of dare devils with one foot in the grave pulling off amazing tricks with parasail’s. These crazy Kiwis would take off and hug the side of the mountain before turning around and landing on the seat right where they started. Looking north over Matakana island you could make out the Coromandel Peninsular and to the south the rest of the Bay of Plenty with White Island off the coast puffing smoke as it does. The view was incredible but there were allot of tried people at the top. We made our way down an amazing track on the north side of the mountain and high tailed it straight to the beach. Most of us enjoyed the waves and throwing the ball around in the water and it was a great way to cool off. Pizza was then delivered to the beach and all of a sudden 53 people were all eating their very own pizza in paradise. It was only fitting that the majority had Hawaiian. As the sun hid behind the mountain we slowly had to move down the beach to regain the warmth it had to offer. When it disappeared altogether it was time to check into our accommodation. In the heart of Tauranga we were situated right on the harbours edge with an amazing view over the water. Here we played cards and drinking games and had a great time were Vikram taught us all a new song. “Here’s to brother Chicko…” was sung at the top of our lungs until whoever was being sung to had to give in to the pair pressure. We were even welcomed to Tauranga by a huge Fireworks display that carried on for ages. It was an impressive way to gear ourselves up for an action packed night down some of the bars in town. Party Time.
Day two: With the sun shining through my window first thing in the morning i new it was going to be another amazing day with Student Trips. Breakfast and a latish start ensured those that wanted to could explore the stretches of town including the promenade across the road and the jetty heading into the harbour where some even took a dip the night before. Back up to Waihi another amazing holiday destination saw beach, sun and surf the best hangover cure for those that partied a little to hard the night before. We even got some Dutchies playing a spot of cricket in which they were actually pretty good. Everyone loved this beach so much there was ‘sting’ in the air when we all had to leave. From here we visit a working gold mine and were absolutely amazed by the share size of the hole in the ground. This style of mining known as Opencast mining is the most common type of mining however also hardest on the environment. Photo opportunities and the chance to throw anyone annoying you on the bus was a possibility here. At least we are all friends! Another visit to the gorge mines saw a coffee and food break at the railway cafe before a hike down the old service train track walkway. This hour long walk took us past some relics of the mining world and encouraged grown men to forever reason make daisy chains (you know who I’m talking about brother Daniel and Chico). Nearing a huge 1100m former rail tunnel we all stopped and waited to find out if you were going to venture in or make the safer journey around the other way. In finding we had to walk through in order to get back to the bus, a lot of excitement arose in the group. All sorts of chanting was heard whilst walking through this tunnel and made for an awesome atmosphere. Sunbathing and a swim was on the cards after that walk and we watched the locals cliff jump into the murky river waters below. After a couple of hours we decided it was time to get back to realty and made our way back to the drop off points in Auckland. Cheers guys for yet another amazing trip!
To join this trip and more be sure to see our website at http://www.studenttrips.co.nz