I only have three days of class left at Otago (I don’t have classes on Fridays)! But still a month until exams end. Yeah, there are so many classes here that it takes about a month for everyone to finish exams. I have one free week before my exam days begin, then I have one exam per week until I leave. But, I haven’t talked about what I did for spring break here, so I’ll just focus on that for now. 😊
Spring break seems pretty far off, but the memories are still fresh. I got to travel up to the north island to see some family friends I had never met before, and they were amazing! I flew from Dunedin into Wellington, took a bus through the city to the train station to get to Paraparaumu (so much fun to say) where I was picked up and given a tiki tour of the town before heading up to just outside Levin. It was so cool to see that Neil still had a scrapbook of his time with my dad’s family and my dad even remembered one of the concerts he had saved a ticket from. Then, we worked out a plan to have the best two days ever. We got up early in the morning to visit a friend of theirs who is a dairy farmer and I got to see all the baby cows, even a day old one! When he was done feeding the cows, we all went to a river and got to go jet boating where my hat flew off, oops! It was so much fun. From there, we headed up to Lake Taupo and walked around the water a bit before heading to see Huka Falls. It was so cool and super loud! After that, we completed our journey up to Rotorua. It had rained a bit, so we think that beat down the sulfur smell a bit. We had a yummy dinner after picking up some souvenirs from an outdoor market and then got to rest before looking for thermal pools the next day. Cameron’s Laughing Gas Pool was cool, and we got to walk around a bit of the lake there as well.
Our next stop on the way back down to Levin was Wai-O-Tapu, a “thermal wonderland” with a mud pool, geyser, a waterfall, and so many geothermal pools that all varied in color. I forgot to mention that we also had stopped at a military museum on the way and they had knitted poppies covering the tanks on display for ANZAC – the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – and in remembrance of the first world war. We did make a small detour to Palmerston North to meet up with my kind kiwi hosts’ daughter and have dinner. Then I had to be at the bus stop at 5am for Wellington. At least I got to sleep a bit on the way down!
Once I got to Wellington, I went to the dock area to board the ferry to Picton. The ferry was absolutely huge! There were 10 decks and there were several cafes, a movie theatre, a kid’s play area, a gift shop, and a garage for people to bring their cars over. The scenery en route to the south island was gorgeous too and I stayed at my first hostel that night once we arrived in Picton. It was really nice and even had a treehouse! The buses back down to Dunedin were pretty uneventful, but I did run in to a few friends from Otago headed back just in time for classes. I will attach some picture below for your perusal.
Noho ora mai!*
*Goodbye/stay well/All the best!