Here at Otago, there is an entire month designated to finals. Luckily, Erin and I both did not have finals until the end of October which allowed a lot of time for adventuring around and soaking up the last bit of New Zealand that we have left. We planned a trip up to the North Island (to visit the biggest city and the capitol). Auckland and Wellington are two very unique cities that have a lot of character. We booked our plane tickets and set off!
First, we flew to Wellington which was about a 1.5-hour flight. It worked out so well because our Kiwi friend Adibah flew home just before and her family welcomed us into their house. This was such a cool experience because they were able to show us the local spots along with feeding us the most amazing food. We met Adibah’s high school friends and they showed us around the city. My favorite part was climbing the back of the Wellington sign which is a replicate idea of the Hollywood sign. It was a hard climb and we may have trespassed, but the view was amazing. Also, Adibah’s dad drove us all around stopping at the best coffee shops and taking us to the Red Rocks beach which was so beautiful and the sand was black. At one of the cafés we went to there was two All-Blacks players (The national rugby team) sitting right next to us! I found Wellington to be the perfect little city that sat on the most beautiful harbor. Also, many of my Kiwi friends are moving there to work after they are done Uni.
After two days in Wellington, we hopped back on a plane and flew another 1.5-hours to Auckland. I found Auckland to be one of my favorite places I have gone this entire semester. I love cities, cafés, and shopping. It felt like a miniature New York City. New Zealand is only made up of 4 million people and 3/4th live in the North Island which is a fascinating perspective. In Auckland, we stayed with a friend we met during orientation. Her apartment was located in the perfect part of the city that was close to everything. One of my favorite parts was seeing what a city Uni was like because I have never been emerged into that scene. It was crazy how many students funneled in and out of the student quarter in the middle of the city. One of my favorite parts, was the lime scooters. Lime scooters are public motorized scooter rentals that is hooked up to an app and you can rent a scooter and ride around the city. They are so cheap to rent and save the planet! My friends and I rolled around the city on these scooters until it got dark exploring restaurants and shops. Another favorite part of my trip was our day trip to one of the islands around Auckland. It was called Devonport and was similar to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. We took the ferry over and walked around the beaches and neighborhoods. The houses were perched on the hill and looked over the most beautiful beaches. It was so much fun talking about how our semester was going and all the plans we had in store. After 3 days visiting Auckland it was time to catch a flight back and let the final studying begin.