I know it’s been over a month since I posted anything about my adventures in New Zealand and I’m sorry about that. Ever since my big trip in the South Island I haven’t gone on many big weekend trips and honestly have lost motivation to write about everything I do. I’ve had a few small trips here and there but each of them still amazing!
Shortly after the big trip I went snowboarding on Mt. Ruapehu which is one of the most active volcanoes in the world! It is also part of the Tongariro Crossing or aka “The Lord of the Rings walk”. We went to the Turoa ski field on the grand mountain’s slopes but instead of buying a lift pass and hitting the big slopes we stayed at the bunny hill all day which was still a blast! It started out rough (with lots of sore spots the next day) including a bad attempt at going on a jump but by the end of the day I finally got the hang of it. It was so much fun and inspired me to go more often back home… might as well take advantage of the good ole’ New York snow!
Another weekend I went on another overnight hike with Cat and Maclean on Mt. Holdsworth, part of the Tararua mountain range. It was definitely an interesting one since we didn’t get there and start walking until 5:30 pm… plus it was rainy. It was actually pretty nice walking through the dark woods in the light rain. There was something magical about it at times. We crossed multiple bridges and raised walkways, some only allowing one person on them at a time because they were so long and wobbly. We stayed in a hut for the night with another group of guys, one of whom was a fellow New Yorker! Of course it was still raining by time we left in the morning but we at least got to see things we couldn’t notice at night time. It was a nice short weekend hike! I would love to do more of them but it’s hard not having a car.
For Cat’s birthday a gang of us went to a little beach town named Castlepoint. My oh my is it gorgeous there! Instead of being one long strait beach there are a few different little bays separated by peaks and a lighthouse. The area we hung out at was edges by big sand dunes and bush (forest). It was a picture perfect place!
We spent the whole time right on the beach playing around and eventually built a fire to make tacos and keep warm. After a long night of celebrating, jumping off sand cliffs and chilling by the fire I slept in a cozy hammock. I woke up pretty early and watched the sunrise from my hammock and eventually gave up on trying to fall back asleep so I grabbed my sleeping bag and watched the morning sun and waves on the beach. It was so serene embracing the beauty all on my own.
I finally was able to check another thing off my New Zealand bucket list! Hailey, Diana and I took a bus to Hastings to meet up with our friend Stanley again who drove us all the way to Matamata. Hailey and Stanley went to visit Capernwray (a campus of the bible school Hailey went to) so me and Diana just tagged along for Hobbiton since they were so close to each other. The whole thing was even cooler than I imagined! I thought there would only be a couple hobbit homes but there were up to 40, each with such intricate details that probably wouldn’t even be noticed in the movies. The village is set in the middle of a giant privately owned sheep farm in Matamata. The background of how Peter Jackson got his perfect location and hearing of all the work that went into it was incredible. Thank goodness for the landowners who only let them use the land again for the Hobbit films if they would use quality materials to rebuild the village so it could stay there!
It’s been a fun past few weeks since mid-semester break! I definitely haven’t done quite as much every weekend due to an increasing lack of funds but I’m still trying to make the most of the time and resources I have! We just finished classes for the semester and have 4 weeks to study and take exams which may seem nice to have all that time but it also adds on a lot more pressure to do good on them especially when a lot of them are worth 60% of the final grade. I’m planning to still do a few things the next couple weeks in between studying including bungy jumping which is set for October 30th! Stay tuned to see how that goes…