Day Trip

Trip Start Feb 20, 2013
Trip End Jul 05, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In all the craziness that is the end of the semester, I managed to get a day trip in this weekend. On Sunday, I left at 7am in a bus to three different and amazing tourist attractions in New Zealand. Our first stop was in Waitomo, about 2 hours directly south of Auckland. Waitomo is world famous for its beautiful caves that have glow worms in them. These glow worms are unique to New Zealand and are tiny creatures that give off a small, bluish light. We took a boat ride deeper into the caves where it is kept completely dark and I could see hundreds of the glow worms. They look like tiny stars and it was absolutely breath-taking. This is definitely a must-see attraction for anyone coming to New Zealand.
After the caves and a light lunch, we were off to the Agrodome in Rotorua, just under 2 hours to the east of Waitomo. The Agrodome is a big farm, mostly filled with sheep (go figure). We toured the farm and saw many different animals, like sheep, goats, cows, and ostriches. We were even given the chance to feed some of the animals, but I was too busy taking pictures...and staying a safe distance away! The tour guide showed us how their dogs herd the sheep and also how to sheer a sheep. The last part of the tour included a chance to see an old woolen mill and explanation as to how the wool is processed into clothing. Thankfully, my allergies did not act up the entire time I was there!
Our last stop of the day was just 15 minutes south of the Agrodome to Te Puia, New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute. It is home to the national schools of carving and weaving. When we arrived at the Marae (welcoming place), we went through a Maori welcoming ceremony that involved chanting and a presenting of leaves to show peace. We then were brought into the Marae where there was a performance of Maori songs. Even though I couldn't understand the words, it was very neat to watch the performers. It was a good introduction to the Maori culture. After the performance, we went to see a very large mud pool and the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere. The geyser, called the Pohutu Geyser (meaning big splash or explosion), can reach up to 100 feet! It was so cool to see it erupt and it lasted for a while. Our final part of the tour took us to the carving and weaving schools. I saw many different carvings and different styles of weaving.
After the long day, I was ready to be home, but the day trip was amazing. I am so glad I got to see so many different parts of New Zealand. Hopefully, my next trip will be to Hobbiton - home of The Shire in Lord of the Rings. I'm not sure when I'll be going, but it will definitely be one of the many highlights of my time here.
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Nichole on

So glad you were able to do this, looks like fun!

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