Friday Five – Favorite New Zealand Memories

January 16, 2015

Happy Friday! This afternoon I will be heading to South Carolina for the Charleston Half Marathon.  I am excited my friends Gerri and Emily will also be running (waves to Amy and Abby as well).  When I was sick last week I missed a couple of days of writing and didn’t get a chance to finish my Friday Five post….a little bummed…then I realized…I could share it this week (hence last week’s theme) when linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia.

As some of you know I studied abroad in Auckland, New Zealand my junior year of college.  Here are five favorite NZ memories:

1. The Hiking (also called Tramping)

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There were so many trails to explore (some shorter hikes of 5-10 minutes and some longer hikes of 60 minutes +).  Road trips always took longer than expected because of all the hiking detours. 

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When we visited the South Island (NZ is composed of two islands – North and South), we hiked the Franz Josef glacier.  Tough, scary, and wet but it was fun.

2. The Beaches

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Because Auckland was located on the North Island we had several opportunities to visit their beautiful beaches.  My favorite road trip took us to the Coromandel Peninsula. We dug pools at Hot Water Beach (during low tides you could dig holes and sit in the warm natural springs), got major sunburns at Hahei, and kayaked to Cathedral Cove.  Have you seen the movie Prince Caspian? One of their opening shots was filmed there.

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Piha Beach – black sand galore/surfer’s paradise.

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3. The Living Quarters

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While in New Zealand, I studied at the University of Auckland and lived at the Railway Campus (yes an old railway station converted to dormitories).  They had a human size chess board in the foyer.

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4. The Adventure

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Zorb Rotorua was the world’s first zorbing site (get inside the bubble and roll down a hill).  People could roll down the hill strapped or in water… I chose the former.  The country is also home to the “Adventure Capital of the World” which is Queenstown.  Located in the South Island, that is where I did a bungee swing (I was too chicken to jump).  

5. The People and Sheep

The kiwis were really friendly, patient and had the best accents (different than the British and Aussies).  There were always hundreds of sheep grazing the green hills (and sometimes crossing the road).

Do you have a favorite beach?

Have you been to New Zealand? Is it on your bucket list?

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