After getting all settled in here at Waikato University in my dorm and in my classes, I finally snatched up an opportunity to get out of Hamilton and see a little more of the beautiful country of NZ. After making Kiwi friends who also like to hike (or rather “tramp” as they say here), I had the opportunity to climb the 950 meter summit of Mt. Te Aroha and look out across the Waikato region and to the ocean on the other side. It was a beautiful view and fun experience as my friend became my pseudo tour guide and told me about the Tui bird that I’d been hearing and the different native plants that we saw along the trail. It was great to finally see a bit more of New Zealand outside of the University and the city.
As the weekend progressed, I headed on another adventure with other American international students to the beach. Three Americans bought a cheap car together to use to tour around the country while they are here, and they offered a seat to me this weekend. I just had to pitch in for petro (gas) and pay for some food and night at the hostel and we were good to go. I got to experience New Zealand’s Hot Water Beach where hot water literally bubbles up through the sand and you can dig your own hot tub/pool. Even in the middle of winter, there were people there enjoying all the beach had to offer. The weather was great too, definitely not summer weather but not too cold to be in a swim suit either. So it was definitely enjoyable!
It was a great weekend overall, going kayaking, watching the sun rise on the bay, seeing Cathedral Cove and soaking in just a few of New Zealand’s beautiful beaches. The drive there and back was even enjoyable, being able to see all the green landscapes with hundreds of cows and sheep was kind of fun too. But now the weekend is over and school work is starting to set in so I’ve got to hit the books for now until my next adventure in a week or two.