North Island adventures and arriving in Dunedin

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

My first week in New Zealand was filled with travel and a lot of activities. I flew into Auckland and from there the program I am studying abroad on took us around to a few places on the North Island.

After a day in the city of Auckland (not enough time to truly see it!) we went to a town called Rotorua where we got to go up a skyline and then ride a luge down the mountain! A luge is a New Zealand tiny plastic race car you drive down really fast! Here are some picture from the top of the skyline ride and the mini ski lift we took to after the luge ride!

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My first week would not have been complete without learning about some traditional Maori culture. We spent one of the mornings learning a dance called the Haka which is a traditional dance of the Maori people here in New Zealand.

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Ended our Maori culture day with a traditional feast where you cook your meal in the ground. We ate chicken, lamb and sweet potatoes it was absolutely delicious! IMG_3501

The last part of our trip to Rotorua ended with a walk through California Red Woods in New Zealand! It felt like we were in the jungle surrounded by thousands of massive trees and plants.

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A beautiful look out view that our bus driver took us on during our last day in Rotorua

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Arrived in Dunedin finally! The drive from the airport to the city was through the countryside, it was beautiful.

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My Apartment for the next 4 months! The student housing is extremely nice here at university of Otago in Dunedin. My cute place is right off of campus and walking distance from the grocery store, the town center, botanical gardens, hiking trails, the beach, beautiful grass lawns, amazing restaurants and cafes and a lot of other streets and areas I cant wait to explore.

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The street I live on!

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Just five minuets from my flat there is a Botanical Garden which is absolutely gorgeous. My first day here I ran through it and everywhere I looked the view was amazing. at the top of the gardens you could see the city and so much more.. Its hard not to want to be outside all the time here when this is right around the corner.

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Dunedin city center. It is called “The Octagon” and is filled with shops, restaurants, cafe’s, a cathedral and other beautiful buildings. Rain or shine people are always out and walking around. And the best part is it is walking distance from my flat!

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My first hike in New Zealand! We hiked Mount Cargille which is right outside Dunedin where I am living and it was beautiful! We decided to only make it a morning hike so we started from the top and worked out way down. It was a beautiful 10k trial down a mountain. When we started the hike there was so much fog we could hardly see in front of us but as we continued to walk down the day cleared up!

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