The Great Outdoors of New Zealand

Jessica Muscella is a student at the University of South Carolina and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Auckland, New Zealand.

Since starting my time abroad, I have experienced the best adventures New Zealand has to offer.  Whether it is hiking a volcano, strolling through Hobbiton, or rafting through caves; if you love the outdoors, New Zealand is the place for you. New Zealand also has one of the most diverse climates.  You can be on North Island in 60 degree weather, or be in South Island where its snowing.  Within the past two weeks, I’ve taken trips to go skiing and then to the beach.  The weather is truly unique here.  There is so much to do and see, and the natural landscape of New Zealand provides such an amazing background. Here are some of my favorite places I’ve visited so far!

Tiritiri Matangi

Tiritiri Matangi is a small little island off of Auckland that is currently a scientific reserve and bird sanctuary.  It’s the perfect escape from the big city to enjoy the hikes and the natural beauty the island has to offer.  One of the most stunning places I’ve been so far.


Tiritiri Matangi.
Trees on Tiri Tiri.


Mt. Ruapehu

Three days later I ended up on Mt. Ruapehu for a ski trip.  Obviously you can see the vast change in weather from one end of just the North Island to the other.  The coolest (pun intended) part of New Zealand is that you can feel like you are in different hemispheres just by going different places within the country.

PHOTO: ‘Mt.Ruapehu’

Mt .Ruapehu

Waiheke Island

Back to the sunshine.  Waiheke Island is another island off the coast of Auckland, and it is absolutely breathtaking.  The beach is beautiful, and the wine is even tastier.  The island is famous for its vineyards, and is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful Saturday.


Waiheke Beach.

Waiheke sunset.




Things just keep getting more beautiful.  The natural beauty of this country constantly astounds me.  Pictures just can’t do the views justice.  Coromandel is known for Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach.  Hot Water Beach is a natural thermal beach where as you dig into the sand, the water gets hotter and hotter.  Essentially, you can go to enjoy the beach in a man-made hot tub.

Hot Water Beach.


Viewpoint Coromandel.

Here are some more pictures of the amazing places all within this beautiful country.


Stopped at this beautiful lookout point on one of our first road-trips in the country!


Right in Auckland, Mt. Eden offers panoramic views of the city.
We explored Rotorua for our BCP Orientation.  Here we are wandering through Waiotapu!

The world awaits…discover it.

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