Journey Through New Zealand


Kate Luffman is a student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA Internships in Sydney, Australia.

After four weeks of studying at the University of Sydney, my classmates and I had some time off for a week. So I decided to journey off to another country and explore the northern islands of New Zealand.

The first adventure was to Waiheke Island, where I was exposed to a beautiful beach, mountainous views, and a few wine tastings.

The next three days were spent traveling on a bus with Flying Kiwi Tours and twenty one other strangers from around the world. I enjoyed heaps of scenic views on the drive up north, and had a pitstop at Uretiti Beach on the way to our first campsite in Paihia.

Never putting up a tent on my own before was an experience in itself, but once that was finally taken care of and I slept through night one of the outdoors, I had the opportunity to hop on a sailboat for the first time.  Of course it was cold and rainy, but I bought a rain poncho and made the most out of the excursion to the Bay of Islands.

At this time of year back home in the states, it’s winter, so a common activity would be to go sledding. Since I’m spending my time across the world though, I did the next closest thing I could on a beach; sand boarding. It was a lot like sledding except instead of being bundled up in layers and trekking through the snow, you’re in a bathing suit, hiking up a sandy hill and landing in the ocean.

It was a week packed full of adventures in New Zealand, but unfortunately it was a short journey. It came time to sail away from vacation and go back to studying abroad in Sydney, Australia (but it’s still summer time here, so I’m not going to complain).  

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