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Oceania

New Zealand

Welcome to New Zealand, the Kiwi signs said In both Maori and English wriintg. The plane ride from Melbourne to Christchurch was under 3 hours and provided an amazing view of the Tasman Sea as well as the hilarious safety videos. Before touching down in Christchurch the white clouds turned instantly to a view of the South Islands Snowy peaks, as it was like our own personalized helicopter ride! I've never been so close to summit as this, it was so tempting to board down. Which is what we did.

 

Upon entering the Earthquake capital, customs were in order. After living in Oz for over 4 months, this was our first incursion out of country. Enjoying our last moments in Australia, with heart felt friends, we bid Sydney adieu taken a token of remberance from me: A navel Orange. Now to understand, hostelling Around Australia for the last month, food was scarce. So when signage such as "free foods" beckons, I, being my father's daughter take advance. This was all fine and dandy until the Kiwi's found out about it. Take my first steps into customs, I did what I normally do at the Detroit Border, declare that I have nothing to declare. Everyone smuggles in fruit, and they pay no attention. WRONG. Not in New Zealand. 400$ please. Contaminating our environment is costly and I was fined due to a free navel orange from Sydney. The worse part was that I couldn't even eat it.

 

Easing into the shaky city, Chelsea and I hoped on a Contiki bus enjoying the comfort of being skirted around. We learned how to try for results, avoid cups of tea and move into the country and eat a lot of peaches at Mrs. Jone's Fruit Stand. Hitting up Queenstown, we found ourselves lost in the grandeous peaks and enjoyed sight seeing in the local town and shredding up a full 2 days at Cadrona (Cardy) Alpine Resort. The full 2 dayes were a chance to sred the freshy fallen powder in New Zealands adventure. We also enjoyed a skyline buffet and gandola and late night visit's from Mr. Garlick.

Moving north the ever frozen Frox Glacier as we hiked from the lush rainforest to the icy peak. Styling the latest of hiking attire, crampons and all, we warded off bears with our walking sticks and made it out alive in a shockingly unstable bunk bed. Walking through the LOTR's scenery we made it to Windy Wellington, as I was able to take my first run of the trip. On the go, I almost bumped into a man who looked possibly like a orke. Wellington proved to have hilarious characters as we enjoyed fine dining with Brendon the critical Aussie- the all seeing eye.

Zorbing: A large plastic ball filled with water, which is then thrown down a steep incline. Expect hysterical laughter, uncontrollable flayling and limbs being tossed like boiled noodles. The trio of Chelsea, Lucy and I, made Zorbing a 30 second highlight of our trip, I can say we became much closer from that experience alone. Exiting the water-filled Zorb was disturbing... mimicking a placenta after the miracle of birth.

As we entered our tour of a Maori village I stood astonished with their backyard gyser and thin crusted landscape. With only 30 cm away from me and the earths crust all you could smell was the overpowering scent of Sulpheric acid. It gave a whole new meaning to "silent but deadly". Capping the cultural evening with a Haka Maori performance and polyenian hot springs it was my kind of evening. The North Isalnd of New Zealand had gradually become warmer. But we can safetly exempt the small town of Waitomo. Located in the Western part of the Island, we peeled on our previously worn- theremal wet suits for a chance at Black Water rafting, sitting up close with glow worms. Upon entering the hidden cave we backoff a waterfull in small inner tubes and beared the water under ground which was easily below regualed standards. The view was spectacular, being as we guided ourselves to the light as we exited the cave. I'm so glad I "caved-in", not letting the coldness get to me this time!

Praying for warmth we made it to the Bay of Isalnds, passing Auckland on the way, New Zealand's cottage country included sights of Dolphins, rock formation and ctystal blue waters. It was the last harrah and we ended the tour with local fesh and cheps, passing on late night tea parties and an evening of Wine and Chesee with the only equired coussier out there: Mr. Garlick.

New Zealand had little expectations, and mountainous praise. It is the country of over populated sheep and unpredictable weather. I was real and true, both natural and overly friendly. It was spectacular and unshakable. There is one thing I know, I will not be shaken I will not be moved!

Brittany Hayward