Dear Friends and Family,
Auckland continues to offer it’s surprises. We had two cyclone-related rain episodes in the last two weeks. Cyclone Gita was our latest visitor.
During the first rain-soaked weekend, eight of our crew soldiered on to see Hobbiton – the Lord of the Rings set built into the hillsides of New Zealand’s sheep country. Jafa Dave, the local guide we used for our Piha Beach and Takapuna Beach days, delivered the group.
The skies parted when they exited the van and all enjoyed a Middle Earth adventure. Past the iconic mill lay the Hobbit Holes – or homes of these mythical peoples. Students had a chance to sample life underground and walk in the little footsteps of a people who have inspired a generation of moviegoers.
Following their visit to Hobbiton, the crew traveled to Waitomo Caves. If there is a real Middle Earth, this is it. A marvel of karst topography, these caves are home to a surprise captured in a National Geographic piece and worth watching here.
Having dipped their toes in New Zealand exploration, plans are being laid by different parties for a weekend jaunt to Queenstown on the South Island, the geothermal pools of Rotorua, the fish-filled waters of Goat Island, and the tropical experience of Barrier Island.
Thanks for joining us on our adventure!
7am-9am airport pickup and check in to apartments 10am orientation to the neighborhood 11:00-5:00pm rest up / shopping / city exploration (ok to sleep as much as needed)
5:30pm-6:30pm Group introductions / overview of week
10:30am Depart for Auckland Domain Museum
11:00am Walking tour
12:40pm Museum tour
1:45pm Ultimate frisbee
2:30pm Mission Bay Beach
3:00pm Discussion: Program rules and expectations
5:30pm Return to Auckland
11:45am Intro to Arataki Visitor’s Center 1:00pm Nature hike 4:00pm Intro to New Zealand flora and fauna 4:45pm return
9:00am-3pm Meet with internship hosts and practice commutes
9:00am-3pm Finish up meeting with internship hosts. Free time for shopping / preparing for upcoming work week.
10:00am Depart for Piha Beach
2:00pm Transit to Karekare Beach
5:00pm return to Auckland
10:00am Depart for Mt. Eden
10:45am Introduction to Auckland’s Volcanos 12:00pm Lunch 1:00pm Depart for Birkenhead 1:30pm Hike down to beach 3:30pm Depart for Takapuna 6:00pm Return