Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Australia

Made it to Australia!!
Courtney, Elise, and I took an 8am flight on Sunday morning to Melbourne. We walked around the city for the day and met up with the rest of the crew that night at the hostel. 
The next day we took the tram into the center of town. We went to the National Gallery of Victoria, walked around Federation Square, and took a tram that looped around the city. 
Tuesday morning we went to the Victoria markets and then started our trip to Sydney.

This shot is of us seeing our first kangaroos. Pretty comical how excited we were, seeing as how there were many, many more kangaroos to come.

Continuing on, it was a pretty calm trip. We were surrounded by gorgeous landscape- nothing compared to New Zealand though! We made it to a small town called Cooma and decided to stay there for the night. The narrow roads filled with kangaroo obstacles were too dangerous to navigate in the dark. 

Wednesday we stopped at Canberra, the capital. The Senate was in session, so we watched them for a bit then took in the view of the city from the top. 


Afterwards we drove the final stretch to Sydney and stayed in a hostel in the center of town.
Thursday we went to the Taronga Zoo. It's a cool zoo, but I was quite disappointed to find out that it's illegal to hold a koala in the state of New South Wales. After seeing all the animals and viewing the koalas from a distance, we drove to Hannah's friend's place in New Castle and stayed there for the night.
For out last day, we drove around the city and had lunch by the opera house and harbor bridge. I was put as navigator- probably not the best decision they have ever made, but we made do.



Between the 2 weeks in New Zealand and Australia, we drove a little over 4000kms!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Traveling the length of New Zealand

And the 2 weeks of traveling begins!
Sunday morning at 8am, Hannah, Courtney, and I took the 5 hour bus ride to Christchurch. From there, we picked up our rental car and drove to Abel Tasman. We got in around midnight, and slept in our tiny car.
Monday we drove to the Golden Bay. It was so pretty that we decided to do a scenic flight around the bay. Such a great decision, it was so much fun.


 Afterwards we went to the Pupu Springs, a beautiful fresh water spring with crystal clear water.

 Then did a small hike to Wainui Falls.

After driving around Abel for a bit, we drove to Nelson and stayed at a hostel for the night.
Tuesday we took the 3 hour ferry from Picton to Wellington. We walked around town for a bit, then grabbed some takeaway and ate up at Mount Victoria.

We stayed at Hannah's friend's place 45 minutes outside of the city, at Raumati Beach. 

Wednesday we spent the day walking around Wellington. We saw Parliament and the Treaty of Waitangi, went to the Te Papa museum, rollerbladed on the waterfront, and even ran into Prince Charles!! 




We stayed with the same family again, and woke up early to go hike the Tongariro Crossing. Unlucky for me, my camera battery broke- using my friend's pictures for the rest of the blog. It was poor weather, but still a lot of fun. I ran into a girl that goes to UNC on the trail- small world! 

We stayed with another friend in Tauranga that night. The next morning we headed to Auckland. Along the way we stopped at Mount Manganui.

Next we stopped in Coromandel for the hot water beach and Cathedral Cove. At the beach, we rented a shovel and dug a hole in the sand to get to the hot water. The name was no joke- the water was HOT!

We stayed with my friend in Auckland for the night and just hung out for our last day in New Zealand.
Leaving tomorrow for Australia!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bye Dunedin

I never thought I'd get so attached to New Zealand and the people I've met here.
I already miss my dysfunctional family.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Final Week

I've been trying to make the most out of my last week in Dunedin. On Monday (Guy Fawkes Day) I went with my friend to Tomahawk Beach, went to a spot near Tunnel Beach and hit golf balls into the ocean (well for me, attempted to), and went up to Signal Hill to watch fireworks. I didn't bring my camera, so we went back again Thursday night so I could take pictures.




Tuesday was Melbourne Cup Day, so I went out to the Wingatui races. It's a big social event for the students here, and people get all dressed up. I won a few of my bets, but came out a few bucks in the negative. The biggest race, the Melbourne Cup, was a huge upset- a dollar bet could've made me a millionaire. Insane!


Wednesday I hung out around town with a couple friends. In the afternoon we went to Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world.

Today I finished my last final! And what better way to celebrate than go to Cadbury World! I went with Hannah and some kids she babysits for. With no more studying to do and a new chocolate stash, I could not be happier.

I cannot believe it's time to leave Dunedin. Time just flew by.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Last Weekend in Dunedin

Saturday I went surfing with my program. The day before was 26 degrees and sunny, but, typical Dunedin, it was 7 degrees when we went out to St. Claire and it hailed on our way back. Although we had wetsuits to bear the cold water, my hands and feet were still numb. Despite the cold, attempting to surf was so much fun. I was able to stand up a few times, but it's safe to say surfing is not my sport.

Sunday I went with Hannah and my friend Lucy to Lover's Leap and the Chasm out on the peninsula. Such a beautiful day to spend outside.
(Lover's Leap)
 (The Chasm)