Sunday, January 29, 2012

Australia/NZ Adventures... Part I!

 I'M BACK!

First of all, I want to thank all my amazing blog friends who helped me out and served as guest bloggers! I really appreciate ya'll taking care of my blog while I was gone! Everyone else- thanks for sticking with me! And a big welcome to all my new followers!

I want to recap my adventures with lots of words and pictures, but I have so much to say that I'm going to have to break it up into two posts!

Wofford has this awesome thing called Interim that happens during the month of January! You get four credit hours while taking advantage of the opportunity to take a class that interests you, travel, or get an internship! I was on campus freshman year, traveled to Peru last year, and this year I was fortunate to go to Australia and New Zealand with two of my closest friends! We were gone for about three weeks, and always on the go! I took TONS of pictures and want to share a few from each place we went!

Sydney, Australia
We flew from Charlotte to Dallas to Sydney... the final flight being 16 hours, AHHH! But we survived! Exhausted, jet lagged, and dirty, we arrived in Sydney where we stayed for a few days before moving on to New Zealand. Two of my best friends, Jennings and Martha, came on the trip and we stayed together 24/7. We had a wonderful time walking around Sydney and exploring the big city! We visited Darling Harbour and of course, the famous Sydney Harbour! We had a fabulous time just relaxing and checking out the view of the famous bridge, touring the famous Sydney Opera House, and even seeing a show called "The Illusionists" at the opera house! One day during our stay we visited the Featherdale Wildlife Park where we got some one-on-one time with cuddly koalas and krazy kangaroos!!

Jennings and Martha at Darling Harbour
Whoo hoo! We made it to Sydney Harbour- is this real life?!
I have so many stinkin' pictures of this bridge and that opera house!
So beautiful at night!
How cute is that koala?!
No big deal, just relaxing with the 'roos!
So cultured- going to a show at the Sydney Opera House!

Queenstown, NZ
After a brief plane ride, we made it to the land of the Kiwis! We arrived at my favorite place in New Zealand... Queenstown! Keep in mind that even though it is winter here in America, it is summer down under! Queenstown is a year round destination, with skiing in the winter and lots of thrilling outdoor adventure activities in the summer! Some of the kids in our group went bungy jumping... NO THANKS! We explored the town center after checking into our hotel with an amazing view of the town amidst the backdrop of snowcapped mountains and a dazzling blue lake. The town had fun shops and restaurants, and the style kind of reminded me of what towns out in Colorado look like- rustic, but still modern. One night we had a wonderful buffet dinner after watching a cultural show of the Maori, the indigineous people of New Zealand. We took an amazing jet boat ride on the Shotover River Canyon- literally one of the coolest/scariest/most fun things I have ever done! I wish I had pictures, but just watch the video!

Jennings and I in the gondola that took us to the Maori show and dinner!
ZTAs throwin' the crown over Queenstown!
This was the view from our hotel... how perfect is that?!

Te Anu, NZ
We only stayed here one night, but during the day we headed to Milford Sound for a delicious lunch cruise and to take in the sights of Fjordland. We also stopped at Mirror lakes and an area called the Chasm!

Mirror Lakes!
Only one of the many beautiful waterfalls at Milford!
cruising the beautiful Milford Sound!

awesome rocks at the Chasm

Stewart Island, NZ
HA. This was the worst part of the trip. A long and choppy ferryboat ride to an island with less than 300 residents and only 4 restaurants is NOT my idea of fun! Of course, I don't mind "roughing it", but unfortuantely during our visit, where our activities were largely outdoor, the weather was cold, windy, and gross. We wandered around the tiny town (that didn't take very long) and one day took a nature hike around the closeby uninhabited Ulva Island and then around Stewart Island. The funny thing about Stewart Island is that our nature guide told us about this awesome lighthouse at the top of a trail we just HAD to go see. We were exhausted, but agreed to head up the mountain. That was before a MONSOON hit. Gale force winds and sideways rain drenched us as we hiked literally on the side of a cliff... only to find the lighthouse was less than impressive. Needless to say, after two nights we were glad to be moving on!

I love border collies!

exploring Boulder Beach on Ulva Island!
And I will leave you with this gem for now..... 
Lighthouse equals #letdown.
Look for the second part of my adventures in another post coming very soon!


7 comments:

  1. Your pictures are SO awesome!! I'm glad you had such a fun adventure..can't wait to hear about the rest! Also, thank you so much for the post card! It is hanging up on my board in my room!

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  2. This looks BEAUTIFUL! Australia/NZ has been on my list of places to travel to for as long as I can remember! I am so jealous that you got to spend so much time there (and from the looks of it, had a blast!). Loved reading your update, can't wait for part 2!

    ps- thank you for the darling post card! I actually received it on my birthday last week, so that was an extra little treat!

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  3. wow this looks so amazing and I'm so jealous! your pictures are beautiful.

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  4. That sounds like such a great trip! I'm super jealous. :) My brother went to Australia last semester - the pictures with the Kangaroos and koala are so precious but so unreal!
    I'm glad you had a fantastic trip :)

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  5. I love your pictures. Those pictures of Jennings crack me up! Glad you had fun! xoxo

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  6. Your pictures are so awesome! That's such a wonderful and unique experience - definitely a plus for Wofford!

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