Well hello there! I see you have found my blog, and all the wonderful things it may or may not contain! I hope you enjoy joining me on my adventures! Hopefully if all goes well I’ll post lots about all the crazy stuff I get up to.
My Trip to New Zealand
On the 26th of December 2015, my father and I left Canberra, ready for an amazing trip to New Zealand. After a night in a terrible hotel in Sydney, on the 27th we were up early and on our way to the Sydney international airport. It was there that I was to begin my 2nd trip ever with scouting- as part of the pre-tour group for the 13th New Zealand Venture- otherwise known as the best camp you can do in the scouting movement. But first, about a week of pre-tour – doing amazing activities in Queenstown and Auckland.
This was not my first trip to NZ, however the first time, we flew into Auckland. Never before had I seen sights as astonishingly gorgeous as the ones I saw out my plane window flying into Queenstown.
For nearly half an hour we passed over snow-capped mountains and clear blue rivers, before we finally touched down in Queenstown. The first day provided opportunity to make a few friends, and try activities such as horizontal bungy races and Zorb-Ball soccer. We had our first pre-tour contingent meeting, then set off for our accomodation, the beautiful Reavers lodge, right at the top of a huge hill we had to drag our bags up. This is where I would be staying for three nights, before flying North to Auckland.
My first day of booked activities in Queenstown was a wild one; I spent the morning doing 360 spins in 10cm deep water on the ‘K-Jet Jetboat’, then went on the biggest swing in the world – the Nevis Swing – in the afternoon… upside down! You can watch the video here! In-between these activities I had the chance to explore backpacker’s paradise, with camping supply stores and ads for crazy adventures at every turn.
The next day was most definitely one of the best. After waking up at 5:30am I set out to the streets of Queenstown, watching the sunrise over The Remarkables, before signing myself in for the craziest experience of my life. I was going to jump (or more accurately, be pushed) out of an aeroplane 3.6km in the air, with a 6ft Brazilian man named Mira (who didn’t seem to like me) strapped to my back with my life in his hands. This was without a doubt the most insane experience of my life thus far, and I’m so glad it was in Queenstown too; those views were out of this world. The heart stopping moment Mira rolled us out of the plane is one I will never forget!
After somehow managing to not die skydiving, I had zip lining in the afternoon- including a trip (once again- upside down) down the steepest zip line in the world. You can watch the video here.
The next morning I further explored Queenstown with my new friends, tried the famous ‘Fergburger’ and ventured to the top of the Gondola to partake in ‘luging’ down the mountain.
Next up on pre-tour was Auckland- I was part of a group of the contingent to go to Auckland a day early – flying up on the 30th – to have an extra day of activities there. On this day I visited Rainbows End Theme Park (apparently the ‘mini dreamworld’ of NZ but I’m not so sure) and had an amazing day going on rides such as the Pirate Ship and Stratosfear. It was definitely a great way to spend the last day of 2015.
That night there was a crazy (olympics themed) New Years Eve party – with over 300 15-18 year old Venturers from around Australia. I started 2016 with two days of recovery- going shopping and spending all my money, then ice skating until I had excruciating blisters on my feet.
The final stop before ‘Phase 1’ of inferno would commence was the Waitomo Glow Worm caves, and Phase 2 campsite to rest up before the long LONG walk ahead.
Phase 1- Walk Waikaremoana
For the first phase of the venture there were a number of expeditions to choose from. I chose ‘Walk Waikaremoana’- a 52km hike around a huge lake, followed by a trip through caves and a visit to some hot pools. Lake Waikaremoana is located in Te Urewera National Park in the North Island and has a total area of 52km squared. For this expedition we followed the Great Walk- including a 6km detour to visit the beautiful KoroKoro waterfall.
I spent this entire amazing trip with an incredible group of people. We shared so many hard days of hiking and without their support I doubt I could have made it.
Phase 2 was basically just a giant party. Other than the parties, I went exploring in Rotorua, made amazing new friends and visited an incredible geo-thermal park called Wai-o-Tapu. It was an amazing 4 nights that I’m sure I’ll never forget!
The final leg of this amazing adventure was post tour, during which we had the incredible opportunity to visit the Waikite Maori Village, and go to Agroventure theme park, before a trip to Hobbiton, final shopping spree to spend the very last of my spending money, then a devastating final contingent dinner.
So! That’s the end of my first blogged adventure- in future I’ll be able to actually do day by day updates hopefully rather than this massive post but either way- I can’t wait to begin!
To see more of what happened at New Zealand Venture click here