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Friday, October 22, 2021

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SDSU student Kiyomi Nomura visited the Cape Reinga Lighthouse while studying abroad in New Zealand. SDSU student Kiyomi Nomura visited the Cape Reinga Lighthouse while studying abroad in New Zealand.
 


Weekends are for Road Trips

While studying abroad at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, Kiyomi Nomura has hiked a volcanic island, walked through thermal pools and marveled at glowworms.
By Kiyomi Nomura
 

Kiyomi Nomura is a fourth-year business marketing major at SDSU studying abroad at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand for the 2019-2020 academic year.

For more blog posts from SDSU students studying abroad this fall, visit the SDSU Be International blog.

The semester here in New Zealand is almost over, and I am getting ready for final exams here at Auckland University of Technology. But classes are not what this post is about. It’s about the road trips!

Going on road trips, particularly day or weekend trips, is some of the most fun that I’ve had since I’ve been in New Zealand. I’ve gotten to explore some really cool places, see some things that don’t have a lot of visitors because they aren’t the touristy spots (I did love those places too though). I’ve also enjoyed spending quality time with the friends that I’ve made here, where we all aren’t having to meet up between classes and assignments.

Some of the day trips that I’ve been on are hiking on Rangitoto Island and going to Rotorua. Rangitoto is a volcanic island a short ferry ride away from Auckland. It is a pretty nice hike that you can finish in about a half-day. When you get to the top you can look down into the crater on one side, and see the Auckland skyline on the other. There are also lava caves that you can explore.

Rotorua was also a fun, full-day trip that was organized by a club on campus. We left early in the morning and spent part of the day at Skyline Rotorua. We went up to the adventure center area on a gondola, and went luging. It was what I think playing Mario Kart in real life would feel like. There were also lookout spots where you could take in the views from on the higher end of a mountain.
The other part of the day was spent at some hot water pools. It was a lot of fun, but Rotorua is famous for the sulfur smelling air, and the water from the creek the pools were located in were no different. It was really relaxing being in the warm water, but beware, whatever you wear into the creek will smell like sulfur, and may or may not still smell like sulfur after you wash them.

Weekend trips no doubt have been my favorite way to see the North Island. During the first weekend of semester break I went on a trip with a group of friends to Cape Reinga. It’s located at the tip of New Zealand, and you can see the Tasman Sea meet the Pacific Ocean. It was an awesome place to visit, and the walk down to the lighthouse was beautiful. On the way to the cape, we stopped by the Whangarei Falls Scenic Reserve and walked down to the waterfall there.

The other weekend trip that I’ve been on so far, and probably my favorite weekend in New Zealand overall, was my trip to the town of Taupo. We went to Rotorua (different part from where I had been before), and walked around some of the thermal pools. Then we went to the Craters of the Moon. That was a really interesting place to see, and it felt like a movie set almost with the way steam rose from craters in the park.

After that we drove to Huka Falls, the water was a beautiful clear blue color. We continued on and had dinner and drinks in Taupo, where we stayed for the night. The following day we had breakfast and got coffee at McDonald’s, then headed home back to Auckland. On the drive back, we stopped at Tongariro to see the peaks, but we didn’t hike as there was still a lot of snow and ice on the mountain. I plan to go back in summer to hike it. Our final stop was the Waitomo Glow Worm caves, where we took a tour of the caves and a boat ride to see the glow worms. It was like seeing a bunch of stars in the night sky, definitely a place I recommend some go to when coming to New Zealand. 

For more blog posts from SDSU students studying abroad this fall, visit the SDSU Be International blog.

 
Weekends are for Road Trips
While studying abroad at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, Kiyomi Nomura has hiked a volcanic island, walked through thermal pools and marveled at glowworms.