Get the low down on the Hiking New Zealand and Active Earth Adventures team. We asked Anika Zwaan what she gets up to when she is not working and/or hiking.
Anika Zwaan - Intern
I was born and raised in a very small town, Stavoren, in the province of Friesland in The Netherlands. It is a place that borders the Ijsselmeer and is therefore surrounded by water. Growing up we could always go for a swim in the freshwater lake, which I did A LOT. I had the best time as a kid building tree houses, playing outside with my friends and spending time with my sister and two brothers.
In summer holidays our parents took us on a sailboat, where we sailed the Dutch waters, or we went camping in Austria, Switzerland or Italy. It was those adventures of hiking in the mountains that made my heart wonder about what more the world had to offer.
After far too many months of working as a waitress and a year of studying Leisure Management, I commenced my International Tourism Management studies at NHL Stenden University. Studying tourism has been one of the best decisions because it has allowed me to get to my number one bucket-list destination, New Zealand. I couldn’t have found a better place to escape the Dutch winter! As an intern at Hiking New Zealand I’m lucky enough to call Rangiora home for the next 5 months.
What do you do when you are not working or hiking?
In my free time, I love to meet up with my lovely friends and go to a coffee place where we can chat all day, about everything! I also love to go out for dinner, especially trying out new places to dine. My love for music manifested into a love for music festivals. Whenever there is a big dance festival going on (and in Holland there are LOTS) that’s where you’ll find me, having the time of my life!
Favourite coffee haunt?
I find this a really hard question since I do love coffee and there are lots of good coffee boutiques in The Netherlands. I would say my favourite one is 'De Friese Doorloper' in Hindeloopen, the pancake house where I used to work. I would also have to order some waffles with warm cherries and whipped cream!
I know New Zealand is well known for its coffee culture and the infamous ‘flat white’, but I have yet to try enough coffees to have a favourite café.
Favourite Hiking Trip?
Aspiring Discovery, New Zealand.
Have you done it?
Unfortunately, not yet!
Why choose this trip?
This trip just has it all! You walk through amazing valleys in Mt Aspiring National Park and get to see outstanding views of Mt. Aspiring. The walks along beautiful rivers and being amongst all of the green landscapes sounds like the perfect experience for my first New Zealand hiking trip.
Anything special about your favourite trip?
All of the New Zealand wilderness sounds amazing but getting the chance to camp at the end of a day’s hiking sounds like a real wilderness experience to me.