Guest Blog by Chase M.
This April (2015), Chase joined the Northland Discovery with his dad Jimmy after travelling around Australia and looking for an active adventure to escape their busy work life in good old Alabama, the USA.
Read the fifth part of his Northland Discovery adventure "It's all winding down" below:
It's all winding down
Today was our last day with Hiking New Zealand. The last 5 days have gone by the fastest of any on our entire trip. There have been a lot of good friends and good memories made in a short amount of time. Everyone in our group has been interesting to be around and the guides were superb. I’ve decided I’m gonna come back over here every year and do one of their hikes until I’ve done em all; so, anyone who wants to join in start saving now! Truth be told I never thought hiking would be something I really enjoyed even though I’ve always liked the outdoors and grew up hunting and being outside all the time. But it has turned out to be one of the most fun hobbies I’ve encountered. I think one thing that makes it enjoyable is that everyone pitches in and does their part, they all really want to be there, and you know you’re all going through the same thing together no matter what happens. It’s really been an eye opening adventure.
This morning we began our day with a light breakfast at Hukatere Lodge before getting ready to head back down to Auckland.
We had the worst weather of any day so far with it raining off and on most of the day, but we didn’t have a lot of hiking to do since we had a long drive back so it really didn’t mess us up too bad. We just kinda moseyed our way down the winding roads and took in the scenery (well everyone else took in the scenery - I took in a lot of sleeping myself). We seen several interesting sites including the Tane Mahuta in the Waipoua Forest. This tree is known as the ‘God of the Forest’. It is the oldest known living kauri at over 2000 years old and is massive. The Waipoua Forest was full of them, and they are probably the biggest trees in diameter I’ve ever seen. There are not extremely tall but still quite large nonetheless. That, and the double scoop of hokey pokey & chocolate ice cream I had at one of the stops, were basically the highlights of today.
On a side note, here’s a few other things that I’ve discovered are different here…buggies are trolleys, tire is spelled tyre, gas is called petrol (although there are a brand of petrol stations called ‘g.a.s.’ so it makes it kinda confusing but kinda simple at the same time, if that makes any sense which I doubt it does), barbie is grilling, and Sprite & 7UP are called lemonade (what we would call lemonade is simple called ‘fresh lemonade’).
Tonight we stay in Auckland and get ready to fly to Queenstown in the am to finish out our escapade with some white water rafting, jet boating, and zip lining before heading back to the U.S. of A. I hate to see everything on the down hill slide, but I can’t stay here forever - not because I wouldn't love it here but because my visa ain’t good that long.