7th biggest tree in NZ
Classes ended last week and this past week was set aside for a study break camping trip before finals. I originally planned on doing a great walk but the other people that I was going with didn't have any hiking gear and backed out at the last minute. It ended up being okay though since we got to go up north and check out Coromandel. We started the trip on Sunday and went up to a forest that has the largest trees in New Zealand. It was amazing how big the trees were. We then continued on to our first campsite which was free. We got to set up the tent in the dark and it was raining but luckily it went up easily.

Biggest tree in NZ
The next morning we woke up and started to make our way up to Cape Reinga which is the most northern point in New Zealand. Right before we got to the top we stopped at the giant dunes. You can go sledding down them which was a blast. It was quite exhausting hiking back up though since the sand would start slipping down while you were trying to walk up. If started raining again after a few trips so we got back in the car and went to our next campsite. We decided to have a relaxing day. I went for a short walk while the others were reading then we went to the tip of Cape Reinga to check out the light house and see where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet. I left my camera behind but you can really see the two different bodies of water coming together.

On Tuesday we went to 90 mile beach which is actually a road on the beach. If you have four wheel drive you can drive the length of it. We didn't though so we just walked around for a little. The weather still wasn't that great so we didn't stick around too long. We made a few stops on the way back to Auckland then decided to stop in Albany for the night instead of going to Coromandel. This way we could stay at our own flats and shower and eat real food (we didn't have any way to cook food for the first part of the trip).

View near the top
The next morning we woke up and drove to Coromandel which is a peninsula I think it's the closest thing to Cape Cod that New Zealand has. We finally got a perfect day so I decided to go on a hike that I had read about to the Pinnacles. It was the best hike I have ever been on. The weather was perfect, the hike was challenging and the views were great. For the last half hour before the summit it was all stairs, ladders or even little metal rods sticking out of rocks. It was really cool. That night we camped at a place that allows camp fires. It is really hard to find a campsite that allows them here so we were really happy. We cooked dinner and sat around talking until it got too cold.
Panoramic from the top

Climbing towards the top! Slightly scary
Thursday we went to hot water beach. It's a beach that has an area where you can dig during low tide and reach really hot water due to some geothermal activity. Some of the beach was too hot to even step on. It was really relaxing and pretty cool to lay down in a hot pool right on the ocean. As the tide came up the waves broke over our wall so we headed out. I made sure to run into the ocean and dunk myself before leaving though. It was a little cold but not terrible. After that Megan and Caroline went scuba diving but I figured i would save that for Fiji or Hawaii next summer so I walked around town and got some food. Once they were done we went to Cathedral Cove which was pretty cool. It was a little cloudy so the water didn't look as cool as it sometimes does but it was still a really nice walk. That night we camped on the northern part of the peninsula before coming back to Albany.

Cathedral Cove
This week will consist mostly of studying since I have a final tomorrow (Tuesday) and on Saturday. Thursday I am going to the New Zealand Music Awards though so that should be fun! Also, we had a Halloween party on Saturday. Not nearly on the same level as SMC's Halloweekend but still fun. I think we are going into town on the actual Halloween.

P.S. I updated the music page. Also I hope everyone stays safe during the storm!


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