Student Directed Travel: South Island, New Zealand

Kia Ora everyone!

This week us Walkabout students were in full control. It was student directed travel! With the budget that we were given, we were able to pick the places we went, the activities we did, the food we ate, and the hostels we stayed in. We started off the week by taking a ferry from the North Island to Picton on the South Island. From there, we hopped in our rental cars and made our way to Kaikoura. During our stay in Kaikoura, some of us spent the time exploring the town while others took the seven hour trek up the famous Mount Fyffe. Us who climbed up Mount Fyffe experienced incredible views and a strong sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit. The next day, we got back in the vehicles and drove two hours through beautiful forests and windy roads to Hanmer Springs. Our stay in Hanmer Springs consisted of walking around the small mountain town, eating some yummy food, and spending the afternoon at the natural thermal pools. The following day we made our way north to the town of Nelson but after a slight mishap with our rental van, we found ourselves safely on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck to take us to the nearest town, which happened to be Kaikoura. We found ourselves back in the town with beautiful snow covered mountains and the vast Pacific teeming with whales and seals and penguins, so it was a blessing in disguise. By the next day, the van was fixed and we were able to make our way to the Marlborough Sounds. Our first day in the Sounds was spent taking a short hike along the waterfront and planning for the big day ahead. We headed down to Blenheim for a bike ride along the river and through the countryside. In honor of Thanksgiving, that evening we had a feast at a local restaurant which wrapped up an eventful week of student directed travel. I feel I am speaking for everyone when I say we are feeling nostalgic that our final week together has come. It has been an amazing journey and we are looking forward to our final adventure at Whenua Iti next week! We can’t wait to see you all soon!

All the best,

Emmaline Beall