Last Updated on June 21, 2019 by Chris MacDonald
The first few weeks in Wellington have been unreal. Upon arriving, we had a whole week to orient ourselves, and do some adventuring before classes started the following week. The first couple of days were relaxed, filled with tours, and getting settled into the city.
Mid-way through the first week, my friends decided to take a spontaneous three-day road trip. Everyone was scrambling to get their things ready, figure out how to get to the airport and get a rental car. Feeling inspired, three of my friends and I decided we should meet up that night and go on our own trip so we wouldn’t be so rushed. So we did just that; we planned out a 4-day road trip around the North Island.
Thursday morning, we picked up a rental car, packed it up and headed out to Lake Taupo. We drove all the way up to Hukka falls which is at the northern end of the lake near the town of Taupo. We roamed around Taupo for most of the day then headed back to the southern end of the Lake to Tongariro National Park, where we got some food and stayed at our first hostel.
Friday morning, we got up to catch a bus to the head of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; a 19.4 km hike past Mount Tongariro (Mount Doom) and around the Emerald Lakes.
After the hike, the bus picked us up again and brought us back to the hostel where we grabbed some food. With little time to spare, we hit the road again to head to our next hostel. When we got there we decided to cram all of our activities into Saturday rather than extend it through Sunday to save some money.
Saturday morning we headed to the famous Glow Worm Caves for a quick tour, then proceeded to drive Mount Taranaki, on the western coast of the North Island, for a short hike to Dawson Falls. I definitely want to head back up there and summit Mount Taranaki in the future!
This post was contributed by Christopher MacDonald, who is studying abroad with AIFS in Wellington, New Zealand.