New Zealand: Beauty at Its Finest

Submitted by Mia DeRicco on the 2020 winter session study abroad program in Australia and New Zealand sponsored by the Department of Hospitality Business Management…

New Zealand’s rolling hills and bright blue water captivated my eyes at first sight, and I soon fell in love with this country. In the North Island, Akaroa was one of the first stops yet it left one of the most lasting impressions for me as I continued traveling down towards the South Island. The first stop in the Akaroa Village was an Akaroa Farm Tour where I witnessed the shearing of a lamb along with sheep dogs mustering the mob of sheep and disciplining the stragglers up and down the hill. It amazed me how well the sheep dogs were trained that at the sound of varying whistles they did certain commands without hesitation in order to get the job done of herding the sheep for their masters. After this tour, we finished our day off with a dolphin tour on a private cruise charter. This was my first full day in New Zealand, so the views left me in awe ranging from the crystal, bright blue waters to the mountains and caves along the water that added so much character. It was an awesome experience to see the smallest dolphins in the world. They were smaller than I thought they would be and they all traveled in groups.

A five mile hike through the Abel Tasman National Park was my favorite day in New Zealand. The sights from the top of the trails throughout the walk were breathtaking. As I walked throughout the trail, I could hear a pin drop. The quietness was so calming. Here and there, I would here birds chirping or tree branches flowing in the wind. I could hear myself breathe it was so quiet. At the end of the trail, we arrived at a beautiful private beach for a swim and a delicious lunch. I am a huge beach person, so this day couldn’t have ended any better for me! The water stretched out all the way to a little island of land that you could get to by simply swimming. The tide went down and a sand bar formed up to the island where we could walk to it later in the afternoon. As I stood in the water and turned in a circle, the 360 degree views got better and better at each turn. The vast blue water extended for miles, the golden sand beach was only filled with my group, and the bright blue sky extended above me. I will always remember this day.

Abel Tasman National Park Trail
Tiniest Dolphins in the World on the Dolphin Tour in Akaroa
Beach after the completion of the five mile walk