Thursday, December 31, 2009
I found the interaction between Cook and the Maori
very interesting. While there was some bloodshed, the
encounter was relatively peaceful compared to others. Cook did
not understand the Maori completely, but he recorded his
observations and eventually came to respect their culture.
When the Maori and Cooks men were exchanging insults, both
parties seem to have come to an understanding even though it
may not have been the most functional or peaceful.
I also thought it was surprising that there is still
conflict between the Maori and the Pakeha; I thought that most
of the conflicts had been resolved after the treaty Waitangi
was signed. It turns out that there is still tension in
between the Maori and the Pakeha especially when examining the
history of New Zealand. Different individuals see Cook
differently as either a hero or villain.
While in New Zealand, I am looking forward to seeing
the Maori culture first hand and trying to find out how it has
changed over time. The Pakeha culture has influenced the Maori
culture and the Maori culture has influenced the Pakeha
culture. I would like to see these two cultures interact.
I also look forward to taking pictures of some of the
landscape that we will see throughout the trip, especially
night landscapes of the cities we stay in, and the sky from
the southern hemisphere. I am excited to learn about the
geology New Zealand and the different marine organisms that
inhabit the beaches we will study.
One of the most intriguing things I learned from Blue Latitudes is that there is a fairly deep divide between the Maori and Pakeha perceptions of Captain Cook and his impact on New Zealand's history. I think that to a lot of Westerners, it's just a given that Captain Cook sailed around the world and discovered new places, but, much like how people may take for granted the effects of European explorers and colonists on the natives of the Americas, no one really thinks about how much Cook changed the history of the lands he encountered. In the way Horwitz describes it, the Pakeha of New Zealand, at least up until the late 1900s, seemed to share this western tunnel vision. I also found it interesting that the Maori took inspiration from such civil rights figures as Martin Luther King Jr. in their own struggle for legal recognition and their efforts to broaden the history and culture of New Zealand to include the Maori perspective. I also find it interesting that this cultural "renaissance" is similar in many ways to the reorganization of Native American heritage in American history in the last century. Perhaps only fifty years ago, if you were to visit New Zealand as a casual tourist, you may not have even known of the Maori's existence before you arrived – and even then you still may never have encountered any public acknowledgement in New Zealand society. Nowadays, though, the Maori are included as a distinct part of New Zealand's heritage and are even a selling point for tourism, as shown on New Zealand's tourism guide (http://www.tourism.net.nz/new-zealand/about-new-zealand/maori-culture.html). When thinking about New Zealand as an ideal paradise, especially from a naturalist point of view, it's easy to forget that there are internal human struggles as there are in every other country.
I also was surprised to learn that Cook was a collected man, not the "shoot first, ask questions later" type that the stereotype of early European explorer tends to provide. He gave the Maori the benefit of the doubt, and even defended their virtue against his own men. This isn't to say there was no bloodshed, even from him, but altogether the first meeting between Cook and the Maori seemed, to me, to be one of exploration history's more civil meetings.
I have always been fascinated by the similarities, differences, perceptions of, and cultures of people from other areas of the globe. I am very excited to have the chance to meet kiwis who I hope will share their own culture with me, and also give me their viewpoints and opinions on mine. I am excited to see what the cultural settings of the various places we will be visiting are. I can't wait for the marae stay, but I also look forward to the bigger cities and being able to assess the differences and similarities in urban life between New Zealand and the United States.
I also am excited to explore the natural settings of New Zealand. I already know how breathtaking the land is, which compared to the East Coast of the United States where I am from, is relatively pristine. I am very interested in exploring the biological differences between the Pacific Ocean, which I have only set foot in once before, and the Atlantic Ocean, which I have lived around all my life. Ever since I was in grade school I have always been fascinated by volcanoes, so the chance to explore and learn about islands formed by them is very exciting. In short. . . I can't wait!
It's never a surprise that historical accounts of European exploration are filled
with bias and reflect the personal agendas of those telling the story. Looking
back, I am displeased by how I was taught to portray Columbus as an honest
and good person, who gave Christianity to the savage natives. How misinformed
we all were of the mass genocide that occurred upon Columbus' arrival. While
reading about Cook's journey around New Zealand, I anticipated learning of the
same harsh realities that are associated with European exploration of a new
land. However, I was surprised to find that the author talked about Cook as
being a decent man. I began to trust the author's words, that Cook did his best
to be good to the Maori people; however, as he started retelling the Maori
perspective of Cook's arrival, I began to question the author's perspective. After
hearing all sides of the story, I am certain that each one holds a bit of truth,
masked by a lot of biased opinion. Of course the Pakeha regard Cook as an
active contributor to the greatness that New Zealand is today. The Maori, on the
other hand only see that Cook took from them their land and their dignity.
The reading was interesting in that it gave a good, overall account of Cook's
exploration, including both modern and historical aspects of New Zealand's
cultural perspectives and personal opinions of Cook himself. The most amusing
thing I learned was the presence of the Crook Cook; it made me realize that
historical landmarks are insignificant if that true connection with your ancestry
does not exist.
My personal objective for this program is to be a traveler, not a tourist. I want to
learn about New Zealand through personal experiences with the culture and the
landscape. I don't want to look at New Zealand through the eyes of an
indifferent tourist, who sees no further than the superficial "sights" and
landmarks. I want to go deeper, to explore the sounds, the smells and the
overall "feel" of the environment around me. I want to explore New Zealand and
appreciate the beauty of its topography, shaped by environmental and cultural
Studying and learning about the geology and the biology of New Zealand's
landscape will help me achieve my objective for this program. It will force me to
think of this as more than just a vacation; it will enable me to truly understand
how invaluable this trip really is.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
1. The Horwitz reading was very interesting. I did not know much about the Europeans expedition to New Zealand or any of the interactions between the Europeans and the Maori. Cook seemed to understand the Maori quite well from the observations he had written down. I enjoyed reading about the way Cook viewed the Maori. He seemed to respect their ways more than most European expeditions that encountered a new land and new people. Some of the reading even compared Cook's explorations to the explorations in the Americas, which I thought was very interesting. The Maori gang the narrator visited was surprisingly not as vicious as you would think. They seemed to have a good sense of their history and wanted to stand up for their way of life. Despite this, one of the gang members when speaking of Cook did admit he was happy with the warm water that Cook and the European technology brought to the island.
The Maori were did not know what to make of Cook's ship initially. Obviously, they had never seen anything like this before. Someone called them goblins that could see from the back of their heads when they were paddling backwards in the canoes. That was somewhat funny. Also, the fact that the Maori were confused that this ship had no women and children and offered boys to the Europeans because they thought they were homosexuals was surprising, but makes sense since they did not know the home land the ship came from. They offered them boys and the Europeans thought they were making fun of them. It was interesting to see some of the specific interactions like this between the groups when they first met.
2. There are many different cultural things going on in New Zealand. The Maori and Pakeha are two diverse groups, but have been connected through many years of living in the same place. It will be cool to try and see the differences or similarities between them and how they interact with each other. Meeting people of different cultures is always interesting and can broaden the way you think about certain things.
Much of the reading of Cook's adventures was about the different places they sailed to around New Zealand. It will be cool to see these places first hand especially since so much is known about what happened at all the different sites. I know New Zealand is a beautiful place and when you combine that with the history of the country at different sites, it will make learning the land even more interesting. Also, discovering ways the Maori and native people used the land to live in a place so different than anywhere else in the world will show some great incite to life in New Zealand.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
In reading the Horwitz chapter on Cook's travels in New Zealand, I was most surprised at the past and present friction between the
Maori and Pakeha; I had been under the impression that the two cultures had meshed peacefully, especially after the original treaty. I
was also somewhat surprised at the amount of bloodshed that occurred during Cook's visit to the islands, though perhaps it was
relatively peaceful compared to first encounters with exploring Europeans in other areas of the world.
I found it interesting that the term Maori is believed to have come into use after Cook's arrival, and can be translated to mean "normal"
people. The attitude and names the Maori had for the natural features of the land was also interesting, especially when compared to the
reactions of the Europeans, as highlighted by their name for the naturally circular hole in a rock outcrop that had fascinated Cook and
his crew. I was also amused by the Maori's misunderstanding of the reason for the lack of women and children on the Endeavour, and
the resulting assumption that the explorers were homosexual. I was surprised to learn that Cook's surveys of the islands were accurate
enough that they were used up until 1994.
While in New Zealand I am looking forward to seeing how the Maori and European cultures have combined; after reading this chapter I
will be sure to keep an eye out for differences or conflicts of ideas between the two groups of people. I am also curious to see and taste
the foods eaten in New Zealand.
I will probably find myself taking pictures of almost everything we see, but if I could only chose one subject to take photos of I think it
would be the native birds. I hope to learn as much as possible about the biology and geology of the country, and also look forward to
seeing the southern night sky.
Part I: I think the most interesting part of the chapter was the interactions between Cook and the Maori citizens of New Zealand. Clearly Cook wanted to show his superiority to the members of the island, and he did that by using his gun. I thought it was very interesting how the Maori people referred to Cook's guns as their "walking stick." It must have been so confusing never seeing a gun before and then see a man shot dead. It was understandable that the Maori believed that Cook and his men practiced black magic because at this point it would have been the clearly logical response.
I think I was most surprised by Cook's reactions to the Maori people when he arrived. I could understand being intimidated, but overall the Maori seemed calm enough to not attack the visitors, but during his first arrival he immediately shot a person. I know Cook wanted to show that his weapons were more powerful than the Maori's but I still think it was uncalled for. Things were much different back then. I also thought the statue of Cook that was very unrealistic was interesting. The fact that it had been vandalized showed that there was still some bad blood towards Cook.
Overall I think the fact that the Maori culture was not completely overshadowed once the English arrived is very important. The Maori culture is still a very powerful one in New Zealand, but if you compare it to something like the United States, a lot of the original culture of the first settlers is lost.
Part 2: I think on my personal journey to New Zealand, I'd like to be very open to the cultural differences. I think it will be quite an experience to live among people who live differently than I do. I'm excited to take notice to the differences between the cultures and learn from it. Things there will be very different and I am ready for that. Change is always good.
I'm interested in learning about the Maori culture and history. I think understanding this would help me understand their culture and their way of life. I am interested in the classes we are taking in New Zealand, but I think learning about the culture of New Zealand will make a huge difference in my trip. Knowing that I'll be learning everything outside of a classroom is what excites me most about this journey.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Horwitz's chapter in Blue Latitudes about Cook's arrival in New Zealand was
really interesting to read. In all of my social studies and history classes
throughout my life, I have learned about many explorers and their conquests
around the world. I learned about Cook and his discoveries many times, but I
never learned about his discovery of New Zealand in as much detail as this
chapter provided. I found it so interesting because Cook encountered a land so
far away from his homeland, with different people, plants, animals, and food
which is similar to what we will be experiencing in our trip to New Zealand. The
differences in culture between the Maori and the European explorers, which was
at that time as different as the two cultures would ever be, was fascinating
because one can only imagine how hard it was for both groups of people to
understand and attempt to communicate with the other.
I found it particularly interesting when Horwitz described Cook's adventures
into this new land and then brought the reader back to the present and related
his own adventures while visiting New Zealand. By switching between the past
and the present and tying them together through statues, locations and his tour
guides, it really allowed me to get an idea of how European exploration has
affected this part of the world. It seems as though the Europeans brought
violence, weapons and disease to New Zealand, while the Europeans think they
"saved" the Maori by bringing them medicine, modern conveniences and
religion. The statues of Cook that stand in New Zealand don't seem to be
appreciated by Maori people who make a point to state that Polynesian sailors
were the first to discover New Zealand, not Cook and his men.
The part of the chapter when Horwitz spent time with Anne, the Maori tour
guide, was the most interesting for me. I think it was really cool to read about
how the Maori interact with each other today. I think the hongi, or the Maori
nose-pressing greeting, was fascinating. I can't imagine Americans greeting
each other in such an intimate way. The women in the tribal office were very
outspoken in their dislike of Cook and the changes European arrival brought to
the country. The Maori are described as strong, brave people who are so proud
of their culture and their country. It is sad to read about how much they dislike
the European explorer and how they feel as though the story of Cook's arrival
has been sugarcoated to make him seem like a hero. Even the Mongrel Mob
tattooed their faces and bodies and sailed in traditional canoes to channel their
ancestors and honor their history. Bill, a member of the Mob, stated that every
country has its traditions and that theirs is a warrior tradition which I thought
was interesting because that is exactly how I pictured them in the stories of
Cook's first encounters. Their tattooed faces and intimidating dances prove how
different they were from the Europeans who arrived there with fancy clothing,
pale faces, guns and large ships which the Maori had never seen before.
During my time in New Zealand, I hope to learn as much as possible about
the country and its history. I want to learn about the Maori people who, like the
American Indians, lost much of their land and traditions throughout the course
of time due to modern technology and European influence. I want to explore the
culture of these people and experience what it is like to live in a country on the
opposite side of the world from where I have lived my entire life. I didn't know
much about the history of New Zealand before reading this chapter by Horwitz,
but I am extremely interested in learning more about the country by actually
immersing myself in New Zealanders' way of life.
I want to see the places and scenery like the ones described in the reading.
I hope I can get a lot of great pictures to record what I have experienced and
bring it home with me at the end of our trip. I also want to do things and try to
live as much like the people do in New Zealand in order to make the most of my
experience there. Rather than stick to what I am used to, I want to try new
things such as food and leisure activities and be completely open to a different
culture. By doing so, I hope that my perception of the world will be expanded
and that I can share my stories with my friends and family at home.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
After reading Cook's adventures and explorations I found the fact that New Zealand is the world's last land to be settled and that when Cook first came upon New Zealand noone had visited the island for six centuries or more the most interesting fact in the chapter.
What I found most surprising was that there was such civil unrest in New Zealand. I was not aware that the civil rights movement did not occur until the 1970s. To quote the chapter, "…when I was a child, the attitude, even amoung Maori, was that everything from our own culture was bad and everything Pakeha was good."
I am most looking forward to having the pleasure of visiting the new and unspoiled country of New Zealand. After reading of Cook's adventures and tales of New Zealand I am most excited to travel through the island and visit many of the places detailed by Cook. Not many will have the pleasure of visiting the world's newest colonized landmass and I look forward to viewing all the wonders New Zealand has to offer.
I am also really interested in marine studies and am really excited to see so many different types of beaches and geologic structures that can only be found in New Zealand. I hope to have the privilege of discovering all the different marine organisms and beaches that New Zealand has to offer. I am looking forward to taking lots of pictures and creating a beautiful photo journal of this majestic country.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
After reading the Horwitz chapter on Captain Cook and New Zealand, it was the tensions between the Maori and the Pakeha culture that interested me most. This reading highlighted the cultural clashes and misunderstandings of the early days of Cook, and reflected the cultural tensions that have been carried into the modern culture. Before reading this chapter, I thought that the Maori and the European cultures had gotten along amicably and that there was a strong Maori presence in New Zealand, since I had often heard of the native culture of the country. I am glad that I learned more about the situation of the Maori before going into the country with my previous misconceptions influencing my interpretations for what I experience in New Zealand.
While reading the chapter, the descriptions of the cultural misunderstandings and the misinterpreted events were amusing. The idea that the Pakeha were omnivorous and that they everything they owned was edible was falsely interpreted by the Maori, and therefore they were eating the candle sticks and drinking the oil for the lamps. I find the cultural misunderstandings comical, but it was also enlightening to hear the theory that the Maori culture ate the lipid rich oils (and that they were cannibalistic) to make up for the fact that their diets lacked fats commonly obtained through eating large land mammals. I think it is fascinating how cultures, customs, and foods develop in conjunction with the geographic area and the biological needs of the people.
For me, my personal exploration objectives are to try to experience and learn as much as I can about New Zealand while I am there as I can. I feel that I am sometimes intimidated by the prospect of talking to the locals and learning firsthand about the county. After traveling before, I know that it is the personal conversations and experiences that I have remembered and that have affected my opinions and interpretations of the country. Therefore, I will tackle the unknown and try to take the initiative to go out, explore, and learn as much as I can while immersed in the country. With these sorts of experiences, the trip will hold a greater value for me than just a month "winter session." I would like to break out of my personal comfort zone with "strangers" and get to better know the country, its history, and the psyche of the people.
As far as academic exploration and discovery, I would like to come out of this study abroad with a better knowledge of how to look and explore an area and then be able to formulate an accurate analysis of and interpretation of the area with a certain degree of certainty and confidence. In addition, I hope to be able to apply concepts I have previously learned in my other college courses to what I am seeing and what I am learning about while abroad. I think that this study abroad will offer a wide variety of experiences, both academic and more personal, and that this will be a great month of learning!
After reading the chapter about Cook's exploration of New Zealand, I was very surprised by the reaction of the Maori people regarding the way that history is portrayed by the Pakeha. I feel that this is a story that is not commonly told when you read about the history of New Zealand. This reading did an excellent job of conveying history from both the Maori people and the Pakeha people. It describes the struggles that each group have faced related to the portrayal of their people in history. It is interesting how it seems that most people in New Zealand have ancestry with both groups of people but they usually are more in touch with one group.
I found it most interesting that the Maori people had a craving for meat due to the lack of mammals that are native to the island, and because of this Maori people ate items such as candles and oil from the ships. Its seems very intriguing to me that the only native land mammals of New Zealand are bats and the Maori people believed they foretold death and disaster. The idea that the native people ate items high in fat because of their craving for lipids is fascinating and may relate to why they were thought to be cannibals.
I am looking forward to learning about the native flora and fauna of New Zealand. The birds of the island are especially interesting to me since they have such an array of birds. I would like to see flightless birds and the many sea birds that surround the island. Learning about the uses of native flora and fauna throughout the islands history is something that I would really like to learn about. I have made it a goal of mine to photograph all of the wildlife that I encounter on the trip.
While on this trip I would also like to learn everything possible about another culture. Since this will be my first time leaving the country, I want to indulge myself in a culture other than my own. I want to try every type of food, sport, tradition etc. that I possibly can. Being away from home will be an eye-opening experience and I want to enjoy every minute of it. I am interested in learning the language and talking to the native people about their way of life and emerging myself in a culture unlike my own.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
The Atea-1, named after the Maori word for space, launched in front of about 50 people."
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
New Zealand was one of the last land masses to be settled by humans, and so before then the plants and animals evolved on their own with complete isolation. In 1997 however, the decline of the diverse species of fauna and flora started to become an issue. Luckily, the Marlborough district (encompassing Havelock) is very involved with legislation in managing the road, river and recreation to prevent the further decline of the ecological world.
Marlborough also started the modern wine industry of New Zealand. Encompassing 62% of the total vineyard of the country, Marlborough started producing wine in 1970. Sauvignon Blanc is the most abundant wine produced. A wine critic said "no other region in the world can match Marlborough, the northeastern corner of New Zealand's South Island, which seems to be the best place in the world to grow Sauvignon blanc grapes." Some pictures of such vineyards can be seen http://www.infonews.co.nz/photos/600-Patriarch%20bought%20by%20international%20owners.jpg
Paihia is a main tourist attraction in the Bay of Islands. Located on the north island, Haruru Falls is located right near Paihia and is like a smaller Niagra Falls in the similar shape of a horseshoe. The word "Haruru" literally means "loud noise". There is a large mangrove that leads into the falls paved by a boardwalk. There used to be many Maori villages located around the waterfall and many of the people thought that there was a water monster located in the pool beneath the fall. http://www.hickerphoto.com/data/media/152/paihia-haruru-falls_18541.jpg
The Te Tii bay of northern Paihia is a popular tourist area for swimming and fishing. Not far off is the famous Waitangi Treaty grounds where the British signed the treaty document for the founding of the area. The Treaty Grounds are a host to extensive gardens which are called the "Garden of National Significance". The garden surrounding the Waitangi Treaty House is supposedly the home of the first rose planted in New Zealand. Here is a picture of the day of the Treaty, http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/files/images/stories/waitangi/waitangi-005.jpg
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Univ of Delaware
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
October 17, 2009 2:42 PM
Sunday, October 18, 2009
pasted right into the email... hopefully next time I won't make such an airheaded
move! ... it looks like the pictures didn't come out?
Cathedral Cove is located in Whitianga at Coromandel Peninsula. It is only
accessible by foot or boat and is a famous marine reserve that includes
Gemstone and Stingray Bays, established in 1992. It is considered a must see
tourist attraction and gets about 150,000 visitors per year! There are many
outlying islands, providing a great area for swimming boating and fishing!
Traveling under the arch is forbidden due to falling rocks. The white cliffs here
are composed of ignimbrite about 8 million years old from a large and explosive
volcanic eruption! Additionally there are reefs of hard rock along with softer
sediment. Underwater caves and arches provide the perfect home for many of
New Zealand's critters including plants, crustacean, and fish.
The arch was used in the movie the Chronicles of Narnia as the passage by
which the children first enter into Narnia. The beach here is sandy with
pohutukawa trees which provide perfect amounts of shade. Also, just off this
beach there is a large rock consisting of pumice and breccia, which has been
eroded by both wind and water, many say it looks like a ship coming toward the
Kaikoura is located on the east coast of the south island of New Zealand.
The upwelling currents offshore of Kaikoura bring a plethora of marine life to
the area. The area is well know for its aquatic life, including whales, dolphins,
and seals. Additionally the crayfish is very popular and plays a decent role still
in the economy of the area. Also, Kaikoura is known for its excellent bird
watching areas including the albatross, a famous bird.
Geologically the Kaikoura Peninsula was formed underneath the sea about
60 million years ago and is composed of siltstone and limestone. It has only
been uncovered by the ocean for about 180,000 years, originally its own island;
however debris eroding off the Kaikoura Mountains created a bridge between
the two. The rapid uplift and relentless sea have transformed the once almost
flat layered limestone into strange and unusual shapes. Just offshore there is a
deep underwater canyon known as the Hikurangi Trench, which reaches down to
3000 meters and forms part of the Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
October 14, 2009 3:46 PM
botanical gardens, is located on the east coast of South Island and has a strong
English feel to it. It was originally established in 1850 by four ships of pilgrims
from England with the intention of making it a utopia with the perfect blend of
(Anglican) church and state, but the hardships of colonial life derailed the
idealistic beginnings of the city.
The city today has been called "more English than England," and does its
best to draw in tourists. Attractions include the Cathedral Square, home to a
Church of England cathedral, punting on the River Avon, and the Botanic
Gardens in Hagley Park.
Tairua is located on the Coromandel Peninsula, just north of the Bay of
Plenty on the east coast of the North Island. The 584 foot tall volcanic Mount
Paku stands over Tairua, offering a view of nearby islands from its summit.
Tairua Harbor sits at the mouth of the Tairua River and is subject to shifting
sandbars impeding water traffic. This is an estuarine environment that can be
subdivided into "saltmarsh, mangrove, seagrass, and weed communities."
(http://www.ew.govt.nz/PageFiles/11059/TR0852.pdf) The area also appears
to be a vacation spot for New Zealanders.
In my day-to-day internet travels I also came across these articles, unrelated to
I personally found the BBC link extremely amusing :)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND
Wellington's Maori name is Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, which means 'the head of Maui's fish'. The Maori say thatNew Zealand's North Island is a fish that was caught by Maui, the Polynesian navigator. Many Maori still inhabit Wellington today.
11.1% of New Zealand's population lives in the Wellinton region. Wellington is New Zealand's capital city and it is also where the seat of parliament is located. Wellington is also the home of Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor (LOTR) as well as Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords). The indie film, Eagle vs. Shark was filmed predominantly in Wellington.
The peninsula of Wellington lies on a massive fault line, called the Wellington fault. Wellington lies on top of the Australian plate, which sits over the subducted Pacific plate. The boundary between these plates lies about 25-
30km directly below Wellington. The plates move against each other at a rate of 3.5cm a year. The last major earthquake that occurred in Wellington was about 200 to 450 years ago and an earthquake is expected to occur every 500 to 1000 years. Wellington also lies above the Ohairiu Fault and the Wairarapa Fault, which last erupted in 1855.
PICTON, NEW ZEALAND
Sources: http://www.picton.co.nz/ http://www.newzealandnz.co.nz/picton/
The town of Picton is a busy port town located near the north east corner of the South Island, at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound. It is a major exporting hub in New Zealand Many go to Queen Charlotte sound to catch a ferry to Wellington, to go fishing, kayaking, and hiking.
One of the many historical sites in Picton includes Ship Cove, a place Captain Cook had visited numerous times while exploring New Zealand. He also visited Motuara Island, which is also where he claimed British sovereignty in 1770. The island is now a bird sanctuary and a place to watch seals, dolphins, and penguins.
There are many interesting aspects of Rotorua that are unique to New Zealand and to Rotorua itself. Rotorua is an active volcano zone with many other intriguing qualities like the Maori culture; geothermal earth forces and 16 separate lakes! There are also tons of mud pools and exciting geysers locate in Rotorua. The thermal activity from the active volcano is what gives Rotorua its "famous sulfur smell." Kurai park is located within Rotorua and has mud pools, craters and "sulphur vents."
The actual volcano is Mt. Tarawera, which is not technically located in Rotorua but which is actually 25 miles southeast. Mt. Tarawera is actually a dormant volcano and visitors can fly to visit it from Rotorua. The beginning of the thermal activity began in Lake Rotorua, which used to actually be a violent active volcano. After the molten magma chamber that lay within the volcano collapsed, the chamber filled with water leaving a large lake. There are other thermal areas located in Rotorua as well including Whakarewarewa, Waimangu Valley, Wai-o-Tapu and Hell's Gate. A famed geyser, the Pohutu geyser, located in the Whakarewarewa thermal area, actually erupts multiple times during the day.
The Maori culture is also a very interesting aspect of Rotorua's history. These indigenous people actually contain over a third of Rotorua's population. Rotorua also contains a beautiful redwood forest. Christened "under the sails" people can go to visit this peaceful alcove and see some extremely old wildlife within the Redwoods.
ARTICLE ABOUT WAIKATO
TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK
Tongariro national park, like Rotorua, is also a place rich with Maori culture and also volcanic history. This national park is located on the North Island near the towns of Turangi and Ohakune. This national park has 3 volcanoes named Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and Ruapehu, which exist at the heart of the park. The volcanic activity is active and the volcanoes are 2 million years old. Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu are 2 of the most active volcanoes in the world including the eruptions in 1995 and 1996.
This national park is rich in contrasting land. There are "chaotic, barren lava flows, winter snowfields, hot springs and active craters" which all exist in the same place. There are many varying plants within the park including "alpine herbs to thick swathes of tussocks and flax, from the hardy, low-growing shrubs of the Rangipo gravel-field to dense beech forests," and these plants flourish although the park is a harsh environment for plants.
Many interesting animals also thrive in the park including the only mammals in New Zealand, the short and long tailed bats. There are also a large variety of birds including north Island robins, fantails, parakeets and even a kereru.Tongariro national park was the first national park in New Zealand, founded in 1887. It is a very beautiful and exotic place to visit with a lot of interesting different biological and cultural phenomenon including the volcanoes and the essence of the Maori culture.
Wellington is one of the largest cities in New Zealand, and also the capital of the country located along the southern tip of the north island. The city is between Lambton Harbor to the east and a large mountain range to its west. In this mountain range lies an active fault line, which causes a number of earthquakes in the area. The city lies on land with various elevations and gets lower towards the bay. Various types of animals inhabit the area around Wellington, including wild goats that graze in the mountains and deer are often seen. Seal's are found along the coasts next to the mountains throughout the entire year. Along the coast there can be many different geological features found, having red rocks, many caves, and steep drops off high cliffs.
The population of the city is around 180,000, while the entire urban area of Wellington contains a population close to 450,000 people. It is a relatively diverse city, many Europeans, but many other races including the native inhabitants called the Maori. The climate is very temperate with little change in temperature throughout the year. The temperature averages in the summer range from 56-69 F, and during the winter from 52-7 F. The city is known for having a wide selection of very good restaurants and a good schooling system. There are many great views of the city and its surrounding landscape all over. Below are some pictures I found to be very interesting.
Cathedral Cove is an interesting place with a very serene landscape. This area has a very low population and contains a small residential area with houses and different attractions related to the cove it's self; Such as kayaking and snorkeling. The area is right along the coast of the northern part of the north island. Nearly 150,000 people a year come visit this beautiful terrain. It is a tough journey along the steep cliffs and rocky paths to see the best things. One of the most incredible geological areas is right on the beach where a cavern goes under a great amount rock and can walk under to both sides. From this "tunnel" you can see an interesting geological happening of large rock that sticks out of the water.
The colors of the rocks in the area are predominately an off white color with vegetation growing everywhere. The water is a very clear blue with many different fish species along the coast. Macadamias are grown in the area and are well known to be very good. Millions of years of weathering in pressure have shaped this landscape along this coast into the amazing sight it is to see. Below are some pictures that caught my eye and hopefully I come back with some of my own.
Ninety Mile Beach
Ninety Mile Beach is on the west coast of the Aupouri Peninsula in New Zealand
stretching from Ahipara to Scott Plain. The sand on Ninety Mile Beach is made
up of quartz with little silt and clay. Because of south-westerly swells during
storms, there is an overall deposition of sand instead of erosion which forms
dunes that sit off the coast. Along the beach there is also a low rocky area
called the Bluff. A past time of the people that live near Ninety Mile Beach is
off-roading. Because the beach is flat and the sand is packed people drive their
cars around for fun.
Species diversity is low compared to other areas of New Zealand but there
are many crustaceans and mollusks. Tautua, a shellfish, has been exploited
over the years and the harvesting of it is illegal. This shellfish along with
toheroa are found in the low inter-tidal zone. Ninety Mile Beach is popular
among birds and lizards and is also a winter grounds for fur seals.
This video shows the flat beach and the dunes.:
The Bluff: http://davidwallphoto.com/images/%7BB7190086-CFBA-460D-
Mount Maunganui is a town in The Bay Of plenty, New Zealand. It is also the
name of a large dome created by upwelling that was filled with rhyolite lava a
few million years ago, now known as Mauao, it's official Maori name. Mauao is
very important and sacred to the Maori people and is featured extensively in
The highest point on Mauao is 232 meters adove sea level. You can climb this
dormant volcano, though difficult it is very rewarding because the view is
fantastic. There are also geothermal springs at the bottom of the mountain that
creates a multitude of hot pools.
Christchurch and White Island
My two places to research were Christchurch and White Island. Christchurch presented some difficulty when trying to find out more about its geology and biology because it is a small to medium-sized, highly developed, urban center. However, due its location on the South Island, Christchurch is an ideal launching pad for many excursions to discover the fascinating geology and coastal biology of New Zealand. Christchurch's website, http://www.christchurchnz.com/, offers links to an overwhelming amount tours, hikes, cycling excursions, and nature walks that all leave from the centrally located "Garden City" and take you into the heart of the South Island.
For example, from Christchurch you could take a coach bus to Tasman Valley, followed by a guided half hour tour through a moraine which brings you to Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. At the lake, you board a small boat that brings you around to observe the awesome power of glaciers and how they are ever changing the landscape. http://www.infboats.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/tasman_glacier_-_inflatable_boat.jpg
White Island, as opposed to Christchurch, is in itself a terrific place to experience first hand the explosive creation of New Zealand. Located 48 kilometers off the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand's North Island, White Island is New Zealand's only active marine volcano and readily accessible to tourists. A trip to White Island offers amazing exposure to both the geology and the biology of New Zealand. On a boat trip out to the island, you will encounter diverse bird life as well as inquisitive dolphins alongside the boat. The website dedicated to White Island offers webcam screenshots of the volcano updated daily. http://www.wi.co.nz/ The volocano is dated to be somewhere between 100,000 to 200,000 years old but in some areas it is only 16,000 years young.
A walking tour of White Island is said to be an exhilarating experience for all of your senses. At first, you will notice a barren moonscape, void of vegetation. The only color is the bright yellow sulfur deposits. Then you will hear the hissing of steam all around you, evidence that the volcano is by no means dormant. You will also be able to detect the strong odor of sulfur as it emits through the vents below your feet. http://www.whiteisland.co.nz/white_island.html
Tairua is located on the North island of New Zealand, along the eastern coast.
Tairua is located on a part of the north island known as the Coromandel peninsula. Geologically speaking, this area is composed of Miocene and younger volcanics, including andesites and rhyolites. The beach at Tairua contains examples of rhyolite on the rocks and the beach pebbles. The Coromandel peninsula has been popular as a collector's site because it is home to gold and silver ores and crystals. They can still be found at old mine dumps, but it is rare.
Tairua is known as a tourist spot because of its coastal location. People flock here for the beaches, surfing, fishing, kayaking, and scuba diving. Many of these activities can be done through a popular business called Tairua Dive and Fishinn.
Tairua also has some other small attractions such as the Manaia Gallery, which features unique art and gifts, and the Manaia Café and bar located next door. Art is popular in the area, but Tairua is mostly known for the outdoor and water sports.
Location- Rotorua is also located on the North Island of New Zealand, but south and inland of Tairua.
Rotorua is a famous tourist attraction because of the geothermal activity. It is sometimes referred to as the "Sulfur City" because of the smell produced. There are many interesting sites including mud pools, geysers, and hot springs. Rotorua has earned the name "Cureland" due to the health benefits of these hot springs. Popular hot springs include the Hells Gate Thermal Reserve, Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, and the Polynesian Spa.
The Rotorua Lakes are a very important part of the area. Unfortunately, most of them are threatened due to an increase in nutrient input in the lakes. This causes many of the lakes, like Okaro and Rotorua, to be subject to large algal blooms. These algal blooms can be a health hazard and show that the lakes are in a poor ecological condition.
There are also a few museums located in Rotorua. One museum that looked interesting is the Caterpillar Experience. This museum dedicated to the Caterpillar machines and tractors that helped shaped the landscape and development of New Zealand. For more Rotorua-specific history, the Rotorua Museum is also located in the city.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Located on the North Island overlooking the Bay of Islands is the Waitangi National Trust and Treaty Grounds, where on February 6, 1840 the several Maori chiefs and British Representatives met and signed the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi), which established British sovereignty over New Zealand. A British governor was appointed and given rule over the land and the rights and privileges of British citizens were extended to the Maori peoples.
The introduction of muskets to the Maori in the early part of the 19th century resulted in warring among the tribes. Not all of the different tribes had acquired firearms and the results were devastating. An estimated 20,000 Maori lost their lives in what would become known as the Musket Wars. Concerned over the warring between various groups of Maori and newcomers, particularly French, to the land, members of several northern tribes sent a letter to King William IV asking for protection of their lands. In 1835, James Busby, a British representative, and 35 chiefs of northern tribes signed the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand. The first of several documents that eventually led to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February of 1840.
Realizing the historic significance of the site as the "Birthplace of New Zealand", in 1932, Lord Bledisloe, Governor-General of New Zealand and his wife, Lady Bledisloe, purchased the estate, that includes the house and site where the Treaty was signed, and gifted the property in trust to the people of the country.
In addition to the to the treaty house and gardens, the estate is home to other "taonga" (treasures) such as the Te Whare Runanga; a carved Maori meeting house dedicated on the centennial celebration of the treaty's signing and Ngatokimatawhaorua; one of the world's largest Maori carved ceremonial war canoes, not to mention the natural beauty of the estate grounds and breathtaking views of the Bay of Islands.
Centrally located on the North Island and sitting at the northeastern outlet of New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupō where it discharges into the Waikato River is the town of Taupō.
Maori Polynesians are recognized to have settled the Taupō area as early as 700 years ago. In the early 1700's the Tuwharetoa tribe displaced earlier tribes of which little is known. Taupo is now the North Islands most recently developed urban centre.
Taupō is located in the geologic region known as the Volcanic Plateau. Dominated by three calderas; Taupō, Rotorua, and Okataina, the Taupō Volcanic Zone is the eruptive region of the plateau. Lake Taupō, the flooded caldera, is the largest in the region and was created by a massive eruption approximately 26,000 years ago. The eruption was the most recent to reach VEI-8, the highest level on the Volcanic Exposivity Index. The Taupō Volcanic Zone extends from Whakatane Volcano at its northeastern border to Ruapehu Volcano at its southwest; an area roughly 350 km by 50 km and marks the southwestern border of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Visitors to the area can enjoy various natural attractions such as Huka Falls, Taupō's most visited site, situated north of the town on the Waikato River. The Craters of the Moon is a popular geothermal area, and in the Wairakei Tourist Park is the Volcanic Activity Center that offers interactive exhibits and information of the Taupō Volcanic Zone. Others not to miss attraction include Aratiatia Dam, the picturesque lakeside village of Kinloch, the 5 mile lakeside Lions Walk, Mount Tauhara and Waipahihi Botanical Reserve.
There is no shortage of activity in Taupō. Adventure enthusiasts can find Taupō Bungy located in the Hells Gate section of the town center. Three skydiving companies operate out of the Taupō Airport; Skydive Taupō, Taupō Tandem and Freefall Skydive, catering to all levels, from beginner to advanced. Scenic flights can be booked by plane or helicopter at numerous locations. There are also several locations that offer jetboating, sailing and cruises.
Another popular lure to Taupō is the fishing. Trout were first introduced to Lake Taupō in 1887, and by 1895 the integration was so successful that Lake Taupō and its rivers became famous as an anglers paradise. Outfitters in the area offer gear to purchase or rent, or you can opt to sign on to a chartered expedition.
Riverside Market is the local marketplace and offers a wide variety of goods such as clothing, baked goods, jewelry, arts and crafts, books and collectables. Cafes and restaurants include BodyFuel Café , Replete and Plateau, just to name a few. The town center is generally compact and easy to get around in. Two easy ways; the Lake Taupo Hot Bus and Shuttle 2U. Rental cars are available at several locations as well as ample taxi services.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Picton is a town in the north east corner of the south island of New Zealand with a population of less than 3,000 people. Picton is the main town where ferries travel between the two islands through the Queen Charlotte Sound. Picton is a major tourist destination with many waterfront cafes and dolphin/seal watching. There are many places to hike and see the different views of the sound. Between the Waikawa Bay and Picton there is a snout where you can see a great view of the peninsula.
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/charmedlife/rtw-2006/1175937840/tpod.html - a blog about traveling into Picton
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Picton_New_Zealand.JPG&imgrefurl=http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Picton_New_Zealand.JPG&usg=__U89chddJxZ64mFoeutBXNVv-OeI=&h=1200&w=1600&sz=815&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=25ebA-GCFFi0TM:&tbnh=113&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpicton%2Bnew%2Bzealand%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26um%3D1 – Picture of Picton
http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/p1a.jpg - People having a great time in Picton
http://www.offexploring.com/photos/scottfree/photos/Queen%20Charlotte%20Sound%20104.jpg - Picton
Waipoua Kauri Forest is part of the largest remaining native forest in the northland. They are under the protection of the Department of Conservation, so none of it is being lost to make way for farmland or for timber. Kauri are the major trees that make up this forest. They are huge trees which make them a beautiful site to see. They can reach heights of 50 meters tall and reach widths of 16 meters. Beneath the canopy of the Kauri there is a good amount of diversity in the shrubs and smaller plants. This forest is home to one of New Zealand's endangered species, the Keruru which is a type of pigeon. Rats and possums have preyed on this pigeon which has been one of the reasons its population has decreased so much.
The Waipoua Kauri Forest has long been inhabited by the Maori people. This group of people rely on fishing and agriculture to live. Much of the forest was cut down when European settlers came to New Zealand. This was due to the size of the Kauri trunks and the need/want for farmland in this area. Eventually in 1952, the 9,105 hectare Waipoua Sanctuary was created to help preserve the forest until the Department of Conservation was able to increase protection of the forest.
http://aviary.owls.com/wood_pigeon/wood_pigeon.html - A little bit about the New Zealand pigeon!
http://www.davidwallphoto.com/images/%7B6D5EA0B1-0890-48C8-AF97-E136AC011AA9%7D.jpg – picture of a Kauri tree
http://nzphoto.tripod.com/forest/images/kauri01.jpg - Picture of Waipoua Kauri Forest
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/liammichelle/downunder-0405/1103258160/tpod.html - blog from someone who visited the Waipoua Kauri Forest
Wellington is home to most national theatre, dance and perfomance companies, as well as the national museum, Te Papa, national archives, and national library. It is the center of the government and thus has buildings such as the Beehive, where governmental officials have their offices, and the Parliament Building. There is a National War Memorial commemorating all the New Zealanders who gave their lives or served in any war, along with the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, which contains the remains of an unidentified New Zealand soldier who died on the Western Front during World War I. Westpac Stadium is the main sporting venue in the city. It is the home of the football team the Wellington Phoenix, and also holds events such as concerts and cricket matches. The headquarters of WETA Workshop are also located in Wellington.
Wellington is surrounded by waterways including Lyall Bay, Evans Bay, Island Bay, Shelly's Bay, Port Nicolson, Lambton Harbour, and Oriental Bay, which has a spectacular man-made fountain in the center of the bay. Taputeranga Island is one of several islands located in the area, and has traditional significance in folklore. It is also surrounded by a marine sanctuary. The inter-island ferry leaves from Wellington and then heads to the south island. There are several surfing spots, beaches, and popular dive sites, including Barrett reef, formed in 1968 from the sinking of the Wahine Ferry, and less than a kilometer off the coast, the F69 dive site where the former Leander-class Navy frigate HMNZS Wellington was sunk to form an artificial reef.
Mount Victoria is smack in the middle of Wellington. Visitors can hike or drive to the top to get a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding area. There is also a path on the mountain where one of the scenes from The Lord of the Rings was filmed. Underneath the mountain there is a tunnel to go from one side of the city to the other. To the northwest of Mount Victoria, visitors can stop by the Carter Observatory by way of the scenic route of the Wellington Cable Car. A short walk from the Cable Car terminal can bring you to such interesting places as the Wellington Botanical Gardens, Kelburn Park, and Victoria University. Several universities are within the city limits.
To me, the city style is very reminiscent of a larger Mexican or Italian town, from the architecture to the city layout. While it seems relatively small by our standards, it has a lot to offer and to be discovered!
City of Wellington official site - http://www.wellingtonnz.com/
National War memorial - http://www.nationalwarmemorial.govt.nz/
Wellington Phoenix - http://www.wellingtonphoenix.com/
Te Papa National Muesum - http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/pages/default.aspx
Wellington Cable Car - http://www.wellingtonnz.com/sights_activities/wellington_cable_car
Diving - http://www.wannadive.net/spot/Australia_Pacific/New_Zealand/NI/Wellington/
Cape Reinga, part of the "Northland," is one the northernmost point of New Zealand. It is here that the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, which is visibly manifested in churning seas and high waves off the point. There is no population, but it is a popular tourist spot and a lighthouse 961 feet above sea level with a beam that can be seen 49km out to sea, built in 1941, is located on the point, and it is part of the Te Paki Recreation Reserve. At the northernmost tip of the cape is a gnarled pohutukawa tree, believed to be over 800 years old and to have never blossemed. According to Maori legend, the spirits of Maori deceased leap from this tree into the ocean to return to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiiki. There are several Maori archeological sites in the area.
There are green pastures in the area surrounding the cape, and the well-named 90-mile Beach is one way to get near to Cape Reinga. Giant sand dunes at the Te Paki stream are commonly boogie-boarded down to gorgeous beaches. A hike away is Spirits Bay, where horses graze in lush pastures and a variety of wildlife can be found. Each year at Spirits Bay in March godwits from all parts of the country assemble here for a 12,000km flight north to their breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra of Siberia and Alaska.
General information - http://www.newzealand.com/travel/destinations/regions/northland/towns.cfm/nodeid/25.html
Some info with great photos - http://www.travel.hickerphoto.com/cape-reinga-new-zealand-info.htm
Wildlife info - http://www.ecotours.co.nz/wildlife/index.htm
Area info - http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-visit/northland/kaitaia-area/cape-reinga-and-te-paki/features/sites-of-interest/
New Zealand Study Abroad W10
1. Whitianga, New Zealand
Whitianga is located in the northern half of the North Island of New Zealand. It is found on the Coromandel Peninsula and is the main town in Mercury Bay. Whitianga is a deep water harbor, great for fishing and scenic cruising. The activities in Whitianga include fishing and catching shellfish, along with water sports. There are also dolphins that swim around in the wharf, and you may get a glimpse of them, if you're lucky. On land, there are many great restaurants, as well as bush walks and horse trails to take part in. From Google Earth, you can see the town of Whitianga which is well-developed, along with the beautiful coastal beaches.
Whitianga was first settled by Kupe, a Maori explorer, and his tribe in 950 A.D. and has been continuously inhabited since then. From the 1800s to the early 1900s, Whitianga was a leading timber port. It is estimated that over sixty years, 500 million feet of kauri was exported. Whitianga was also known for its gum. Gum digging exports began in 1844, and by 1899 over 11,000 tons of kauri gum was exported. The industries that have thrived in Whitianga have included boat building, kauri milling, flax milling, gold mining and gum digging. Today, Whitianga prospers off of tourism, fishing, and farming for its wealth.
The beaches in Mercury Bay and in Whitianga provide a beautiful and scenic area to visit. We will be here from January 8-10. While here, we will get to visit Cathedral Cove, a marine reserve, where we can view naturally formed rock archways. Also, we will visit the Hot Water Beach, where, during low tide, we can dig our own hot pool out of the sand. These hot pools form from the underground superheated water that is stored in basins from previous volcanoes. The water can be as hot as 147°F! Another thing we can do is visit Kauaeranga Valley to see rivers, waterfalls, and forests. There is a snorkeling trail at Gemstone Bay, or we can sail across the bay to Cook's Coast, named after the famous explorer Captain James Cook.
The geology at Whitianga consists of volcanic rocks. In Whitianga, there are especially rhyolite and andesite. Some of these rhyolites are 6 million years old, with the youngest ones are 3 million years old. They are flow-banded by layers forming in the flowing lava, and some have spheres of clusters of quartz or feldspars. These spheres formed when the cooling lava crystallized. Some of the rhyolite also contains opal or zeolite mordenite. There is also ignibrite, which are giant white rocks that were formed from volcanic eruptions. They consist of angular pumice and volcanic ash made of rhyolite, formed over 8 million years ago.
As for biology, Mercury Bay, just off the shore of Whitianga, is packed with fish. There are many types of tuna and sharks, along with giant sea bass, marlins, snapper, swordfish, dolphin, tope, spearfish, wreckfish, wahoo, yellowtail kingfish, trevally, kahawai, hapuka, and albacore. There is also a game fishing club for fishing enthusiasts.
2. Waitangi Treaty Grounds
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are located in the northern tip of the North Island. Here, over 500 Maori, settlers, traders, and missionaries came to witness the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the Maori and the British Crown on February 6th, 1840. The Treaty was written in both English and Maori, so there are some discrepancies as to what exactly was agreed. Basically, the treaty established a British governor in New Zealand, gave Maori ownership of their lands and properties, and gave Maori people the rights of British subjects. This treaty established New Zealand as a nation.
The treaty grounds are a very historical site for the people of New Zealand, and we will be visiting them on January 6th. Here, visitors can take different tours of the grounds and immerse themselves in the history of the country. There are also demonstrations and shows for entertainment. This area is rich with history and has multiple displays of artifacts from past tribes. The Treaty House, which is now a museum, was home to James Busby, a British "watchdog". He inhabited it from 1832 to 1844, and it was one of the first architectural British buildings. There is also the Whare Runanga, which is a Maori meeting house. It was built in 1940 to celebrate the 100th year since the signing. On Waitangi Day, February 6th, the world's largest canoe would be carried out by 80 warriors and paddled around the bay. This tradition stopped in 2005, but the canoe is on display for visitors to see. It is 35m long, which is about 115 ft, and called Ngatokimatawhaorua.
Hot water beach is located on the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula on the north island of New Zealand. Visitors flock to the beach for the opportunity to dig their own spas. All one needs to do is dig a hole in the sand within 2 hours of low tide, and wait for the hole to fill up with hot water. This is possible because of the geologic activity nearby the beach. Volcanic activity superheats underground water reserves which then seep, through two main fissures, to the surface through the sandy beach. This unique environment makes the beach a popular tourist attraction and an interesting study site for scientists, as well.
There are many other things to do at the beach as well. Visitors can swim, snorkel, dive, and surf there, although, the rip tides in the area can be very dangerous. There is also a nearby campground and surf shop.
JürgenDigitalNikon. "Hot Water Beach." 10 August 2009. Online Image. Panoramio. 12 October 2009. < http://www.panoramio.com/photo/25469075>.
Picton has a population of about 3000 people is located on the north-eastern side of the south island, near the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound. This sets Picton up as a major ferry route between the two islands. Many visitors to New Zealand end up traveling through this city.
The city was named after Sir Thomas Picton, who was the most senior Seventh Coalition officer killed in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 (he was a Lieutenant General for the British Army). Ironically, he died wearing civilian clothes and a top hat, because his luggage had not arrived on time.
Also from the 19th century, the city is home to the oldest merchant sailing ship that is still floating, the Edwin Fox. In her earlier years, the Edwin Fox brought prisoners to Australia, brought settlers to New Zealand and Australia, and served in the Crimean War. She is now docked at the Edwin Fox Maritime Centre, adjacent to an informative museum.
Tillius. "Picton." 29 November 2006. Online Image. Panoramio. 12 October 2009.
Waipoua Forest is located on the tip of North Island. The forest is home to Tane Mahuta, New Zealand's largest known living kauri tree. Waipoua forest was bought from the Maori in 1876 for around 2000 pounds. It was declared a sanctuary in 1952, the sanctuary covers around 80 km2 and it contains 3/4 of New Zealand's kauri trees. In 2007 the forest was threatened by a wildfire that started by someone cooking mussels over on open fire. The fire came within 3km of Tane Mahuta and destroyed oven 2km2 of vegetation. It killed and estimated 20 North island brown kiwis.
The Waipoua forest is home to the largest population of North island brown kiwi. The north island brown kiwi is the most common of all the kiwis. The north island kokako is also found in the Waipoua forest. The north island kokako has blue wattles, while the south island kokako has orange wattles. The north island kokako is endangered, and the south island kokako was formally declared extinct on 16 January 2007.
We will be staying in Hamilton from January 10 to the 27th at the University of Waikato. Hamilton is on North Island and it is New Zealand's largest inland city. The Maori from the Tainui waka inhabited Hamilton for 700-800 years until 1863 when the land was confiscated by the crown.
While in Hamilton, there are plenty of things to do. Kayaks and canoes can be rented,or you can go rock climbing, zorbing and hiking. We will be visiting white island (January 16) and Waitomo glowworm caves (Jan 18). Hamilton also has Waikato Museum and Putaruru Timber Museum. The Waitakaruru Sculpture Park and Arboretum has 60 to 90 sculptures along a 2km trail. SOUL Gallery has a variety of jewelry, wall art, and ceramics. The Robinson Sports Museum is a good place to go if you are interested in sports history and old sporting equipment. If you want to hike, Taitua Arboretum has an excellent collection of mature trees. Other hiking spots include Waikato River Trail Lake Ngaroto Marokopa Falls, the Te Waihou Walkway and the Bridal Veil Falls. Ruakuri Scenic Reserve has beautiful limestone outcrops (it is about one hour from Hamilton).
http://www.waikato.ac.nz/home.shtml (University of Waikato website)
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/waikato/maniapoto/ruakuri-walk/ (Ruakuri Scenic Reserve site)
Sorry for being so casual in my previous emai concerning who I wrote to. Also,
if the attachment is not what you prefer, I copied the text:Kristen Beebe
Winter Study Abroad 2010- New Zealand
Paihia is known as the jewel of the Bay of Islands, located in the far north of the
north island of New Zealand. This tropical town is one of the most popular
tourist destinations due to several reasons. Cultural centers, beaches, scenic
beauty, and fun food and drink make the spot ideal for the vacationer. From the
dolphin sight seeing tours to the Wharepuke subtropical gardens, there is
always something to entertain oneself in Paihia.
To begin, there are several recreational activities for one to experience
while vacationing in this location. Salt water fishing is a popular sport due to the
abundant species of salt water fish in the bay. The Earl Grey Fishing Charters are
based here and are one of the most popular companies to operate out of Paihia.
Beautiful beaches abound in Paihia excellent for simply relaxing or observing
the wonder of New Zealand. Adding to the whimsy quality of the bay is the
constant steamboat cruises.
The historical importance of Paihia is remarkable. One of the most
important sites to visit is the Waitangi Treaty Grounds which overlooks the Bay
of Islands. At this location, the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed between
Maori and the British Crown on February 6, 1840; this date is now celebrated
lavishly as a national holiday for all New Zealanders to enjoy. Also, cricket was
first invented here and is practiced across the region with great pride. Watching
games of cricket would be a lovely event for one to attend while visiting the
region. Another building of interest in the Maritime building which is located
along the northern coast. This is a beautiful location to shop or enjoy the breezy
All across Paihia is a variety of shops, cultural centers, and restaurants.
These locations embody the culture and regional tastes experienced by the bay.
For example, Hansen's café is a quaint coffee shop that overlooks the heavenly
bay. New Zealanders enjoys coffee and pridefully offer it across the area. The
Bistro 40 Restaurant is also a good example of the cuisine that characterizes the
town. With a fancy for seafood, specializing in a fish of the day, this restaurant
artfully exemplifies the desire for fresh ocean caught fish that makes the
The following link provide some images of the region:
1. Seafood Café - http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/5493049.jpg
2. The jetty- http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/17693296.jpg
3.Town center- http://www.panoramio.com/photo/10180709
The second region of research is called Taupo, which is located in the
center of the north island of New Zealand. This location was built on the shores
of Lake Taupo which serves as one of the main tourist attractions in New
Zealand, providing the ability to boat, fish, and enjoy the nature of the
subtropical region. This town is more of a quaint getaway compared to the first
town which information was gathered for. This town has a rather suburban
aspect with the beautiful countryside providing golf courses and nature trails.
The Huka Falls Resort exemplifies the spacious countryside. The Huka Falls are a
set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drain into Lake Taupo and are
beautiful to see.
Taupo bolsters several religious locations of interest including St. Patrick's
Catholic Church and Bahai'I Faith. These places reflect the Christian influence of
the crown on the country and are beautifully architectural wonders to admire.
As well, the everyday aspects of the town are something unique to be enjoyed,
including the food markets which provide an energetic look into the daily lives
of the townspeople. Even a fun entertainment park for children and adults alike
is located here called Taupo Adventure Park where one can get lost in mazes or
try his or her hand at a game of mini golf.
The following links are images of Taupo:
1. Beautiful waterfront- http://www.panoramio.com/photo/10900431
2. Internet Café- http://www.panoramio.com/photo/10688986
3. Lake Taupo Marina- http://www.panoramio.com/photo/16014298