A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand Days five and Six

Mud, Geyzers, and 15,000feet!

Today I will start with a little encouragement I received from a friend it has a great message:
Are you facing a challenge today that seems overwhelming? Through faith and patience, you will see God’s promises come to pass in your life. Understand that the enemy always fights the hardest when he knows you are closest to your breakthrough. He’d leave you alone if he thought you were going to live in mediocrity. If you keep pressing on toward your promise, through faith and patience, you will get there. Don’t be like the Israelites in the Old Testament who were right next to their promised land when they talked themselves out of it! They said, “There are giants in the land. It’s too difficult.” No, today, don’t look at the obstacles in your life. Lift up your eyes because you serve a supernatural God! Follow the example of Abraham who believed God even when his circumstances looked impossible. Remember, God always rewards the people who seek after Him. Stand in faith and keep believing because God will take you places that you never dreamed. Keep pressing toward the promise so you can live in the supernatural victory He has prepared for you!

DAY FIVE:

Day five brought us back down to Rotorua from Auckland but not before stopping a few times. Our first stop of the day was actually still in Auckland. After picking up the last group of passengers we headed to Mt. Eden, for one of the best view of the city. It had been raining over part of the city that morning so we got some great pictures of rainbows! (Just one more pick me up of the morning proving God’s promises never fail)
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Our next stop of the day was in Thames, we arrived in Thames right still early in the morning after traveling down through the Hauraki plains. So far it had been a very pleasant sunny drive. From Thames we went back through Paeroa where we again saw the L and P bottle. (Some of the same stops are done because some people started their trips in Auckland and hadn’t seen them yet.) From Thames we headed for our lunch stop, this was at “Shires Rest” this is at the gate way of the Hobbition Movie Set. Also used for the Lord of The Rings Movies. As we drove we could see some of the hills for and land used for the movie and were also given little insights about the movie such as apple trees were used for plum trees and once the trees had grown the leaves were picked off and replaced with plum tree leaves to give the appearance that the hobbits were smaller. I opted to not go on the tour of the actual set because I have not seen any of the movies but I was able to catch part of the sheep shearing and lamb feeding that happened outside of the café.
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From The Hobbition Movie Set we headed into our final stop of Rotorua. Abby and my night in Rotorua brought a great night at the spa! We headed to Hells Gate Waiora Spa. We got to walk through the Geothermal Reserve and try our hand at carving! Then after our walk through all the boiling mud puddles and the geothermal reserve we got to go to the mud bath and spa. It was very relaxing. I was a bit hesitant about sitting in the mud at first but it was actually a lot of fun a very relaxing. After the mud spa we were forced to take a freezing cold shower to get the mud off this was so cold, so once we go to be able get into the warm sulfur pools it felt GREAT! It was a nice night. After the pools we headed back to the hostel for dinner and just hanging out. It was FREEZING out so we didn’t want to do much walking around. And it really was nearly freezing when we looked up the weather it was 2degrees. (Way to cold for me I like the sunshine coast!) Then it was time for bed so we were ready for day 6!
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DAY SIX:

We traveled from Rotorua to Taupo!
Our first stop of the day was at the government gardens to snap a picture of what is now the museum and is still the most photographed building in New Zealand!
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On our way to Taupo our second stop was at Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Land. We got to see the geyser erupt, this geyser erupts daily at about 10:15 shooting jets of water reaching up to 20 meters high. It last for over and hour (not at this height) it only erupts at the height of around 20meters for a few minutes and continues to gush water at a height of 1-3meteres after that.
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After seeing the geyser erupt we headed to the Wai-O-Tapu park and had a walk through. This part was really cool! It was full of collapsed craters, cold and boiling pools of mud, water and steaming fumaroles! The pools of water were all different colors from orange caused by Antimoy or Green caused by the colloidal sulphur/ferrous salts. There was some white rocks caused by silica, yellow caused from the sulphur alone, even some redish brown from iron oxide.
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After lunch we were on our way to Taupo. Before getting to the city we stopped at the Huka falls again. From the Huka Falls we were picked up and taken to taupo tandem skydiving! Yup that’s right I went skydiving!! The day was prefect clear sunny skys, it was nerve racking but exhilarating! I jumped from 15,000 feet with over one minute of free-fall and reaching speeds of up to 200km/h it was amazing! We could see almost all four coast of the north island. It was so clear from up there. I had an amazing time it was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. Once I was out of the plane it was an outstanding feeling, there is nothing like it. I don’t think I would have been able to do it with out my tandem master attached to me; he was a great guy and very reassuring! Over all it was an amazing experience and I am so glad I got to do it.
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The rest of the night brought a bit of walking around town and then some grocery shopping! Now another nice relaxing night before an early day 7! I think tomorrow we get to raft down unground rivers and see glow worms I am pretty excited to see what the next day will bring.

My beautiful cousin Maddie and I have started a daily devotional together and it has been amazing. It keeps me connected to her and every day seems to fit my situation perfectly. God had the timing of everything including down to this book all planed. The day after I found out about Derek and his son Dylan the chapter was all about our faith being tested to help us grow stronger. It talks about God working everything out in our life to conform to his plan, that he wants us to success and pass every test and make it through ever trail. He is here to support us through it all and we can’t forget that. He is drawing us near to him in our darkest hour, he is breaking us all to open our eyes to his incredible compassion, love, and perfect plan! A few other points that were outlined in this chapter that was so perfectly written for what I was going through it had to all of been orchestrated by God were that we have been chosen by God to fill a part of his plan, We have been predestined for greatness if we live according to his will (this does not mean we will all live to be millionaires or movie stars but if we can live according to Gods will and follow him our life will be nothing short of greatness because we will be following the creator of the universe). Remember to rejoice in the trials set before you because our lives are all about a much bigger picture then we may ever understand. Live Strong. Live in Faith. And embrace the spirit within you because every day it offers a gift of growth.

In Him,
Hannah

Today calls for two:

“In him we are also chosen having been predestined according to the plans of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will”
- Ephesians 1:11

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when ever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
- James 1:2-3

More pictures in the Gallery and hopefully video and more pictures from skydiving to come!

Posted by Dykemah 04:13 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

New Zealand Adventures

Days 1-4

61 °F

Today I am updating with mix emotions. I have been in New Zealand now for four days, but yesterday my world was rocked. I was informed that the youth pastor from our church back home and his son were tragically killed in a house fire. I didn’t want to believe it at first and wanted to take it all back. This news was so hard to hear knowing he left a wife and two young daughters behind. So many thoughts went through my head, one of running along side Derek and my dad talking about how he hoped one day him and Ella would run together, or of the talk we had shortly before I left for Australia when he came into Gazelle and we spend at least and hour talking and trying out different shoes. We talked about all sorts of stuff during this fitting, he was so easy to talk to and a fun guy, so passionate about life and love and God, He even asked to be able to do my marriage counseling when the time came (not soon no worries), but after talking to him about it and hearing him be so passionate and his light up when he talked about it was i excited to get that opportunity. Knowing that all those things will never be able to happen is hard. But I know one day we will meet again and one day he will run with Ella of this I am So Sure. So before I begin my actual update of New Zealand I ask that you take a minute to pray, pray of his family his parents who lost a son and grandson, his wife who lost not only her only son but her husband, pray for his young daughters who lost a father and a brother, pray for the crossroads community as they lost an amazing pastor and friend, pray for my family as they struggle through this and for Abby who lost and amazing man in her life, and finally pray for me as I learn to lean solely on God in this situation as I have nowhere else to turn. With that said I can also say confidently that God has a plan for this, this death with bring so much Glory to his kingdom even if it is hard to see and understand now. This timing is perfect, I can tell you first hand that it is, there is a reason I was in New Zealand for this and that it worked out that I am alone on this trip. I have had to turn to God for the strength to get through a tragedy like this like I have never had to before because there is no where else to go. I am learning to find all the comfort, strength, and peace I need from God and his word because I can’t run from him or his word it is all I have here. Continue to pray for this situation that others can turn to God for his amazing comfort. Psalm 116 has been an amazing Psalm through this situation, if you get a chance to sit down and read it I totally recommend it.

Now on that note I will now tell you all about my adventure so far. Thursday afternoon I arrived in Christchurch New Zealand. As I sat through the 3 and a half hour flight I realized this was the first time I have ever truly flown, or traveled alone and this would be an experience like no other. Once I arrived in Christchurch I gathered my luggage made it through customs with no problem and headed for a shuttle to the bus stop (all the thanks goes to Emily for this one, the program I went though continually forgot to attach the email with my instructions upon arrival even after four emails. She again emailed the program for the instructions and patiently continued to check my email and send me the instructions one by one I would have never made it to the right place without her!) This short shuttle bus ride took me to an intercity bus stop where I boarded the bus and rode up to Kaikoura. Unfortunately it was dark and a bit rainy when I arrived because it was late, although I had left my apartment that morning at 4:45am for a 9am departure out of Brisbane it was nearly 3pm by the time I arrived in New Zealand due to the 2hour time change from the sunshine coast (this puts be 16hours ahead of you). So when I finally arrived into Kaikoura it was almost 7pm. I stayed the night there and left on the Magic Tour Bus early the next morning, so I was unable to see much of this city but you can’t see it all in only 17days.

Mountains in Kaikoura

Mountains in Kaikoura

Friday morning my trip really began. I got on the bus and we were off our route was to go from Kaikoura to Picton and from Picton take the ferry to the north island city of Wellington. We followed the Pacific coast for most of the trip and stopped along the way to see a huge colony of seals. We got to take a short hike to the base of a small waterfall where some of the seal pups go to play, then head down to the ocean where they were laying on rocks or playing in the waves. There had to have been atleast 1000 seals along the coast.
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From there we continued on our ways a bit more inland through some famous hilly pastures where I have never seen so many sheep it is crazy they are EVERWHERE HERE! Then as we continued north we drove through the wine country where there were around 60 different wineries.
Grape Vines for Wine

Grape Vines for Wine


We also passed a salt factory where our driver explained the process of how they got salt from the salt water it was really interesting.
those white piles in the distance are piles of salt!

those white piles in the distance are piles of salt!

Salt Mining area

Salt Mining area

Once we arrived in picton we got ready to board the ferry. This ferry was HUGE (pictures to come) no exaggeration at all, if anything Huge is still an understatement. This boat had 10 different decks, the capacity to hold 600cars, 1650 people, a movie theater, play area for children, a food court, two different cafes, a bar a few different lounges, a shop a place with reclining chairs, a sun deck, atrium to look out on the journey, this boat even had wifi, as my grandma Dykema said it was like its own town. The trip took just under four hours.
After arriving in Wellington I headed to my hostel and got settled in. after putting my stuff down I ventured out to see the town. I walked around for a while and saw some of the shops I even found one named Hannah’s,
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it was a shoe store so I think it should have been names Emily’s but hey ill take it! As I walked around I took a ride on the Wellington Cable Car. This cable car reminded me a lot of the trolleys in grand haven but more closed off but they had the same wooden seats and red exterior.
inside of the cable car

inside of the cable car


These cable cars were originally built and opened in 1902. It was a fun ride up to the Botanical Gardens, sadly it was rather dark when I got up there so I walked to the look out snapped a few pictures then decided I should head back down where I wasn’t alone in the dark (see mom, I am using my good judgment and staying safe)
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That night I walked around a little more, found a grocery store to stock up on some fresh fruit and granola bars for the next few days of my trip. Then it was off to bed I was tried!

The next morning I was back on the bus bright and early. This is a common theme through the entire trip I think my latest pick up is at 8:30am! So Saturday we headed up to a town named Rotorua with a short stop in Taupo. We headed up the Kaptiti Coast and saw some spectacular views!
View from the Bus

View from the Bus


As we continued north we traveled through Bulls, Taihape and onto the Central Plateau and Tongariro National Park. As we kept going we stopped to see the mighty Huka Falls that sustain New Zealands longest river. These falls aren’t tall but they are sure mighty, pumping over 200,000 liters of water each SECOND! It was really cool to see.
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We finally arrived in Rotorua later afternoon and got all checked into our Hostel for the night. Typically when staying in a hostel they are dorm beds but thanks to my wonderful father I have been and will continue to be able to stay in single rooms. This has been so great, to not have to worry about other people in and out of my room and having a place to sleep and sit that is just mine, plus I am able to lock my bags up and not have to lug them everywhere I want to go. So I set my bags down and set off for an adventure. As we drove into Rotorua you knew we were there because you were greeted with the lovely smell of sulfur (rotting eggs) this is because Rotorua is an active geothermal area. You could see the steam rising all over and you didn’t have to walk far to see boiling mud puddles. Once I got I headed to the Polynesian Spa. This spa is overlooking Lake Rotorua and all the pools are filled with the geothermal waters. There are plenty of options when you go to this spa, you can chose from an actual spa retreat day with facials, massages and such or you can reserve a private pool for you and someone special or a party of friends, then there is a family spa with a actual freshwater pool for the kids and then a few warmer mineral pools, then there is the lake or adult pools. These include a few marble-lined pools or hot mineral rock-pools and a few priest spa pools, which have radium hot spring water. The temperature of these pools range from 36degrees Celsius to 42degrees. These pools were so relaxing to sit in. once I was done soaking in the wonderful hot pools (all of which were headed from the ground! Crazy right )
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I got the chance to go see the Maori tribe (the local natives to Rotorua) I got to experience the Maori Language, tribal rituals, a concert and had a Maori dinner that was cooked under ground by the steam from the thermal activity! It was an interesting night and the food was actually pretty good, a bit tainted with a funny sulfur taste but overall better than the pbj I probably would have had.
P4161084.jpgFood from the ground!

Food from the ground!

A maori woman

A maori woman

A Maori warier

A Maori warier

Our dinner that was cooked in the ground

Our dinner that was cooked in the ground

The Chief and I

The Chief and I

The Chief

The Chief

I also met a friend! Her name is Abby and after talking on the bus ride to the concert and dinner we found that we are both from the US and are both living in Australia at the moment! She is a 23 and working in Australia for a few months. After more discussion we figured out we are on almost the exact same trip pattern so we will be able to travel together for most of our trips, this is a HUGE answer to prayer! We got back to the hostel late so it was off to bed.

This morning we were up and off to Auckland (this is as far north as we will be traveling on the north island) as we got up and started our day the sun was out! It was beautiful and so good to see some sunshine. As we drove up to Auckland from Rotorua we stopped at MT Mauhganuie and its beach town. We were able to hike up part of the mountain, which is actually a dormant Volcano and see some amazing views of the coast.
Mt Maunganui a Dormant Volcano

Mt Maunganui a Dormant Volcano

Abby and I halfway up the Volcano

Abby and I halfway up the Volcano

looking down at the beach from Mt Maunganui

looking down at the beach from Mt Maunganui

Mt Maunganui

Mt Maunganui

Then it was back on the bus to continue our journy. We passed a few small pioneer towns such as Katikati and Waihi, where the gold rush began in the 1800s and still continues. We continued past tons of Kiwi farms and stopped to see a giant landmark bottle of the New Zealand soft drink “Lemon and Paeroa”
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then it was straight on to Auckland. I wish we had a bit more time in Auckland but we have done some fun stuff today and it was a good day. Abby and I took a bus to the edge of town to see “One Tree Hill” this is an 182meter volcanic peak; the summit provides views across the Auckland Area. It was a hike to the top but well worth it.
One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill

one tree hill

one tree hill

Sun setting over the city from one tree hill

Sun setting over the city from one tree hill

Sun set over Auckland from one tree hill

Sun set over Auckland from one tree hill

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On our way back down we stopped a car to see where the closest bus stop was that would take up back into the city and the kind man offered to take us down, then once we were at the bottom he was chatting away and offered to take us all the way into the city right near the Sky Tower, which was next on our list. He was very nice and I think I could tell you most of his life story because he was quite the talker.
Once we got to the sky tower we were a bit bummed to find out that the skywalk portion of the tower was closed so we could not walk around the outside but we could still go up inside the tower. So we did that but first we got dinner! Up in the sky tower it was a 360degree view of the city from the highest point you could see 82km in any direction, we couldn’t see quite that far because it was dark but it was really cool to see the city lights. The sky tower is the tallest man made structure in New Zealand and weighs more than 6,000 elephants. At the tallest point it is 328meters(1,076ft) the highest you could get to was the sky deck which was 220meters (722ft!) it was really cool, Abby did not think so she is very afraid of heights so she said down on the main observatory, which was 186meter(610ft) this tower had a revolving Restaurant, a café and a bar all up inside of it! It was a really cool view.
Sky Tower

Sky Tower

me at the top of the sky tower

me at the top of the sky tower

beautiful view of Auckland from the sky tower

beautiful view of Auckland from the sky tower

View from the top of the sky tower

View from the top of the sky tower


Once we were done with that we walked around the town some more then parted ways to head to our separate Hostels to get ready for bed and our day tomorrow. It has been a good few days, I have already seen so much of this Beautiful country and am looking forward to see what else God has in store for the trip. After the news of Derek we are all reminded of how quickly this life can be over, we must be ready for God to call us home at any minute. So I am trying to life each day to the fullest and the way God has called me to, I hope you can all do the same. Thank you for the continued Love, Support, and prayers from home.

In Him,
Hannah (by the way there are more pictures in the gallery! take a look i tried to label most of them so you will know what and where they are!)

1 Peter 1:6-7

“In this you will greatly Rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than Gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ Is Revealed”

Posted by Dykemah 04:46 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Good Bye Australia Hello New Zealand!

Intersemester Break!!

sunny 65 °F

Today starts my Inter-semester break. I have nearly three weeks off!! So i will be traveling around New Zealand for the next 17days. It is a Magic Bus tour where you hop on and hop off at different places and different hostels! it should be a great time! I am very excited!!! I will be traveling alone so please pray for safety, Gods Guidance and that his will will be done on this trip! I am so excited to see another country i think i have been bit by the travel bug and i just want to see more and more!! This is the itinerary for my trip. I am not sure how much time or ability i will have to update while i am over there but i will when i can or it will just be a long post when i come home!! Have a wonderful day!

In Him,
Hannah

This is where i will be:

14th Apr Thu Arrive to Christchurch to Kaikoura
15th Apr Fri Kaikoura to Picton to Wellington
16th Apr Sat Wellington to Rotorua
17th Apr Sun Rotorua to Auckland
18th Apr Mon Auckland to Thames to Rotorua
19th Apr Tue Rotorua to Taupo
20th Apr Wed Taupo to National Park via Waitomo
21st Apr Thu National Park to Wellington
22nd Apr Fri Wellington to Picton to Nelson
23rd Apr Sat Nelson to Greymouth
24th Apr Sun Greymouth to Franz Josef
25th Apr Mon Franz Josef to Queenstown
26th Apr Tue Queenstown
27th Apr Wed Queenstown to Dunedin
28th Apr Thu Dunedin to Lake Tekapo
29th Apr Fri Lake Tekapo to Christchurch
30th Apr Sat Christchurch
1st May Sun departing CHC
Flexi-Magic-Adventure.jpg This is a map of my Adventure!

Posted by Dykemah 14:31 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Good Bye For Now

Spring Break 2011 part two

semi-overcast 70 °F

The rest of the week with my family was great. We spend Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning up in Cairns then flew back to Brisbane for one last night together before everyone flew home on Sunday morning.

When we got into to the beautiful Cairns Wednesday we unpacked in the beautiful hotel next to the marina and then drove around some to get some dinner. After dinner we walked around for a little while and then headed back to the hotel to get some sleep because we had to be up bright and early for our trip to the Great Barrier Reef!

Thursday started early we headed out to the marina and headed out to the boat. It was about a 90minute boat ride out to the reef and it was a bit windy so it was a rather bumpy ride. Once we got out to the reef we got our gear on, this included a nice blue full body lycra suit! I mean who doesn’t want to wear a full body lycra suit! On top of that was a wet suit, then our reef booties and fins along with a mask and snorkel. Needless to say we looked good, haha. After a few hours on the reef in this spot we had some lunch and moved to a new spot on the reef. The next spot we went to was called a fish bowl this is where the reef grows in a circleish shape and traps all the fish inside, so we saw so pretty cool fish! And a few sea turtles too! It was a great day on the boat and on the Reef! The girls had a great time too, not many of their friends can say they have snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef. (Abby even got to try scuba diving once, I wanted to but dumb asthma and they wouldn’t let me but we had a great time just snorkeling too!) After a long day on the boat we headed back to the hotel for a nice shower and some relaxing before going to dinner that night. After dinner we walked around some more found some Australia Uggs for a good price, mom and abby were happy about that! And saw some crazy stuff in this little (yet so big) town. I had a great time at the reef!

I had a great time at the reef!

Abby trying out diving

Abby trying out diving

Getting ready, Please note the full body lycra suit!

Getting ready, Please note the full body lycra suit!

Dad did a great job taking pictures!

Dad did a great job taking pictures!

pictures from the reef

pictures from the reef

probably one of my favorite reef picture, Nice work dad

probably one of my favorite reef picture, Nice work dad

This was a giant Clam, the picture doesn't do it justice

This was a giant Clam, the picture doesn't do it justice

Great pictures from the Reef

Great pictures from the Reef

Great pictures from the Reef

Great pictures from the Reef

Friday brought another good day. We drove up to Port Douglas for something to do. We drove along the coast so we rocked out another “Great Ocean Road Cairns addition” hit a few beaches on the way and stopped to climb a beautiful look out. None of the beaches were busy because it was stinger season and all the beaches had signs that said DON’T SWIM STINGERS AND CROCS MAY BE PRESANT. Crazy right? There were some netting riggings so when the beach gets busy they must drop these nets into the water to fence in a swimming area that keeps all the jelly fish and crocs out. When we finally arrived in Port Douglas we laid on the beach for a while and then headed up to another look out before getting ice cream and heading home. On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the Outlet mall of course! I got a great wetsuit top for surfing for really cheap (thanks again dad!) and I believe the girls got a few things too. Mom fell in love with a furniture store and we had to reminder her she still had to fly home and had no way of bringing it with her. After we got home and cleaned up it was another night on the town. Out to dinner and we did some walking around. Dad and I stopped at the casino just to check it out. It was smaller than the ones at home but pretty neat. It was circular and had a upstairs where you could look down over the floor where all the tables where that was cool. Then it was back to the hotel, we tried to go sit in the Hot tub one night but the Hot tub was more like a warm tub so it didn’t last to long.

Saturday brought a nice morning by the pool and then a flight home to Brisbane. After we had a very interesting cab ride to our hotel (or a hotel, the cab driver brought us to the wrong one and we ended up walking to the right one) we headed out for one last night on the town! We took the “city cat” it is like a bus but a boat on the Brisbane river. It was a nice relaxing night and a really fun way to see the city. We sat outside on the font of the boat on the way into the city; with all the lights it was Beautiful! We got off the boat at South Bank so we could see the Ferris wheel all lit up and us girls went for a ride. That was fun, it was different then the first time we saw it in the morning or different than the afternoon ride I took with the kids. We walked around South Bank, had dinner and then took the bus home. It was a great last night! And the latest everyone had stayed up, I was impressed!

Sunday brought another early morning to head to the airport. It was a sad day. Saying goodbye to my parents Abby, and Morgan was sad. But it has been a blessing to have them here. And they have all made it home safely! While they were here my dad and I looked at trips to New Zealand and one got booked, I am headed to New Zealand Thursday for a 17day tour of both islands! I can’t wait! Time is flying by I am almost halfway done with this season of my life. I can’t believe it! Thank you for all the support! I still love getting mail and talking to people at home, I am learning everyday to live in two worlds to enjoy surfing and all that this world has to offer me while I am here while still staying in touch with friends and family at home. I don’t want to miss anything in this next half of my trip. There is still so much to see and do plus school work to stay on top of. But a two-week break next week will be nice. It is crazy to think that by the time I get home from New Zealand friends will be done with school or doing exams while their semester wraps up and I will still be in class. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t start till the end of February. My family is back to reality now, which means I have to get back to schoolwork before my nice trip to New Zealand! Thanks again for all the love and support from home.

In Him,
Hannah

Colossians 3:8

  • **More pictures to Come!***

Posted by Dykemah 03:49 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Spring Break 2011 Australian Style

Part one

semi-overcast 74 °F

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Friday morning started bright and early for everyone! I was up at 4:30am getting ready to head to the airport by 5am. My roommate who works in Brisbane on the weekend offered to leave a half hour early to drop me off at the airport. This was great because the train didn’t get in until about 45mins after their plane arrived. This arrangement with my roommate went unknown to my family so it was a complete surprise that I was standing there as the doors from customs opened. It was an epic reunion. Lots of hugs and tears from mom. I waited with the bags as dad got the rental car and then everyone freshened up and put on some shorts. It rained on my way into Brisbane that morning but we walked out to the car in sunshine here on the sunshine coast! Everyone was a little tired but happy to be here. We spent the morning in Brisbane, we drove thru the city, had breakfast and walked around in southbank, unfortunately we did get caught in the rain (what’s new here on the sunshine coast!) we had the rainiest march in the history of the sunshine coast and started April 1 with more rain! Hopefully things dry up soon. By the time we got to the hotel and everyone was unpacked the sun had come out so we headed down to the beach which was just across from the main beach. After laying out for a while, and taking a walk down the beach we once again found ourselves caught in the rain. One thing about the rain here is there is no real warning or sprinkling first, when it rains the clouds just open up and DUMP the rain, it just POURS! So we hid under the deck on the beach and watched a rainbow appear it was an amazing rainbow you could see the whole thing and all the colors so clear, we were all kicking ourselves for not having a camera, when the rain let up some we made a break for the hotel. Everyone showered and we headed out for an early dinner around the corner. Then it was bed time for the fam. They were all exhausted from the trip.

Saturday morning brought another early morning for my dad and I. We headed to Kawana for a swim/run series. It was the final race so we figured why not. It was fun to be racing with my dad again. a little different to not have a bike in the transition and to go from the swim right into a run but we got it done and had a great time! Then it was off to the beach to do some surfing! We spent the afternoon at Alex Headlands beach surfing with the girls, they realized it was a little harder than it looks but had a good time in the water.
headed out to the surf

headed out to the surf

Getting up!

Getting up!

Morgan had a great time riding the waves

Morgan had a great time riding the waves

She rocked it!

She rocked it!

She was a pro!

She was a pro!

Morgan riding the waves!

Morgan riding the waves!

Surfing!

Surfing!

Morgan after Rockin the surf

Morgan after Rockin the surf

Rockstar surfer

Rockstar surfer


After that we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the night again. we walked around by the beach and had a great dinner, played some cards and headed to bed again. Everyone was still trying to adjust to the time change and recover from the trip here.

Sunday morning brought a morning surf before we had to return the boards that afternoon. (No sleeping in for these girls on spring break!) It was a lovely morning and Abby and I got to hit the waves together for a little while that was fun. After our morning surf we returned the boards and headed off to Montville to Kondallial falls. It was a nice drive but we did encounter a few showers as we drove. Once we got to the falls and started our hike the rain had cleared up and the sun was shining perfect afternoon for a hike. We got to the rock pool and quickly got out of our clothes and headed to the waterfalls. It was great fun jumping in!
hanging out at the waterfalls

hanging out at the waterfalls

jumping off!

jumping off!

Spring break 2011 Jumping off waterfalls!!

Spring break 2011 Jumping off waterfalls!!

At the waterfalls

At the waterfalls

waterfalls!

waterfalls!

Even dad jumped!

Even dad jumped!

Morgan jumping off!

Morgan jumping off!

we all had fun jumping off!

we all had fun jumping off!

At the look out

At the look out

Family picture!

Family picture!

Hiding in the trees at the waterfalls

Hiding in the trees at the waterfalls

On our waterfall hike

On our waterfall hike

On our way back to the hotel we stopped for some ice cream and french-fries in the little town on the way back down the mountain. Back at the hotel we got cleaned up for another night out. After dinner and a few cards I headed home to my apartment because I had class in the morning.

Monday morning brought some time on the beach for the girls and class for me. After I finished my last class at noon the fam came and picked me up at the uni and we were off to the zoo! It was a beautiful day at the zoo and we had a wonderful time!
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We got to see and do it all, we walked around and saw a bunch of animals, walked through the petting zoo and saw some baby pigs, which were really cute, then held a koala
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After holding the koalas we walked around some more and went out to see the tigers, Elephants and Kangaroos even some more koalas. We all got to fee the Kangaroos and the elephants and pet the koalas again. We even got to see them feed the snakes, which only happens once every two weeks!
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It was a good afternoon at the zoo. From the zoo we headed to the plaza so that they could see it. We got there at about 5pm so we didn’t do any shopping because most of the stores close at 5:30, it is much different than back home but we got to walk around and see it. Before heading back to the hotel we stopped at coles to get food for dinner. We didn’t go out we had an aussie Barbie; potatoes, corn, some asparagus, chicken and sausage (no aussie Barbie would be complete without sausage)
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Tuesday brought more class for me and sadly more rain. We headed up to noosa anyways. It is a cute beach town with a beautiful beach. We walked around and as the rain cleared up sat down to a pizza lunch that was very good. Then we headed to the beach, after a short time at the beach we began out trip home. This time we took the highway along the coast and stopped at a few beaches along the way to take a few pictures and see the beautiful coast. It was our “Great Ocean Road Queensland Addition”
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It was a great trip home; once we got home we cleaned up and headed to dinner. It was a good night. Then I headed home again because I once again had class in the morning and they packed up so we could head out to Cairns in the morning.

Today (Wednesday) I got up and went to class and the fam packed up and spent some time in the sun on the deck of their room. After my morning class they came and picked me up to head to Brisbane where we dropped the rental car off and headed to gate 41 to fly out to Cairns. We made it safely and can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for this spring break! Have a wonderful week!

In HIm,
Hannah

John 16:24

Posted by Dykemah 03:38 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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