After a studious term at host school AGC Senior College we spent two weeks exploring the North Island’s Bay of Plenty and Bay of Islands. We visited Hobbiton and learned how the famous set was created, then moved deep underground into the stunning underworld of the Ruakuri Cave, where we black water rafted under the watchful eyes of millions of tiny glowworms. At a visit to the No. 8 Farm students learned about the importance of farming to New Zealand’s economy and residents; after shearing sheep and feeding deer we headed off to White Island, New Zealand’s only live marine volcano, to witness science in action.
Students also had the opportunity to venture into the mighty Waipoua Forest and walk under the same stars that guided the Maori’s ancestor Kupe from legendary Hawaiiki to New Zealand. Finally, we were welcomed into the breathtaking Hokiangi Harbour to learn the art of bone carving, an ancient Maori craft that stirs emotions and sparks controversy to this day.