New Zealand Australia Program - halfway!

It's been an amazing month in New Zealand! We are now at the halfway point in the program having done two weeks of volunteer conservation work and two multi-day expeditions. Right now we're relaxing in sunny Nelson before our final week of conservation work at Nelson Lakes National Park. Canoeing on the Whanganui River - expedition 2 Riverside cave on our canoe journey Carnivorous snail survey on our second week of volunteer conservation work Jordan enjoying mountain… Read more

Indiana Jones V: Journey to the Tasman Sea

After a week of volunteering, the group was very excited to go on their first expedition. Little did they know that they would be put through some of the most challenging obstacles of their lives. Day one began at 5:30 AM with a three hour car ride from Auckland to Waitomo. The drive was long and winding, but the team was anxiously awaiting their arrival to the base of Absolute Adventures. Upon arrival, the group was introduced to their leader Doug. Doug was very knowled… Read more

Expedition 1: Canoeing!

Hi Everyone, Our last day of the expedition we canoed down the Marakopa River to the Tasman Sea. Canoeing definitely puts a good burn in the arms. We only had one boat tip over, poor Margaret and Piper! Luckily they didn't lose anything. After we beached our canoes at the black sand beach we drove back to base and then onto Taupo to spend a few days relaxing. We stopped for dinner along the way and everyone ate too much food after all the working out we had done during … Read more

Expedition 1: Waitomo bound

DAY 9 - A traveling day. We woke up at 5:30am Jan 25 to go to Waitamo. It was about a 2 hour drive from Auckland. Once we got to base camp we all met Doug (our expedition guide), got suited up to go caving and repelling (abseiling). We had to dress in long polypro (warm clothing - pants and long sleeves) and hike 45 minutes UP with wetsuits, harnesses, and helmets to a 350 ft abseil, which was so much fun coming down! It was super high up and I think I found out I am a l… Read more

NZ Australia Program: Expedition 1

We are now relaxing in the lakeside resort town of Taupo after an arduous five days of backpacking, scrambling, climbing, slipping, rapelling, tubing, canoeing, caving and camping on our journey from Waitomo to the Tasman Sea. For some this was their first backpacking trip. For all of us, the challenges of slippery moss covered rocks, tangles of vines, and having to find the energy to make camp after 9 hours of exertion was at times overwhelming. Everyone found the trip … Read more

North to the Bay of Islands

The day we went to The Bay of Islands, we woke up really early, made some breakfast and packed the trailer. It was about 3.5 hours up to the Bay of Islands, which actually went by pretty quickly. On the way we got onto a ferry to get to Russell, where we stopped to get lunch and snacks for the week of volunteering. We met Chris, the DOC (Department of Conservation) man we would be working with the most. Once we packed all our packs and food onto the small boat we started… Read more

"Fun" Day on Volunteer Project 1

Thursday, January 22, 2009 Today we had our last full day of volunteer work in the Bay of Islands. We definitely got off lightly and were able to clean underwater signs that snorkelers can see from the surface. Some of us also took a steep hike up to a look out point. All in all it was a chill morning before heading back into the DOC boat to look for marine life. We saw a couple penguins when we were driving around and then we spotted some dolphins, finally!! They swa… Read more