From mud pools to hot pools, treetops to hurtling down hills, and feeding lions to fish and chips, we did it all on our action-packed three-day adventure to Rotorua in the first week of the holidays. With the two vans packed to the brim, our amazing international department led a party of 16 international students together with our Kiwi ambassadors we made our way down in high spirits.

Once we arrived, we braved the sub-zero temperatures and went on a chilly visit to Paradise Valley Springs. Watching the pride of lions being fed was a highlight for everyone, and we all enjoyed being surrounded by some of NZ’s native birds and feeding the animals. After a swim at our accommodation and fueling up on fish and chips for dinner, we headed off to the Redwoods treewalk to defy gravity. It was magical walking 20 metres up in the trees in the dark, being lit up by lanterns and lights.

We were up at 7am the next morning, ready to head to Wai-o-tapu to see some of the natural wonders Rotorua has to offer. We were taken aback by the beauty of the geysers and other geothermal features- they were the perfect backdrop to pose for hundreds of photos and videos. We piled in the vans to the Skyline Luge- which was definitely the highlight of the trip for most. We all hurtled down the three tracks without an ounce of fear, and took in the amazing views of Rotorua and the lake.
Our final morning definitely did not disappoint! We packed up and then headed off to Amaze-me, to puzzle ourselves with a 1.4km maze. With the incentive of being crowned champions at stake- the two teams raced each other, demonstrating incredible teamwork and determination throughout the maze. Everyone was exhausted from the jam-packed past couple of days, so we cruised back home, taking in the scenery and catching up on some well needed sleep in the vans.

Our Rotorua trip was an incredible three days, and I want to acknowledge all the students for their amazing attitude and willingness to go out of their comfort zones. A huge thanks from all of us to Mrs King and Ms van Deventer for organising such a great trip, and taking us all - it was the most amazing time exploring NZ’s backyard and we will never forget it!

By Sophie Hansen, International Prefect