Student blog: Niamh – “Christmas Holidays”

Something very different about studying in Australia is the fact that we have a 3 month holiday over the Christmas period. This is the summer holiday like we have from July-September in England – but from November-February. It’s a bit of an odd feeling, but it’s a perfect time to go travelling, especially seeing as everyone back in England is busy with university.

During November, I spent some time with friends in Australia, before heading back to England for Christmas. It was lovely to be back at home, but as soon as all my family/friends had gone back to work/university, I didn’t have much to do. At the very start of January, however, I ventured back over to the Southern Hemisphere to join a 3 week tour of New Zealand with GAdventures’ ‘Best of New Zealand’ tour.

My time in New Zealand went by faster than I could ever have imagined. Visiting both the north island and the south island, our 21 days were packed to the brim with activities. From completing many 5:30am hikes, experiencing Maori culture, and visiting Waitomo Glow Worm caves, the north island was an amazing 7 day experience. I could definitely have spent double the time there if I had the opportunity.

With 14 days on the south island, I decided to be a bit more adventurous with the activities I chose to do. So…in Queenstown, I completed my first 15,000ft tandem skydive! It was the most amazing experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone! Other than skydiving, I was able to go dolphin watching, visit a seal colony, and go zip-lining on the world’s steepest zip-line.

The whole journey was a whirlwind, but I would do the whole trip again in a heartbeat!