Author Archives: INTERNeX New Zealand

My North Island Adventure

By the end of September, I got to travel through the North Island with Stray. This week was the most amazing week I had so far in New Zealand. Stray is known to get off the beaten track and have unique sleep locations. This shouldn’t be underestimated at all. I loved that I got to see the beautiful highlights of New Zealand. But what I loved even more is that I got to see places which you will never find as a regular tourist. Because I was away for 9 days, I have a lot to tell, but if I do that you will not be finished reading after a couple of hours and I do not want to do that to you. Therefore, I will only tell you about the stuff which are important to know and the most remarkable experiences I had during that week.

When I hopped on the bus on the 29th of September I was greeted by a spontaneous driver from Stray. Stray works with New Zealand bus drivers because they have a lot of knowledge about New Zealand and all the tours in general, they know the country by heart and they will speak about it with passion. All the passengers who were travelling with Stray were around my age (24), which I really liked because everybody has the same state of mind around that age. The youngest was 22 years old and the oldest 31.

The bus was really small, it could only fit around 16 people, but this bus is only used in the low season when there aren’t so many customers to fill the big busses, which can have 60 people. But I did not mind that, since the group size wasn’t that big I got to know everybody really good and it made it easier to talk to people. But not only the group size made it easy to talk to people. Almost everybody in the bus was travelling, just like me, alone. Because of that, everybody is in the same situation as you are. We are all away from home, alone and we want to explore New Zealand and meet new people. For those reasons you have so much in common and it makes it easy to start a conversation with people.

I have been sleeping in 6 different towns, all around the North Island. But the bus will not go straight towards the next destination. Along the way the bus will stop a couple of times for different reasons: to get some coffee or breakfast, for a short hike, to jump in a hidden hot spring or to get some groceries. The bus driver will tell you if it is the last supermarket you will see before we hit the town or even before we continue the next day. Because Stray has accommodations in unique places, it can happen that you will sleep in the middle of nowhere, with no reception and no supermarkets.The driver will always inform you about this in the bus. Every day you also have the opportunity to cook the food for the evening for yourself, or to go to a local bar and eat together with the group.

Like I already mentioned before, Stray will go off the beaten track, which means that you will stay at unique locations and see things you wouldn’t see as a regular tourist. The locations where you will stay the night are all breath taking. In the 9 days I was away, I only slept two times in a hostel. This was in Rotorua and nearby the Tangoriro National Park. Every other night my sleeping area was unique in its own way.:

In Hahei we stayed two nights on a camping which was a 5-minute walk away from the beach! Stray has its own area at the camping which is only allowed to enter by Stray customers. The wooden houses that we we’re sleeping in were very big, tidy and the bunkbeds were extremely comfortable. We also had our own kitchen, bathroom area and a chill out place were later that night we would have our barbeque and bonfire.


The accommodation in Raglan was extremely beautiful. We were sleeping in small, wooden lodges which was located in the middle of the nature. It made me feel that I was sleeping in the jungle.  The lodges were layered in different levels on the mountain, Stray had the lodges on top of the mountain, so my room had an incredible view above the tree’s and the ocean in the background.

After Rotorua, we stayed the night in Lake Aniwhenua, which was one of my favourite places. The houses where we would stay the night had a beautiful view of the big lake in front of us. In the back, the giant green mountains were rising in the sky. It was something I never saw before.

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In Whakahoro, situated in the Whanganui National Park or known as the Blue Duck Station, we stayed again two nights. The drive in this National Park towards our accommodation, was breath taking. It looked a bit like the Shire from the Lord of the Rings movies. We were surrounded by big green mountains and there were sheep and lambs running everywhere. In Whakahoro Stray has a couple of houses where 16 people can sleep in one house. Each house has its own kitchen, bathroom, dining area and living room with a fireplace. Whakahoro has only a population of 8 people, and they provide everything for themselves. When you are there you can really experience the feeling of a community. The food that you can eat there is hunted by their own people. The water you use is coming from the mountains and even the food you want to throw away is going to be eaten by their animals. Even though the town has a small population, there are many activities you could do there. And Stray will arrange a party in the evening which everyone can join.

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I did a 3-hour horse track in Whakahoro and it was such an amazing experience. I never ride a horse before, so even if you are not experienced at all, it is still possible to do a horse track over here. But you can do a lot of other things over there like: hunting, kayaking or clay bird shooting.

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Everywhere you go there will be all kinds of activities you can participate on. Make sure that you know what you want to do, where you want to do it and if the weather is good enough to do it. It would be unfortunate if you did participate for a kayak tour when it’s raining, especially because there are a lot of places in New Zealand where you can go for a kayak tour.

Some things, like visiting Hot Water Beach or some hiking tracks, are free to do. For other activities you have to pay for. When you are in the bus, the driver will pass down a sheet of activities which you can apply for. This way you will not have to think about what you can do in the area yourself.
In Hahei you can hike to a lot off beautiful places. Ask at the reception where you sleep if they can give you some recommendations. But you surely have to go the Cathedral Cove. This hidden spot each is only accessible by foot or by boat and it is one of the locations were the movie ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ is been filmed. I did the one-hour hike to the Cathedral Cove and it was extremely beautiful. But you can also do it with a kayak tour. In the evening, you will also go to Hot Water Beach with Stray. Over there you can, due the hot water streams below, dig your own Jacuzzi.

 

Raglan is the place to be if you are interested in surfing or if you want to learn surfing. Raglan is situated at the west coast and it is really popular among surfer because of the strong sea and the high waves.

If you want a unique experience, please do visit the Waitomo Caves. The Waitomo Caves are famous of their glowworms. Because they give light it looks like you are surrounded by the stars. You can enter the caves in a couple ways: you can either choose the dry or the wet option. If you choose the dry option, you will sit in a boat with a guide and you will sail through the caves and see a lot of the glowworms. If you are claustrophobic, I would recommend doing the dry option, because the wet options are also the more adventurous option where you will go down in the caves, which sometimes can be very narrow. If you already done the Waitomo Caves, or you are not interested in doing it, you can also do some of the free hikes in that area.

At Lake Aniwhenua you will get a full Maori Experience, but not in a tourist way at all. You can learn the haka over there, make traditional bracelets and end the evening with a traditional Hangi. It was a day I would never forget. While you are on the bus you can choose to go to Lake Aniwhenua or skip it and go straight to Taupo where the bus will pick you up the next day. I am glad that I went to the lake. When we were driving towards the lake we stopped to pick up a Maori woman, who would be our guide for the rest of the day. She told us about the Maori culture and especially of her tribe. Somewhere along the way we stopped and she took us with her through a hidden path in the forest. If you don’t know it’s there, you will never find it. Eventually we stopped in an open place surrounded by the walls from the mountain. In these walls, you could see so many rock cravings, it was absolutely amazing. She told us that these cravings were one of the oldest cravings of New Zealand, all the way back around the year 1.000, when the first Maori arrived in New Zealand. Travel agencies are not allowed to promote this hidden spot, because it is situated on secret ground and you can only access it when you are invited by the Maori tribe. And because Stray and its customers are their guest, we were allowed to be there.

The last thing I would recommend to do is the Tangoriro Crossing. It will take you a while to finish it, but it will be an experience you will never forget. However, do it when the weather is good! Especially in the lower season, when it can be foggy, cold and it will be snowing in the mountains of the crossing. Because of the weather conditions in the winter season, you will have to pay more to enter the crossing compared to the summer season. Instead of $40 you have to pay around $200 for winter equipment and a guide, because you will be lost without it. If the weather is bad, even for winter conditions, and you want to enter the crossing, you will not receive your money back. When I could do the crossing, I decided not to enter it, because it was extremely foggy and cold. And I wanted to do it in the summer when the prize would be cheaper. Therefore, I decided to do the 2-hour free hike in that area. The hike was so beautiful, I had a really good day. But when I returned to my hostel I heard from the others, who did the crossing, that they couldn’t see a thing due the fog. Their experience was really bad and that was unfortunate.

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The next day I unfortunately had to head back to Auckland.

I can’t tell you what I liked the most of my whole trip, but everything what I did, what I saw and what I experienced was absolutely amazing!

Cheers,

Dani

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My incredible experience traveling New Zealand’s North Island

Last week, I went on an amazing tour with Kiwi Experience, I took the Geyserland and Lake pass. We visited Hot Water Beach, Waitomo, and Rotorua. On Wednesday morning, the bus driver picked us up at the Kiwi Experience office and we took off for our backpacker adventure. Before we went out of Auckland we did a quick toilet stop at the Auckland Domain and here our bus driver told us everything about the Kiwi Experience adventure, safety, activities, and accommodation during the bus trip. After that, we started our journey to Hot Water Beach, our first stop of the bus trip. My bus driver was really amazing! He was really funny and knows everything about New Zealand. He tried to help us as much as he could with our travel and activities and he really wanted us to have fun.

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During our trip to Hot Water Beach, we stopped once in a little town with a shopping mall. We had some time to do some groceries and get some lunch. We stopped nearby a PaknSave, the cheapest supermarket in New Zealand. Kiwi Experience is really trying to think about your money and tells you when there is time to do shopping and they will tell you where you can find cheap food.

Around 14.00 pm we reached our hostel in Hot Water Beach and we had about 30 minutes to check-in, go into your room and get changed. Then we went for our first activity of the trip. The bus took us to Cathedral Cove and we had to walk 45-minutes down. It was a really easy hike and the moment you reach the beach is breathtaking. This beautiful spot was used for the movie ‘Narnia’ and it was one of the locations in the music video for the song ‘Can’t hold us’ by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. We spend an hour around the beach before we went back up. When we visited the beach, the weather was really great and the view looked like a brochure picture. We went back to the hostel for dinner and we eat some fresh fish and chips.

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We were not able to get to Hot Water Beach before 12 pm. We missed the low tide at daytime so we went to the beach at night. This experience was amazing! We went with the whole Kiwi Experience group and had to find our way in the dark. At the beach, we had to find the perfect spot where we could mix hot and cold water to make our own natural Jacuzzi! The sky was clear, so we sat under the stars and had a perfect night in the hot water. This activity is definitely one of the best experience I’ve ever had!

The next day we were really tired, but we had to get up really early because of our busy day. Most people slept the first 1,5 hours on the bus and after that, we had our first stop to get some breakfast and do some groceries for Waitomo. After our break, we did a short hike track in Krangahake. Our bus driver guided us around the track that leads us through mines.

Next, we went back on the bus and continue our drive to Waitomo. During the ride, different accommodation and activity sheets were given and you could sign up for everything you wanted. I signed up for the Maori dinner and accommodation in Rotorua the next day. When we reached Waitomo, we first had to get out tickets for the Glowworm caves and the Maori dinner or sleepover. After that, we went to the hostel and we had some free time. Around 3 pm, 10 others and I were picked up at the reception and we went for the Black Labyrinth in the glowworm caves! This tour was really impressive. We had to climb and walk in the caves and when we reached the water we did the cave tubing and some small waterfall jumping. The most impressive moment was when all the lights went out and you could see all the glowworms in the caves!

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The next day we left Waitomo to go to Rotorua. After a 10-minute drive, we stopped for a short morning hike and afterward we left for Hobbiton. I did not go to Hobbiton this time, but we had some really nice weather so the people that went on the tour had a perfect day! The people that did not choose to go on the Hobbiton tour left for the OGO balls in Rotorua. I went in the OGO balls with one other girl and it was so much fun! First, we did the Straight Track, where you race another OGO balls downhill. The second time we did the Sidewinder Track, this is de world’s largest track. When we had to wait we could just chill in some outside Jacuzzi and enjoy the view over the Rotorua lake.

After a while, our bus driver picked us up and we went to our hostel in Rotorua. I stayed here for two nights and enjoyed my time with different people in the hostel. The first night, I went with the Kiwi Experience group to Tamaki, the Maori village. This cultural experience is amazing! You will learn a lot about the Maori culture, they will show you Maori dances, tell you stories and they will sing old songs. After that, we got some traditional food that they cooked beneath the ground on hot stones. They will end the evening with all the guys performing the Haka and some lovely songs.

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The next day, I left the Kiwi Experience group and went to explore Rotorua. In the afternoon, I visited the Redwoods with some people I met in the hostel. This forest is really beautiful and you can choose to do the free hiking tracks or go for a tree walk at day or night. We ended our trip in de Lava bar that is next to the hostel!

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On my last day, I went on another Kiwi Experience bus and went back to Auckland. Before we left Rotorua, we stopped at the Rainbow Springs Nature Park to learn something about the kiwi birds in New Zealand. We got on a tour and saw some baby kiwi along the way. After the tour, my trip was done and we went back to Auckland. My experience was really great, I had the opportunity to see many beautiful places and enjoy many different activities!

 

Cheers,

Melanie

 

INTERNeX fun team

INTERNeX New Zealand: Meet the fun team!

This month the INTERNeX fun team has arrive to Auckland. They are 4 Dutch students that are here for around 6 months. Let’s meet them:

Daniëlle Hoorn

Hi, my name is Daniëlle Hoorn, I am a 24 years old student from the Netherlands and for the next 7 months I will be an intern at INTERNeX New Zealand. I am looking forward to improving my skills in the leisure management industry, which is the area that I am studying in.

I love traveling and immersing myself in the culture of the country where I am. What I like to do most is socialising with different people, that’s why I am so happy that I have the opportunity to be an intern at INTERNeX in New Zealand.

Working with INTERNeX gives me the chance to meet many different people from all over the world and to help them make the most of the time in New Zealand.

In my spare time I like to shop, hang out with my friends and go to the movies. I am very excited to meet new people, explore this beautiful country and make memories for a lifetime.

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Melanie Berberich

Hi everybody,

My name is Melanie Berberich and I am a 21-year-old Dutch student. The next 7 months I will be doing an internship at INTERNeX and I will be part of the FUN team!

In the Netherlands, I am studying Leisure management at the NHTV in Breda. This is a university in the south of the Netherlands where I was living before I came to Auckland. At the moment, I am in my third year and in my study, I am mainly focusing myself on the cultural venues within the Leisure industry. After I graduate I can work as an event manager at a music venue, theatre, museum or maybe a cultural festival.

I would like to describe myself as an open-minded person who likes to help people and experience new adventures all the time.

At home, I already worked for an event company that organised sports activities. In my time here I organised multiple activities and some big events.

In my free time, I like to meet with my friends, travel around the country, visit a museum and I do a lot of volunteering work.

I am very excited to work for INTERNeX and cannot wait to discover New Zealand!

Best wishes!

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Els Martens

Hi everyone,

My name is Els Martens and I am a 19-year-old student from Holland. I will be joining the INTERNeX FUN team for the next 7 months.

Back in Holland I am studying leisure management. I am learning how to organise different kind of events. I am currently in the third year of my study and I already have done/learned so much.

I love to help people. I only feel that my job is done when everybody is smiling. I also love to experience all kinds of new things.

At home, I like to keep busy so I am involved in lots of different activities. Those activities reach from organising fun weeks for kids to guiding adrenaline routes for adults.  Besides that, I also like to do some volunteering.

In the time that is left I love to meet with my friends and see lots of different places. I also really like to have a good time and just do some spontaneous things.

I am really looking forward to working at INTERNeX and I am ready to give it my best!

Cheers!

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Maarten Bakx

Hi guys, my name is Maarten Bakx, I am 23 years old and I am from the Netherlands. This semester I am starting my internship at INTERNeX New Zealand.

I am a positive, social and open minded person who is experienced in organising activities for large groups. I study commercial economics IEMES at Fontys Hogeschool Tilburg. IEMES stands for International Event Music Entertainment Studies. At Fontys Hogeschool they teach us how to create and manage activities and how to manage the financial part of it.

In my spare time I was part of a commission that organises activities for Tilburg University, mostly sport-activities. Those projects require planning, social media activities, preparing and executing activities. I find these projects exciting and enjoy learning the new skills that come with it. Teamwork, communicating, approaching different people and taking initiative are skills that I have learnt and look forward to improving during my time with INTERNeX. We often get positive reactions about our activities and this gives me the energy to start a new adventure!

Cheers!

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If you want to contact them please write to: pr@internexworld.co.nz

View of Lake Pukaki in the South Island of New Zealand

8 Reasons to travel to New Zealand

Aotearoa, Maori for the land of the long white cloud.

New Zealand is home to some of the most beautiful and breathtaking landscapes in the world. The country is divided into two islands, where 4.6 million people and over 29 million sheep live (yes we have more sheep than people). It is where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed and home to the best sports team in the world—the All Blacks.

If you’re still trying to decide on your next destination, here are the top 8 reasons why you should choose New Zealand;

  1. Hikers Paradise: New Zealand has many treks suitable both for newbies and experienced hikers. Both islands offer thousands of options for people who love hiking. The options for sceneries are also very varied, including forests, mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers.

One of the most appealing characteristics of hiking in New Zealand is that there are no dangerous animals—no poisonous snakes, no deadly spiders, no dengue mosquito. So hike away with beauty and safety (remember to ensure you let someone know where you are going hiking and stick to the designated paths).

2. Beaches: Being an island (two actually), Kiwi’s have easy access to a vast amount of beaches. The country has over 29,000 km of coastline. Even in cities like Auckland, clean, beautiful beaches and ports are widely available, and some can even be accessed via ferry.

3. Incredible Nature: New Zealanders have done their best to preserve the natural habitat of the country. 13 national parks, 3 maritime parks, and hundreds of natural reserves are open for tourists. Moreover, there are several special rivers & lakes, which are protected by the government. In total, around 30% of the country’s land area is protected conservation land. Only here, can a river be considered a “legal person”.

4. Safety: The crime rates here are very low compared to other countries. New Zealand is the fourth safest country in the world.

5. A wide range of touristic offerings: It doesn’t matter whether you have a wide or tight budget—you will find an option that suits your pocket as well as your interests and time. From North to South you will find varied places to visit, so maybe the only difficulty would be to choose which ones!

6. Amazing Road Trips: Renting a car or even a camper van for your road trip is very easy. For backpackers, students, couples, and even entire families, driving around New Zealand for vacations is a popular activity, especially during summer.

7. International Environment: If you want to meet people from all over the world, this is the best place to do so. Auckland, the most populated city in the country, is like a mini New York. It is a cosmopolitan and diverse city where people from all over the world converge.

8. World’s Extreme sports capital: If you are an adrenalin lover, this is the place to be. Kiwis created the first bungee jumping in the world and the range of extreme sports is very interesting, you can choose skydiving, bungee, rafting, caves, zipline, canyoning, and much more.

9. Just happiness: The kiwi attitude is all about being happy and chilled. The fun thing here is that it is contagious.

I’m sure you are convinced now…

Remember INTERNeX can help with all of your travel bookings so get in touch today for more information – travel@internexworld.co.nz

 Explore New Zealand with INTERNeX

Natalia travelling

INTERNeX New Zealand: New team member!

Hi everyone!

My name is Natalia Moncada, the newest member of INTERNeX New Zealand. I am a 26 years old, social communicator from Bogota, Colombia.

I have worked in different companies, such as Kimberly-Clark Colombia, PwC Mexico, and Havas Worldwide Vale Mexico. I have experience in communications, marketing and advertising. In my previous job, I created advertising strategies for different brands in the entertaining, retail, and food industries.

I am now studying Digital Marketing here in Auckland and will be working at INTERNeX 20 hours per week around my studies.

I will be in charge of supporting administrative activities in the company and also optimising internal and external communications.

I have always loved to travel and I’ve been very lucky to see some amazing places already. Now that I am in New Zealand I’m looking forward to discovering more wonderful places in this country (especially hiking places).

I am very excited to work with the INTERNeX team and to get to know all our travellers and partners.  I want to help as much as I can and have fun while doing it.

Feel free to email me anytime on Natalia@internexworld.co.nz

NZ School Holiday Volunteer Program – Applications Open!

Are you passionate about working with children, being a role model and keen to gain experience in early childhood? Our program has been designed for those wanting to gain real life experience working with children in a fun environment in New Zealand!

The next intake is April 17th!

One and Two week Programs available!

Key Details 

  • working with children aged 5-14
  • Fun daily adventures and activities
  • Gain new life experiences
  • Build relationships

Secure your volunteer placement with us today. Contact cat@internexworld.co.nz

 

WORK + LIVE + LEARN 

 

 

Welcome to the Team Milou!

Hi everyone,

My name is Milou and I will work at INTERNeX New Zealand for the upcoming 4 months. I am 21 years old and a graduate student from the Netherlands.

I grew up in Teteringen, which is a small village next to the popular student city Breda in the south of the Netherlands. I have been studying International Leisure Management at the NHTV and nearly finished this study. In New Zealand, I will research the communication and relationship between INTERNeX and the (active) farmstays as part of my graduation assignment.

Last year, I did my internship at one of the biggest wedding planners of Malta (Y Plan Events Ltd.). Although I had an amazing time, I came to New Zealand to work for a completely different company and experience; already enjoying it to the fullest!

I will be in contact with the participants of the farmstays in the upcoming months so keep an eye on your inbox! 🙂 If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to have a chat!

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