New intern

Hi Everyone! My name is Michelle van den Bos and I am the new intern at INTERNeX. I am born and raised in Dordrecht which is located near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I am 23 years old and I study International Leisure Management.

2017-01-17-16-28-26As the name of my degree already says it is very international, before I came here to do my internship I was in the USA for an exchange program. Besides that I have already worked on a summer camp in the USA, on a camping in France, and as an Au-Pair in London.
As you may imagine I love to live and work abroad, and it may not surprise you that one of my main hobbies is to travel and experience new cultures/places.

In addition to travelling I also like to do sports, before I started my Leisure Management degree I studied sports. My favourite sports are: korfball (which no one will know), skiing, snowboarding and scuba diving.

I’m looking forward to start my internship and help you all with, hopefully, the best experience of your life! I hope I will be able to answer all of your questions and I’m looking forward to meet everyone.

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What to do in Rotorua?

Hobbiton

20161112_142632When you have seen the movies of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ then this is a place you have to see when you are in New Zealand! With 52 hobbit holes in a beautiful area around Matamata. You will have a guided tour through the whole village, combined with information about how they filmed it and when they used it in the movie. Once you have visited the hobbit holes you are going to the part of the village where the bar ‘The Green Dragon’ is located. There will get a drink and you have some time to explore the area. Afterwards, the tour is finished you can buy some unique merchandise in the shop to remember Hobbiton when you are back home!

 

Kaitiaki Rafting

Are you into adventures, then you definitely have to g13o rafting. You will have so much fun and an amazing time on the raft! It’s an experience that starts by changing into all your gear, after which you will hop on the bus for 2 minutes to get to the place of action. Then once you are in the raft, the rafting immediately starts, by being in the middle of a beautiful forest. You will have some strong currents and amazing waterfalls during your time in the boat and a good swim! The 7 metre high waterfall is the world’s highest commercially raftable waterfall! So it is a great rafting experience that you will not forget!

OGO

ogo-rotorua-sidewinder-1024x682Do you always wanted to roll of mountain in a big plastic ball. Do this at OGO Rotorua. There are different options that you can do. A straight track down the hill, criss-crossing down the hill with the Sidewinder and the Dry OGO. Yes you understand it right, with the first 2 options you will be wet! It is so much fun and you will have an amazing time!

 

The Redwoodsredwoods

When you like outdoor activities like hiking and walking, this is a really good spot to go to! With Californian Coast Redwoods in the Whakarewarewa forest it is so beautiful! There is a big network of superb mountain biking,  walking tracks and also horse tracks! You can also have a walk high up in the massive Redwood trees. Over 5600 hectares of forest this is an amazing place with great panoramic views!

Polynesian Spa

largeAfter all the time working, it could be nice to have relaxing time. Then you can go to the Polynesian Spa,  a geothermal bathing and soul soothing retreat! It is nestled on the shores of Lake Rotorua, with 28 mineral pools out of 2 natural springs. Polynesian Spa is recognised as one of the top 10 spas in the world!

 

Tamaki Maori Village

warriors-perform-a-haka-with-taiaha-weapons-at-tamaki-maori-village-rotoruaThe nr.1 cultural attraction of New Zealand is the Tamaki Maori Village. Do you want to learn more about the culture of the Maori then you have to go here. With some information and interactive games you will learn more about the culture. You also have a chance to learn the Haka and you will see a couple of Haka’s during your time in the village. At the end of the tour you will get a delicious Hangi meal!

Rotorua Canopy Tours

canopy-toursThis is New Zealand’s only Native Forest Zipline Canopy Tour. You will get into a native New Zealand forest that is breathtakingly beautiful. During this 3 hour tour through the forest you will cross a 1.2 kilometre network of 6 ziplines, swing bridges, treetop platforms and little hikes up to 22 metres high! The tour funds a massive conservation project to protect the native plants and birds! You also get a lot of information of the native plants and birds!

Skyline

skyline_3v_14Is it time to just have some fun without having it booked before, then Skyline Rotorua is an amazing place to go! You have to go up with a gondola and you will have an amazing view over Rotorua! Then on top, you dan do different activities, but the luging is definitely recommened. Luging can be compared with playing Mario Kart in real life, in combination with a beautiful view. For luging, you can choose between 3 different tracks of different skill levels while having an amazing time!

 Waiotapu

waiotapu-aerialThis is literally a thermal wonderland! It is a beautiful landscape with geothermal activity. Explore the spectacular nature at New Zealand’s most colourful volcanic area. There are great tracks where you get past all the unique volcanic features.

 

Te Puia

visit-te-puia-and-see-the-pohutu-prince-of-wales-te-tohu-and-kereru-geysers-across-the-puarenga-sExplore the Whakarewarewa, a 60 hectare Geothermal Valley. There are the famous Rotorua mud pools and 500 geothermal wonders, including the Pohutu Geyser, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest geyser. You will see iconic native New Zealand Kiwi Birds in the Kiwi House. And you will also see some traditional Maori carving and weaving. Together, this all gives you a lot of information about the Maori Culture as well!

 

 

A roadtrip to the most northern part of New Zealand!

When you have a couple of days off and you would like to go on a short trip where you can do some great activities and enjoy the beautiful nature we have here in New Zealand than we have a great idea for you guys. Just go all the way up to the most north part of New Zealand!

You can rent a car or book a Bay of Islands trip with Kiwi Experience. We chose to rent a car and on the first day we drove all the way up to Cape Reinga. During our first day we had some stops to enjoy the amazing views, for example one of our stops was at 90 Miles Beach.

90 Miles Beach is the beach on the West Coast of the most north part of New Zealand, it is a very touristic spot because of the fact that the dunes are looking much like a desert landscape and you have an endless view over the West Coast.

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Beside the view, 90 Miles beach is the perfect spot for sandboarding! Sandboarding is something that you can only do over here in New Zealand because of the high dunes. When you drive to 90 Mile Beach you will see many places where you can rent body boards and they will tell you where the closest place to Sandboard is.

Walk to one of the highest dunes, prepare yourself for a crazy experience and go! I promise you, after you do it you will definitely want to do it again because it is so fun and when you are at the top of the dunes you have an amazing view of the terrific landscape.

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After a long day we finally arrived at Cape Reinga. Cape Reinga is generally considered the separation marker between the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. From the lighthouse it is possible to watch the tidal race, as the two seas clash to create unsettled waters just off the coast. At the moment we were there, the sea was not rough at all, so it was really difficult to see the point where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean are coming together. We walked up to one of the hills they have over there to watch the beautiful sunset.

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That night we drove to Paihia, known as the Bay of Islands. We slept in Base hostel and woke up the next day really early to enjoy the last day of our trip! We booked a hole in the rock dolphin tour. Which includes a free ferry ticket to Russel, that’s a little city across Paihia, the cruise would pick us up over there so we went for a walk and a lunch to prepare ourselves for the three-hour cruise. During the cruise the skipper told us a lot of things about the different Islands, halfway the cruise we visited the Hole in the Rock, saw some seals and took a lot of pictures.

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But the best part of this day was the fact that we saw a lot of dolphins! It’s even possible to swim with them if you would like to pay for this experience! Unfortunately, it wasn’t allowed that day because there were baby dolphins and when there are baby dolphins you are not allowed to jump into the big ocean to swim with them. But I’m sure I will come back another day, because you will never get bored of New Zealand and all the amazing activities you can do over here.

I hope you guys will all take your chance to visit as many places as you can here in New Zealand, even when you only have a couple of days off it’s still possible to go out and enjoy the landscape and crazy activities. When you have a question about this trip, about other travel advice or something completely different. Don’t hesitate to send me an email to pr@internexworld.co.nz and I will help you guys with all your questions!

Cheers,

Fleur

East Coaster Stray

Hi guys,

I hope you are all enjoying your time in New Zealand and excited about the summer that is on its way. 14859417_991795610955032_889228321_o

On Saturday morning I started my adventure with Stray on the East Coaster, which of course goes to the East Coast of New Zealand. I first made my way to Rotorua to start my adventure and our first stop was at Canopy Tours http://canopytours.co.nz . This is a must do activity in New Zealand and is highly recommended! After the canopy adventure we went for dinner at the Lava Bar in Rotorua and as it was Halloween we all got dressed up together and had a great night!

At 9 o’clock in the morning the adventure continued and we made out way to Te Kaha, stopping along the way to check out the beautiful sights and scenery. There are so many beautiful places in New Zealand and I can tell you the views on the East Coast are literally amazing. After enjoying all of the little view spots we arrived at Te Kaha where we got to experience a jet boat adventure. It was so cool!

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At 3pm we arrived at our homestay accommodation in Te Kaha and met an incredible and lovely guy named Chay. The accommodation was at his beautiful house. Everybody was welcome and introduced to his family, the home was amazing. We could see the ocean views from the property and there was access to some really beautiful beaches. We all dropped our bags and headed to the beach to enjoy the view, sun and a couple of drinks together.

At Te Kaha there is so much to do, you can choose to hike, kayak, fish or just enjoy swimming at the beach! That night we got to relax in the hot tub stray-famil-1and then shared an amazing seafood buffet. Everything on the table was freshly made and the fish was caught by them – soo delicious! Just when we thought the evening couldn’t get any better we had a sing along with Chay. It’s namely a tradition that Chay sings for everybody that visits his home and out of respect we all sang a song for him as well.

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At the end of the night we were so tired, we jumped into our beds dreaming about what kind of incredible adventure the next day would be.

The following morning we hopped on the bus again and drove to an incredible beach at Te Araroa where we stopped for a short break, before making our way to the most Eastern Lighthouse of New Zealand, which is also the most Eastern Lighthouse of the world. After taking the 800 steps up to the top of the Lighthouse, taking in the amazing view, we then walked all the way back down and drove to the only church in New Zealand that incorporates Maori Design. It was so beautifull! After this stop we drove to the longest wharf of New Zealand, namely Tologa Bay Wharf, which is 600m long.

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After all of these amazing stops it was time to make our way to our accommodation at Dive Tatapouri.stray-famil-3 A homestay that was again incredible to experience. It was right by the ocean and we got to celebrate another Halloween night with a bonfire. A big plus to this evening was getting to see the tiniest penguin in the world, the little bleu penguin. So cute!

The next day we all got up really early at 5am to see the first sunrise for the day in the world, which can be seen from Dive Tatapouri –  it was an amazing sunrise!

Seeing the sunrise was the start of a great day as we then went on to feed stingrays in the ocean. We got changed into these amazing wetsuits and each had a bamboo stick to help us follow our guide through the water. The stingrays started swimming towards us which was quite scary at first, but after a few minutes we realized they were really friendly and just wanted our attention like little puppies.

We got to pat them and feed them some fish by holding out our hand underwater and the stingrays sucked the food off our hand, it was such an incredible experience!

After feeding the stingrays, the trip had unfortunately came to an end and it was time to pack up and head back to Rotorua, however as I was having such a great time we decided to hop off in Whakatane to stay there for a few more days so we could visit White Island. That is the great thing about traveling with Stray, they are so flexible so you can hop on and hop off where ever we want for as long as you want and White Island was definitely somewhere we wanted to spend more time at!

White Island is the only active marine Volcano where you can see roaring stream vents, bubbling pits of mud, hot volcancic streams and the amazing lake of steaming acid. Amazing right!!???

My time with Stray is something that I will remember forever and I hope you will take the time to explore this beautiful part of New Zealand.

This is  3 – 7 days tour with departures on Tuesday and Saturday mornings and for any of our INTERNeX’ers living in the Waikato or Central North Island remember this tour starts really close to you in Rotorua and only takes a minimum of 3 days, so you definitely don’t have to miss out on this travel opportunity!

Please let me know if you have any questions and if you would like to book this same trip just let me know by emailing pr@internexnewzealand.co.nz.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Cheers,

Lisanne

 

Kiwi Experience trip Taupo

After 4 days travelling we had a day off in Taupo. A bunch of people headed off to the hiking track of Tongariro, where Mount Doom is. All the others were recovering from the night before. It was nice to have a proper day off. I just went with a group of people to the beach and just hang out for a while. The weather was really nice and just throw a ball. Lake Taupo is actually a big volcanic crater, so on the beach you see a lot of things that are from the volcano like the rocks and volcanic glass.20161011_1737221

20161011_1723571After the beach I went to a thermal park. I got passed Taupo Bungy
and they have an amazing spot to have a bungy. The Waikoto river is so beautiful. Close to the river you have a stream that is heated and you can sit in the pools over there. It was such a nice place to be. In the evening we were going for a drink. It was so sad to have to say goodbye to everyone. You meet so many nice people!

I hope you all enjoyed the blogs the last days about my Kiwi Experience trip. I think the trip was amazing! If you have any questions about travelling with Kiwi Experience send an email to pr@internexworld.co.nz and ask me!

Cheers!
Remi

Kiwi Experience trip Rotorua to Taupo

20161010_103239We had to move on again. This day we are going in the direction of Taupo. We had to jump on the bus at 9.30am. In the morning you were able to do an activity. For example going to see the geysers and Kiwi birds in te puia and go zorbing at OGO. All the people who didn’t want to do an activity in the morning were going to Redwood forest for a short walk. There were enormous red trees and it was a beautiful short walk through the forest.

After we picked up the rest of the group at the activities we were going to Taupo. This day you had the opportunity to do a skydive. You can do a 15000ft or a 12000ft skydive in Taupo. A lot of people on the bus wanted to do that. When you are doing the skydive in Taupo, you have an amazing view over Lake Taupo and you will see Tongarario National Park with Mount Doom! The weather was really good and everyone loved it!
20161010_182158While some people were doing the skydive we had some spare time to just have a look around and enjoy. At 5pm I had to be in the harbour to jump on a sailboat, The Barbary. We were going with 20 people from the Kiwi bus on the boat and we had a really good time. The captains most important rule was having fun. We had a lot of fun, eating pizza, steering the boat, watching old carvings of Maori and see Mount Doom at the other side of the lake. It was definitely worth it!20161010_172417

Because this is our first place where we have 2 overnight stops, we could have fun in the evening and play some games in the bar and have fun with the people you have met during the trip!

Kiwi Experience Trip Waitomo-Rotorua

The 3rd day we had to move on in the direction to Rotorua. We had to leave at 8.30am and our first stop was in Ruakuri Forest. We had a short walk there through the forest where you walking next to river that is passing through the mountains. On some places you have to get in the caves to stay on the track. You can get in to the caves and make nice pictures! After we did the walk we had to move on to Rotorua!
20161009_141509When we were heading to Rotorua we had the chance to visit Hobbiton as well. I didn’t do that but only the ride to Hobbiton was really beautiful and you will see why it was filmed in that area!  All the people on the bus who went there liked it really much! Because I didn’t do Hobbiton we had more spare time so I went with some people luging. You are going with a luge downhill. You can choose if you are going fast or not. It is really fun when you are going with some people and have a challenge as well. You have different tracks: scenic, intermediate and advanced. The advanced was closed but on the scenic one you have some places where you can stop and look around, the intermediate is a track where you can go down quite fast! Once we done that we had to move on to the hostel!

20161009_192739We had a couple of hours spare time over there so it was nice to have a chill for a bit. In the evening we got picked up for the Tamaki Maori Village. The bus driver told us a little bit about the village and the Maori village! The group needed a chief and one of us volunteered to be the chief. He needed to participate in a ceremony. No one was allowed to smile or move while the ceremony was happening. We got a show
from them what was including a Haka! That was great! After the ceremony we were going into the village and learned some things about the Maori Culture. We learned about the carvings, the Haka, movement and weaponry, artwork and a couple of traditional games. It was a lot of fun and really interesting to watch. Once we did all of the different houses we moved to another part of the village. The place where they cook the dinner. It is a hole in the ground with hot rocks and dirt on top where th20161009_203527ey cook the dinner in. After we saw the food we had a show with dances and singing. It was really nice to watch. Now it was time for the dinner. It was the traditional meal of the Maori, the Hangi! It was a huge buffet with delicious food. There were potatoes, veggies, chicken, lamb and a couple of side dishes! After everyone had eaten from that buffet, the dessert was coming up  and it was also really delicious. You can also book an overnight stay at the Tamaki Maori Village and those who did that had to perform a dance and the guys also needed to show us a Haka. And we also had a performance from all the Maori. The whole night you get a lot of good performances.

Unfortunately it was finished and we needed to go back to the bus heading to the hostel. This was actually quite fun because we were singing songs the whole time in the bus. This was a really good night, definitely worth your money and you have to experience it!