Summer 2022 Trip Highlights: Australia and New Zealand

Ms. Blaylock, our trip leader, had this to say about the experience: 

This trip was absolutely amazing. Our group had non-stop, fun filled days from beginning to end. It started in Cairns, Australia and snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef. We also ended up in the rainforest of Kuranda where we were able to hike to the Red Peaks and the Barron falls. We learned about the culture of the aboriginal tribes and were taught how to throw boomerangs. Next we had a tour of Sydney, Australia including Sydney Harbor, the cliffs, the opera house, Sydney tower, and the original Rocks historical neighborhood. Some of our group even went to see an opera. We also explored Bondi Beach and went surfing at Manly beach. Taronga zoo was pretty cool as well. 

Next we traveled to New Zealand where we learned about the Māori tribe. They welcomed us in with a tribal ceremony and a hangi feast. Exploring their villages was an experience you just can’t put into words. . It was like traveling back in time. Of course, now, the tribe members enjoy the modern conveniences such as electricity and WiFi. We were able to travel through and learn about the geothermal parks and how it is used in heating, electricity and cooking. Other fun experiences in New Zealand included mud baths, sky swings, Schweebs, and much more. The scenery there was breathtaking, and the food was phenomenal (kangaroo pies and lamb chops). Finally we were able to visit Hobbiton, the movie set for the Hobbits and Lord of the Rings. It was like being right there in the movies. 

I can’t say enough how this was a once in a lifetime adventure for our students and their families as well as for myself. It was eye opening in how other cultures live and how we are alike and different in many ways. This was a learning experience I will never forget and i was honored to have this group along with me. We made many friends from Australia, NewZealand, and four other US states, as we all traveled together on this adventure. 

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