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ITC’s Students’ Stray Adventures

Posted on 10/05/2012 by

A number of students from ITC’s two-year International Tourism and Travel Management programme went on a four-day Stray bus tour as part of their studies.

International student Thalib Meethal was one of the students and said he had a wonderful time.

The group left Auckland on 10 April and travelled to Hahei in the Coromandel, to Raglan, then to Waitomo and across to Maketu and Rotorua before returning to Auckland four days later.

“The driver Mudd gave a great commentary,” says Thalib. “He had lots of really fun stories and helped everyone to get to know each other.  We experienced ‘speed dating’ Stray-bus-style and had five minutes to talk to each passenger and then move seats.” 

Once they got to Hahei some of the travellers were brave enough to go for a swim. The water was cold but Thalib says the sun was out and warmed them up, and later in the day they experienced the natural hot water springs on Hot Water Beach.

“We dug holes in the sand and made our own hot pools,” says Thalib. “The water was much hotter than I thought it would be. The natural spring water is really good for your skin and it’s free!” 

The group were in Raglan the next day, giving them a chance to meet other international travellers staying in the lodge and to seek out the glow worms in the fields later that evening.

There were more glow worms and some serious adventure waiting for Thalib and his fellow travellers in Waitomo the next day.

Thalib did the Hagga Honking Holes caving experience – involving abseiling, rock-climbing and caving.

“It was a long way down (80m) and was really scary!” says Thalib.  “This was my first ever abseil and I’d never been in a cave before. When we got down to the river it was in flood and the next tours were cancelled due to the high water levels.” 

As well as all the adventure, Thalib enjoyed the food on the journey as well. He says that Mudd stopped at all the good places to eat along the way and a Kiwi barbeque in the Coromandel was a favourite, but the stand out meal was at Uncle Boy’s Place in Maketu.

Uncle Boy’s is a purpose-built marae and backpackers.

“We learnt the haka and about historic weapons and the migration of Maori to New Zealand and we heard many other tales of Maori culture.  Here we had a really great dinner – fresh fish, mutton, chicken and vegetables.”

The group also had time to explore Maketu beach and visit many of the area’s kiwifruit orchards before heading off to its final stop on the tour – Rotorua.

“We had to time to wander around the city centre and explore the lake shore,” says Thalib, “and we met some friendly local ducks!”

The group headed back to Auckland that evening.
“This was four of the best days of my life,” says Thalib. “Thanks ITC and Stray!”



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