Rachel Goh - “When I decided to be semi-adventurous, part 2”

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Rachel Goh

Rachel has travelled from Singapore to study Psychology at the University of Otago. She is often seen running around campus juggling various commitments. 

All of this preparation saved my life when I was hit with crazy winds and rain (author’s note to her friends: See? It pays to be extra pedantic sometimes). I cannot wait to attempt Tongariro again… third time lucky I hope? Fingers crossed.

5. Taupo and the Hooker Valley Track at Mount Cook

Lake Taupo is like Queenstown – a beautiful postcard untouched by civilisation. I was, and still am, in awe of how clear and cerulean it was. Lake Tekapo is where you can find the iconic church of the Good Shepherd (tinier than it looks!), and the Mackenzie Sheepdog statue.

People also tend to stop and take pictures with the beautiful lupins when it blossoms during summer. You can find the freshest salmon in NZ at nearby Twizel as well – it was a treat chomping down salmon sashimi right next to Lake Pukaki.

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My friends and I decided to attempt the nearby Hooker Valley Track at Mount Cook. It was a relatively easy walk that is suitable for all ages. There were breath-taking views of Mount Cook in the distance, vast expanse of greenery, and a beautiful green lake with glaciers poking out of the water to welcome you at the end.

I particularly enjoyed walking across multiple swing bridges – but please be mindful and not jump on it! I have very fond memories of this trip.

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6. Auckland

Auckland will always have a soft spot in my heart. It was where my parents wanted to move to when I was 10 (disclaimer: we didn’t), it was where I celebrated the end of my high school exams, and it was where I first started my 8-year NZ university journey.

Most importantly, Auckland is the closest thing to home – I spend every winter break on the Goh family farm with my dearest Uncle Danny, Aunt Lee Ngan, and my sweet cousin Isabelle. I view Auckland as a retreat of sorts as it is a place where I can recharge and refocus.

In 2017, I finally attained my dream of visiting Hobbiton, which is a 2 hours drive from Auckland. The weather was not ideal, but being a huge Lord of The Rings fan (many thanks to Daddy Goh), I was still super excited. My best friend and I lapped up every trivia about Hobbiton and the movies and we were game to take as many photos. Hobbiton is definitely a must see!

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