In the first week of the July school holidays, 40 NSW Police Legacy & AFP Legacy children, along with 8 hardy supervisors, headed to New Zealand. Phil Powell and Ellie Steel almost missed the plane due to connecting flight delays, but the AFP came to the rescue and we were on our way!
Day 1: Auckland Museum, full of the cultural wonders of the great Polynesian voyages which first brought people to New Zealand. Lunch on Mt Eden, an extinct volcano with incredible views of Auckland and surrounds. And then back to the city for a night of disco bowling at the Metro Lanes. Charli Jones led the dance off (and some of the Supervisors may have had a dance or two).
Day 2: First stop the Waitomo Caves, where a glow worm tour found us at one point in pitch darkness, and we all heard an Irish singer belting out a tune. (Was it our own Ken Brennan? He swears it was William McCulloch…) We arrived in Rotorua that afternoon to squeals of “What’s that smell?”, and some people had to be reassured there was no gas leak. Dinner was spent on a cruise on the Bay, where budding cinematographer Josh Bryant took his drone out over the water.
Day 3: Velocity Valley, where our kids had an amazing time on the Agrojet, Swoop, Freefall, and Schweeb. I have never heard such girlish screams from the older boys as they swung through the air! Then up the gondola for lunch and a panoramic view of Rotorua, followed by a winding descent through the redwood forest on toboggans, and a treetop walk. In the evening we had a traditional Hangi dinner at the Tamaki Maori Village where the children took part in warrior training, poi dance, and the haka. Songs were sung throughout the evening, and we even had a rendition of Advance Australia Fair on the way home in the bus.
Day 4: Our final day in New Zealand was spent travelling back to Auckland via Hobbiton. We were given a guided tour around the set with our guide pointing out the most famous locations and explaining the movie magic. We even managed to get all of the children squeezed into one of the Hobbit houses. On our ride back to Auckland we played “name that tune” which Jordan Baker won hands down.
Day 5: Plane ride. Sleep. More sleep.
~ Leisa Doherty, Community Support Officer