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3 things I’d never seen before.

Tall, forlorn, sprawling hills thick with luxurious grass, flanked the road we drove on. We were headed down south from Auckland to a city named Rotorua. Here we’d see three things I’d never seen before.

Our first stop was at the hot springs. Trails ran around the pools of boiling mud, and were perfect for leisure walking if you could handle the heavy malodor. We ambled from one to the other, leaning over the fences and looking into the blue water.

The boiling mud was stenchy, but also incredibly beautiful.

Daylight was fading, so before it could disappear completely, we hurried through town to another place we wanted to visit, a redwood forest.

These trees were grown from seeds of California redwoods, planted in 1901 for logging purposes. 5060 hectares are set apart for the public to enjoy.

We meandered a short trail under the towering boughs.

The night was upon us, so we hustled over the sound-absorbing pineneedles back to the car, wishing the sweet-smelling forest goodbye.

But the most stunning sight of all day awaited us on the way back. It was aurora australis.

We pulled over by the side of the road and soaked in the incredible view. I’ve never had a very long bucket list, but seeing the northern lights (these were technically southern lights) has been on it for so long, and the experience far exceeded my expectations.

Seeing the dark night sky light up all crimson was humbling because it reminded me just how out-of-control I am. I control nothing.

On the other hand, God holds everything together. He spoke creation into existence, which makes it all the more incredible to behold, if you ask me.


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