• Bec Woods joins Paige Hareb at her local

Arriving in the wonderful world of Kiwi land on my way home from the US Open, the contrast could not have been any more extreme. Huntington Beach can sometimes be a little overwhelming for a small town Aussie girl, from megaphones and signings and an absolutely packed beach, to a ten seater plane and warm and friendly 'Welcome to New Zealand' in that distinctive Kiwi accent and single lane roads had me feeling like I could breathe again!

So the trip started like it should, lots of sheep noises from the Aussie's (yes we are original) and rugby jokes, but all in all Jessi Miley-Dyer, Sarah Beardmore and myself were very grateful to Paige Hareb baaa (sorry it came out of no where) and her family for having us!

We started our trip by checking out Paige's local spot Stent Road and the surrounds of Taranaki, with rolling green hills running alongside the volcanic coastline and the snow capped peak of Mount Egmont peaking through the cloud layer, New Zealand is an environmentalists dream. We even saw a calf, just born, trying to stand in a freezing field and stopped to take photos which I wont include because as beautiful as the calf was the rest of it was kinda gross!

We then made the trek slightly north to Rotarua, where Kiwi's and tourists alike head for the adrenaline rush of their choice. Our pick for the day was Zorbing. Some will never have heard of it, but you basically get put in the middle of a giant ball and get pushed down a hill. While I have always wanted to do it I have had visions of my ball over running the hill and ending up on a major highway (luckily the major highway is one lane in enzed), the instructors insured us this could never happen, so we were zipped into the ball with some warm water and flung from top to bottom. All in all a very fun experience and no black eyes!

Zorbing one day and snowboarding the next, we moved onto Taupo and Mount Ruapehu where the sun was out and a fresh dump of snow made for the best snowboarding experience of my life. Generally in Australia when you fall on the snow (well I fall and fall hard and am definitely not quitting my day job) you land hard on your knees, on what feels like rock and to avoid knee surgery you put your wrists down. If your lucky enough that they don't snap you roll onto our back to avoid the rock coming up and land sideways in a tree! Well I may be exaggerating slightly but in NZ there are no trees, no rocks and thick, fluffy, white and dry snow!

Fortunately us Aussie's picked up where we all left off a few years ago and could still turn and by the end of day two we were even following Paige and attempting tricks and boxes, some successful and some not so much but it made for more enjoyment when we each had a go of falling and getting pointed and laughed at.

Where the mountains meet the sea, I think that may have been a book? Anyway we came down from the amazing heights and spectacular scenery of Mount Ruapehu and went to capitalise on the offshore winds blowing clean up the faces of Stent Road. Surfing with a snow capped mountain in sight was a first time experience for my brain and body. The surf was so unbelievably fun, with long, walled right handers perfect for carves I had an awesome time and the 4/3 solution wetsuit helped! However, from first hand experience, when your body starts to do the opposite of what you direct it to do and your speech is slurred due to hypothermia setting in I suggest you go back to land! So to anyone thinking of going to New Zealand, you should do it because you will live it, you will love it and you can surf, what more could you want ay bro, wicked baaah!

Check out more of Bec's adventures @ http://becwoods.blogspot.com

Rebecca Woods and Paige Hareb 3