Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Preliminary Explorations

Need to come up with new adjectives to describe this country and my weekly adventures other than “awesome”and “unreal”…but yeah, this week was (once again) both of those things. New Zealand has it figured out – icecream, skiing, landscapes that make you believe in witchcraft and wizardry. In the last 7 days I’ve attended class, had the first of many Adventure Wednesdays and first weekend excursion away from the coast.

Wednesdays seem to be a pretty light class day for a group of my friends here, and last week it was a beautiful sunny and 50+ degrees so we decided to hop in Kristina and Suzie’s newly purchased Subaru (named Momo) and head out to the Otago Peninsula, a quick 20 minute drive from campus. We picked a quick hike/walk called Lover’s Leap, a path that lead us through farmland to the top of some very impressive cliffs above the Pacific. It was gorgeous and arguably the nicest weather we’ve had since I’ve been here. We agreed that the landscapes looked like they’d been created by some sort of magical wizard and couldn’t possibly be real. The hillsides and ocean around here are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Gandalf, most likely. Also – it’s true, about the sheep. And don’t worry mom and dad – I made it back for my 5 pm class which I attended in muddy hiking boots.

Thursday night flatmates and extended flatmates (complex-mates) headed over to the Speight’s Brewery ¬†for a tour that included a 30 minute stint in the Brewery bar. Oops. Good fun, though.

This weekend I headed out to Wanaka (in Momo) to ski. Wanaka was so beautiful I decided to go back next weekend! I’m not even going to try to describe it, so check out some pictures. It’s an amazing place, I’m trying to live there one day. Shania Twain has a house there, dream big friends. On Saturday we skied at Cardrona, 25 minutes outside town. We drove Momo to the base of the access road, parked and hitched a ride to the top. The access road is something similar to the Mt Washington Auto Road – 20 minutes of winding dirt road up a pretty steep face without guard rails or much in the way of lanes. The base of the lifts is at the top of the road – exciting stuff. On Sunday I opted out of skiing and instead decided to rent bikes and mountain bike around part of Lake Wanaka before getting in the car and coming back to Dunedin. At home last night we made hot chocolate and watched Moonrise Kingdom, topping the weekend off flawlessly. I’m already psyched to get back out there next weekend. Spring break plans are evolving, among others. Stay tuned.


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