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

Weekend trip to Picton

Well it took me quite a long time to get this posted but last weekend we went up north to the top of the South Island to Picton where we swam with dolphins, went to a winery, and Kayaked around the sound.

I think the best part of this whole trip was the kayaking, you’ll find out later. The second was the aquarium I went to, you’ll find out later to. This was by far the best trip I’ve been on since I got here, and there’s still more to come, like skydiving or bungy jumping, or even hobbiton. Theres soo much to do in New Zealand that i think you could live here for 10 years and still not do it all.

So lets start with the long bus ride up to Picton. Of course this time we ignore what Alexis tells us to do, by arriving at the meeting place by 2:30pm. This time most of us arrive at 2:45, 2:50, and of course she’s freaking out because we have paperwork to sign and we miss the first public bus to the intercity bus station, and we make it to the station just before the bus was scheduled to leave. Then began the long 6 hour bus ride to Picton, thank goodness it had wifi so i could listen to Pandora the whole way up. The only highlight of that part was that we stopped in Kaikora for dinner for 30 min and together the 10 of us went through 8 pizzas. When we finally arrived we were exhausted and went to bed.

The dolphin swimming was amazing, we went on a boat and searched for about 30 minutes, found a huge pod of about 60 dolphins. the first time they put us in the water they dolphins came by us which was amazing. The next few times they went in the opposite direction. But, the last time we were in the water we were stampeded by the whole pod. there was another group of IFSA students from Wellington who were in the water, but we were better then them and the who pod changed their direction and stampeded straight for us. OMG was that amazing.

After that we were free to do what we wanted until the it was time to go to the winery. I ended up being late for the provided lunch because i was at the Aquarium. After lunch I went back to watch the feeding. That was pretty cool. The tour guide in the Aquarium showed us a few of the reptiles, including the Tuatara’s they had. He wouldn’t let me hold it. I went back the next day to see the feeding again and this time it was the manager who gave the tour, I made friends with him by talking geology and Alaska with him and he let me hold the Tuatara for  picture, and then I had to leave to catch the bus back to Christchurch.

The winery was a short tour with one sample(which was the best wine I’ve ever had). The dinner was very fancy though and they served food that i had never heard of before, but it was good.

Kayaking like i said earlier was my favorite part of the trip. Again we got up early, my partner and i choose the Kayak that was different from the rest and ended up being the best and most fragile kayak because it was made of fiberglass(but that was the best part about it). When we set off, we were immediately in what I called Jelly Fish Fields, no Spongebob though, i picked up a few, they feel very weird and slimy. But when we got out of middle of the sound we encountered a seal, after that we went out more then started back, where we encountered a mother and baby dolphin that stayed with us for about an hour. What was best about it though was that after a few minutes it became attracted to our kayak, we think because it was different, and it stayed with us most of the time.

So we were supposed to go back to Christchurch on a train, but due to some electrical failure that stopped all trains on the island for the day we had to take a bus provided by the bus company. It was terrible, no air-conditioning, no wifi, 6 hours, and we would open 1 of the 4 windows and it would get too cold for some people, then we would close it and in 5 minutes it was unbearably hot, then 10 minutes of it open till it was too cold. Needless to say we made it back in one piece.


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