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

A weekend in the Catlins

The Catlins is another name for the Southern Scenic Route of New Zealand. Three other girls and I rented a car for the weekend and explored the coastline. Luckily one of the girls is from Australia so she is used to driving on the left. So, we had her drive during the more crowded parts of the trip, going in and out of Dunedin. Once we were on the Southern Scenic Route, we barely passed 20 cars the whole day. We did have some excitement driving, though. We got stuck in a herd of cattle and all we could think was, “Please don’t hurt the rental car!” We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather all weekend and the scenery was absolutely amazing. Around every corner is another beautiful view. This is clear by the 600 pictures I took in two days! Thank goodness for digital cameras!
Although New Zealand is such a small country, there is so much to see. It’s kind of difficult to get around New Zealand, though, because there aren’t very many roads and the roads that they do have are all very windy. Therefore, it takes much longer to get places than it seems like it should if you just look at a map. I’m doing my best to see as much of the south island as possible. So far I’ve done weekend trips to Queenstown, Oamaru and the Catlins. My mom comes on Monday and she’ll be here for two weeks. While she’s here we will be seeing a lot more of the south island and we’re also going to Sydney for a few days. After Mom leaves, I have weekend trips to Stewart Island, Wellington and Kaikoura planned. My biggest fear is that I’ll regret not seeing something while I was over here, so I’m trying to cover as much ground as possible on the budget that I have. One definite plus of travelling in New Zealand is the availability of hostels. A typical double room in a hostel with a shared bathroom costs $30. All of the hostels I have stayed in so far were very nice. I’ve only had one hostel room with a door that didn’t lock! Flights in New Zealand are also relatively cheap. A flight from Dunedin to Wellington will only cost about $200 round trip. The trick is finding a cheap way to get to the airports!
I really can’t believe how fast my trip has gone so far! I’ve been planning this trip for over a year and it’s already half way over. However, the good part of being in the second half of my trip is that I’m mostly over my homesickness and I’m at the stage where I just want to take advantage of every opportunity that I get.

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