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

Penguins, penguins, and MORE penguins!

Hello everybody!

It’s a positively lovely Sunday in Wellington. Sundays, for me, mean waking up early and heading downtown. Kelsie and I, and sometimes Brandi, make our way to Wholly Bagels for some delicious bagel-y breakfasts and coffees. After these lazy breakfasts where we (read: I) tend to sit and savour every last bite of those delicious bagels – which can sometimes take over an hour – we wander down Willis Street to this little tea shop where we sniff tea to our hearts’ content and sometimes get free samples. Then we head to the weekly Sunday fruit and veggie market, stock up on fresh produce, and head home. It’s my favorite day of the week – low stress, and taking in the early morning life of Wellington. Awesomesauce. Anyway, where was I….

Day TRES: Christchurch -> Oamaru

Disclaimer: Oamaru was possibly the second-least exciting of all the places we visited, but maybe that was exactly what we needed for our third day. It was, after all, our mid-trimester break. A chill day was good. But highlights anyway:

  • The hostel. Probably the most excellent accommodation I have yet stayed at in NZ. It was called Chillawhile, and the name couldn’t have been more perfect. It was this little old house with a big porch, two stories high, and owned by the young artist with an adorable little daughter. The place was completely packed with artwork – not only hers, but also art from people who had stayed there before. She had a deal where if you stayed in the hostel and created something beautiful while you were there (art or music), you could get a major discount. So naturally, this place was like my dream. Every room featured paintings and sculptures all over the walls and floors, pianos and guitars, muraled walls, colors galore. It was amazing. K, B, and I also got to stay in our cheap 8-bed dorm by ourselves, which was very pleasant. We did a puzzle that night.
  • PENGUINS. We saw so many penguins. We visited a yellow-eyed penguin colony early in the afternoon, but no penguins actually showed up. It was too early for them to come home. Sad. BUT later in the evening we braved the cold for a night-time penguin viewing of Little Blue Penguins. They were REALLY little. So little, in fact, that I couldn’t really see them, given my terrible-but-especially-terrible-at-night eyesight. So that was depressing. But at least I can say I’ve been to two penguin colonies!
  • Oamaru has this adorable little historical Victorian village thing, with lots of little shops and art galleries, which we had tons of fun exploring. There was also an excellent used bookshop. I fell in love. We had a lovely afternoon at a wee German bakery/café combo deal run by the nicest women ever. I bought an almond macaroon which to this day, a month later, I still remember the awesomeness of.

So, overall impression of Oamaru: pleasant to the max. I loved it there, but WHOA was I excited for the next day, involving Kelsie’s birthday and our trip to Queenstown. Stay tuned.

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