Richard blog #3 - A Trip to Wonderland!

I could sum up these last 10 days with one word: WOOOOW!!!! OMG, the 10 best days of my life have just passed and I can´t wait to tell you guys all about it. I just came home from the NZET South Island Adventure, and now I´ve noticed that I hadn´t truly understood the beauty of New Zealand until now.

The South Island seperates from the North Island quite distinctly. The South Island has got more big beautiful blue lakes and high mountains with snow and glaciers. The environment is completely different, and in my oppinion more beautiful! It is like another country. If you google New Zealand, you will probably find more pictures from the South Island than the North Island. The North Island is beautiful in its own way with its long beautiful beaches and amazing coast, but it is nothing compared to the South! I´ve made loads of new friends and experienced so many new things! Even though it was expensive, it was absolutely worth it!

We traveled all around the South Island, and stayed at at least nine different motels and holiday parks. We went for instance whalewatching, kayaking in several national parks, exploring glaciers, and some people went bungy-jumping, skydiving or jet-boat riding. These ten days really made me fall in love with New Zealand, and has made me love my choice of coming here even more. I have no regrets!

I think this trip is essential for every exchange student who lives on the North Island of New Zealand. You know nothing of the true beauty of New Zealand before you´ve seen both islands. I am happy I wasn´t placed in for instance the centre of Auckland, the biggest city of New Zealand. New Zealand is all about the rural life and the beauty of the countryside. You can´t really experience New Zealand in a big city.

The higlight of the trip was absolutely the overnight boat cruise in ''Milford Sound'', the most famous fiord in New Zealand. The pure blue colour of the water, mixed with the snow-covered hilltops, is something really astounding to experience. Something I would certainly recommend for anyone visiting New Zealand. Another place I would recommend Is Queenstown, one of the two most famous tourist towns in NZ. Queenstown and Rotorua are both big tourist towns, but if I got to visit one of them again, I would choose Queenstown. The town has got a certain wonderful charm with its old fashioned walking streets, harbor, and its big lake in the middle with nothing but beautiful hilltops all around it for as long as the eye can see.

Only a little bit over two months of my exchange left and then back to normal life in Finland... I love it here in New Zealand, but I am happy of my choice of coming here for five months. It is the perfect amount of time for experiencing a new culture, without feeling like you are leaving your old life behind. So that is what my life looks like at this point.. If you get the chance of going to New Zealand, GO!!!

- Richard