I have been in Middle-earth for a few days now and I have already fallen madly in love. I am convinced there is no city comparable to Auckland. One minute you’re walking down Queen Street (similar to Michigan Avenue in Chicago I’d say) and then the next you’re at the ferry port overlooking dozens of islands scattered across the horizon. New Zealand is truly remarkable.
Adjusting to the cultural differences hasn’t been too challenging. Adjusting to 75 and sunny everyday hasn’t been too challenging either! Every day I wander the city and find new things to do. The Auckland Domain is located directly behind my apartment and it is the oldest park in the city. There is delicious, fresh sushi all over the city. The ferry rates are fairly priced (unlike everything else in Auckland) and it will take you to islands all over the region. For orientation with IES, our study abroad provider, we had a two day trip to Waiheke Island. We were welcomed by Maori men and women, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Throughout the trip we explored the island, kayaked around the bay, ate delicious food, drank ridiculously priced beer at a local pub, and more! It was a perfect way to kick off my time in New Zealand!