Exploring the Earth and Sky of the West

So there’s a food here called the “Bacon Buttie”…

And it’s pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself!  It’s basically a big pile of bacon (and yes, bacon in New Zealand is the same as in the U.S, not that ham-like crap they pass off as “bacon” in Canada and Europe) between two pieces of white bread with BBQ sauce and mustard.  Let’s just say that Philly Cheesesteaks now have some serious competition for the title of “Zach’s favorite food”

I’ve been in Dunedin for about two and a half days now and I can pretty much say that New Zealand rocks!  The 36 hour, 5 flight journey went fairly smoothly save for some fun in Auckland where I discovered the joyous process that is going through New Zealand customs.  I also got to sprint for half a mile with a luggage cart in order to make my next flight and ultimately only made it because New Zealand airport security is a complete joke.  Seriously, I’ve been frisked more thoroughly walking out of Wal-Mart than I was at the airport in either Auckland or Christchurch.

The plane that took me from Christchurch to Dunedin

My humble abode

Anyways, I am now settled in my flat in Dunedin which is basically the anti-Walla Walla (except for the weather which has been eerily Walla Walla like so far, only much warmer).  There are people EVERYWHERE, regardless of the time of day or night.  My flat houses 5 other students who hail from New Zealand, Missouri, New York, the Netherlands, and Bosnia.  The University of Otago is large (20,000 students) and despite the size, course registration yesterday went extremely smoothly (Whitman could learn a few things I think…) and now I have a few days to relax and explore Dunedin before leaving on a geology field trip on Tuesday (that’s Monday for those of you in the states).  Classes don’t start till the 28th.  The geology field trip happens to coincide with “O-week” (short for Orientation week) which is apparently the biggest party in all of New Zealand.  Apparently people from all over the country come to Dunedin just to participate in O-week even if they are not affiliated with the college in any way.  Every single hotel in town has a No Vacancy sign on it right now.

In my opinion campus itself is quite beautiful and nice although all of the Kiwis that I mention this too groan and roll their eyes and think I’m crazy.  I’m hoping that this is just a sign that the rest of New Zealand is even better.  There is a creek running right through campus called the Water of Leith that looks EXACTLY like Mill Creek (it flows through a concrete channel…) except is made 100x more attractive by the fact that is is lined with parks, fields, and old looking gothic buildings.  One of the gothic buildings happens to be the Geology building which is kinda cool.

University of Otago campus


The geology building at the University of Otago.

That’s it for now, I’ll get some more pictures out either tomorrow or monday.  Also, if you’re one of the 8 or so people that have requested that I bring them back a sheep, please send $100 (the cost of an extra overweight bag on Air New Zealand) to:

Zach Schierl

5/777 Great King St.

North Dunedin

Dunedin 9016

New Zealand


Cost will be reduced to $50 if you will settle for a lamb.  Please allow 4-6 weeks for order processing. Thank you.




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