New Zealand and the Cook Islands

I went to New Zealand last month to present at an applied linguistics conference, and decided to stay for another two weeks to travel around both the North and South islands and also head up to the Cook Islands. I had a feeling that I was going to love New Zealand, and I was right, of course. These pictures do not do this country justice. It is incredibly beautiful!

Just look at that water. Just look at  how perfect it is!

Just look at that water. Just look at it!

The conference was at Victoria University in Wellington and yes, it rained almost the entire time. However, I suppose that is perfect conference weather… I had been warned about Wellington’s windy wet weather, though it wasn’t quite as cold as I had feared. I had a lost luggage crisis the first day of the conference (and so didn’t attend sessions until the second day) and presented at the end of the third and final day when the sun decided to come out. That was also the day that Michelle arrived to start our annual vacation / holiday.

After our presentations, when the weather was finally nice

After our presentations, when the weather was finally nice

Highlight of a rainy day in Wellington: playing with the language barrel at Te Papa Museum.

Highlight of a rainy day in Wellington: playing with the language barrel at Te Papa Museum.

We took the ferry and train to Christchurch, then another train to the west coast. I highly recommend them, especially since they are such scenic journeys and there is a viewing carriage on each train so it’s much easier to take pictures.

blue

So. Blue.

Such pretty colors

Such pretty colors and contrasts

Then it was rental car time. Driving around the South Island is so much fun! We stopped at Fox Glacier before heading to Queenstown, Te Anau and Milford Sound.

Mount Cook from Lake Matheson

Mount Cook from Lake Matheson

Fox Glacier with itty bitty people walking on it

Fox Glacier with itty bitty people walking on it

Queenstown from above

Queenstown from above

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

We flew up to Auckland from Queenstown on Air New Zealand which of course has a Middle Earth-themed safety video. We did the silent boat tour of the Waitomo Glowworm caves and headed over to Rotorua (it really does smell like rotten eggs!) and Matamata to visit Hobbiton.

Nice fake tree

Nice fake tree

No hobbits to be found

No hobbits to be found

Pretty green hills and lots of sheep

Pretty green hills and lots of sheep

I hadn’t really heard much about the Cook Islands before since the South Pacific tends to get summarized by “Tahiti and Fiji” (neither of which I have been to yet). But since they are in free association with New Zealand, they use the NZ dollar and not having to exchange money makes traveling just a tiny bit easier. Plus, Cook Islands Maori is very similar to the variety of Maori used in New Zealand, so it was a fun and nerdy Polynesian language adventure for me.

Cook Islands Maori

Cook Islands Maori

Muri Lagoon on Rarotonga

Muri Lagoon on Rarotonga, a.k.a. paradise

I’m already planning my next trip to New Zealand. Bay of Islands, Lake Taupo, Abel Tasman National Park and Dunedin are on my list so far! As luck would have it, there is a conference I am planning on attending in Dunedin next year…  See you in 2014, New Zealand!

New Zealand, you are so cool and pretty and perfect. Never change;

New Zealand, you are so cool and pretty and perfect. Never change.

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  • http://blog.fluenthistorian.com/ Natalie

    Dang, these photos make me want to pack up and move to New Zealand right now! :) I’m glad you had a good time. What was your conference paper on?

  • Bossy

    Thank you for the lovely post/photos. The NZ Tourist Board should hire you at once! :-) I feel lucky to live in NZ.

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    I’m jealous! I want to live there! :)

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    Stylistic and geographic variation in French textbooks (or the lack of…) Hopefully I’ll get the paper published soon so I can share the data/slides online one of these days.

  • http://thewheeleragency.com/ Annetta Whitt

    A perfect photos and place. It’s really look cool. Wow! I love you taken photo from above, it’s perfect shape Island.. I wanna live there, very quite, clean, fresh and peaceful not crowded. Thanks for sharing this blog. .

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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