Aoteaora – the land of the long white cloud

Huh? Aotea…what? You’re probably asking yourself what the hell “Aoteaora” means and how to pronounce it. Don’t go there yet. I can satisfy your curiosity! 🙂

First of all check this link, and you will know how you have to pronounce it right….it isn’t that easy and it is commonly mispronounced by English speakers…I’m always forgetting how to pronounce it. But I have an excuse: I’m German, but what about you? 😉

The beautiful country New Zealand is meant! Aoteaora means “the land of the long white cloud”. But why? If you’re interested, have a look on “bad” (according to many academic instructors) Wikipedia (students love Wikipedia and I think all those who say they don’t use it are lying ;)).

So, what about New Zealand? Why am I, a student from Rostock, talking about it? Well, after I graduated from school 3 years ago, I spent 3 awesome months in that amazing country.

I don’t quite know right now where to sart to describe this nation – this is probably due to the fact that it is nearly indescribable: you really have to experience it. But I’ll try my best to pitch New Zealand to you.

First of all, the landscape is really worth to exploring. There are small and high mountains, beautiful fjords like “Milford Sound” and “Doubtful Sound” and stunning glaciers. If I were to tell you, that I did a glacier walk (something you won’t be able to do in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern! ;)), would you believe me? 🙂 Honestly, I really did and I can prove it!!!

In addition, you can find large green valleys, especially on the North Island. No wonder that the North Island is also called the “Green Island”. Some parts of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern look similar to the green valleys, so you can have a little NZ feeling here as well! 🙂

Besides that, you can see different kinds of forests, thermal areas with beautiful multicoloured lakes for example in Rotorua, fantastic beaches and lots of waterfalls (I can promise you, you won’t leave NZ withount having seen a waterfall, that’s nearly impossible – there are millions of them ;)). And of course NZ is surrounded by 2 occeans, the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Whar makes NZ so special to me and to so many others, especially Germans? (I’m not joking when I say you will meet lots and lots of Germans in NZ). It seems to be a very popular destination for us.

By the way the “Kiwis” (no, not the birds 😉 – the New Zealand people are also calles “Kiwis”) are such a friendly, open-minded, relaxed folk. But you will find thise birds on these islands as well (they’re active at ight…so after all it probably isn’t that easy to come across the flightless bird. That’s why I visited the Auckland Zoo! 😉

One unforgettable experience for me was the “Tongariro Alpine Crossing” on the North Island. You should definitely try it! It is one of the 10 most arresting tramping tracks in the world and also the most popular one-day-hike in NZ; well that’s the statement of the “Lonely Planet” (a MUST HAVE for backpackers)! But I can affirm the statement! 😉

How can I describe this one-day-hike? It is an approximately 20km hike over a     volcanic crater (yes, you heard/read correctly; I really walked over a volcano).

 

 

 

Therefore I can assure you that it’s very exhausting but definitely worthwile. The first part of the tramp is quite easy: you walk through flat countryside, and next to xou there are beautiful soda springs. The second part is tiring because you have to climb. This part is called “the devils staircase” for no reason. Furthermore you walk through the red crater. It is hard to describe the surroundings, but you can compare the volcanic landscape with the moon landscape. On the top of the volcano, the view was breath-taking, not kidding! I got to see 3 wonderful emerald lakes. The colour was impressive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my way down it seemed as if I was walking through different vegetation zones. I walked through golden grassland, and at the bottom I ran into a rain forest, crossed by rushing streams. I have to admit that was quite a difference. Suddenly everything was green again and the barren landscape was replaces by rich green treed and bushes.

 

At the end of that hike, 6 hours later, I felt very happy and you can imagine that I was really proud. Besides that, I had nice looking blisters on my heels, so watch out for good hiking boots! 😉

I’m quite sure you will never forget this experience! So if you get the chance to travel to NZ, do it and then you will know where to stop by! 🙂

But what on earth does NZ has to do with Mecklenburg-Vorpommern? That’s a really good question. Do you know the movies “The Lord of the Rings”? That’s probably a very stupid question – I’m sure that nearly everyone knows them. So, all of you know the “Shire”. The Shire reminds me of some parts of beautiful  Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It’s also hilly (but nit mountainous) and very greed. So I don’t have the chance to miss NZ too too much, and as I said earlier, you can also have a bit New Zealand in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern!

Greetings from

Frauke Hahnen

 

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