Want to join me on a trip down memory lane?  Sure you do.  Don’t worry, it’s a photo tour.

I won $25 for this photo. I entered it in a contest once I returned to Wabash. I think that's Mt. Cook reflected in the lake.

It has been over 7 years since I first set foot on New Zealand soil.  I studied abroad there during the spring semester of my Junior year (2004).  I wanted to share some of those experiences and memories with you through some of the photos I took while I was there.

New Zealand is the pakeha (white person) term for the country.  It was named by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642 after he “discovered” it.

Aotearoa is the Maori term for the country.  It means “Land of the Long White Cloud.”  If you’ve ever spent time in the country then you know why this name is appropriate.

Enough introduction.  On to the pictures!

This is the bucket fountain.  The greatest single engineering achievement in human history.  It is located on Cuba Street in downtown Wellington and provides hours of entertainment.

This is Milford Sound.  The most beautiful place on the planet.

This is a kiwi bird.  The most convenient form of transportation in the country.

Mordor.  It’s best to steer clear of this place.

This is what Christchurch looked like before the earthquake.  The steeple of the chapel collapsed in the quake.

This is where the best wine in the world comes from.  My friend Luke and his family own and operate this vineyard and winery outside of Renwick.  The wine is called “Isabel” after his grandmother.  It is very difficult to find in the U.S.

This is what an unfurling fern looks like.  It is one of the main symbols of New Zealand.  In the background are oyster fields.  Stop by any little seaside restaurant in the country and you can dine on some of the freshest seafood you will ever have.

Canoes, or waka in Maori.  You have to be a very skilled carver to create one of these.

Sheep.  There are more sheep than anything else in New Zealand.  They are adorable and tasty.

Zorbing.  The coolest “sport” in the world.

Rugby.  I don’t get it, but it’s fun to watch.

Tattoos.  All the cool people have them.  You want to be cool don’t you?

This is a marae.  It is a beautifully carved Maori meeting house with a lot of community, ritual, mythic, and symbolic meaning.

Here be dragons.

This is the view I woke up to every morning.  This is what Wellington, the most beautiful little capital in the world, looked like to me.

In conclusion, go to New Zealand.