Hey guys! Life is moving on here in Paeroa, and it is most certainly not boring. I am now one school week closer to my holidays and my journey back home. Every week is different here in Paeroa, and today I got to experience a little bit of the true beauty of the North Island. More about that later, because first off I´m going to tell you about what I did earlier in the week :D.

Earlier this week, Bruce took us to this Taiwanese festival at the Taiwanese Academy in Waihi. There was a vegeterian market where you could taste all sorts of food and drinks, and a stage where they sang and had other kinds of performances.

On Tuesday I had a presentation about Finland for the local Rotary organisation. It´s really fun to speak in front of people who are actually interested about what you have to say. In exchange for my speach, they shouted both me and Luk dinner. I spoke for instance about why I went on exchange, why I chose New Zealand, and the differences between Finland and New Zealand.

Yesterday I went to one of my friend's house for dinner. We played some pool, went kayaking in their pond, relaxed in their hot spa pool, and got to see a bit of the farmland. A successful and fun day with both laughs and good conversations.

And today I got to cross another place off my bucket list. One of the places I wanted to go to while I´m here in NZ was Cathedral Cove, one of the most famous filming spots of The Chronicles of Narnia (Prince Caspian). I have some pictures for you to compare from the movie below. Cathedral Cove is named after the cave located there, linking Mare's Leg Cove to Cathedral Cove. There are many boat rides and kayaking trips going through there, but we decided to take the walking trail there :). There is not much to say about that place, you just have to go there by yourself to understand its true beauty.

After Cathedral Cove we went to a famous beach close by named Hot Water Beach. Its name comes from the underground hot springs which filter up through the sand between the high and low water tides. During low tide you can go to the beach and dig yourself down until you reach the water surface. Because of the hot springs, the water is really hot and you can just sit or lie there in the water and relax.

Another very nice week. Only 2 months left in New Zealand until I am going back home again :O. Time is passing sooo fast!!! Oh well, I still have fun things ahead of me before I leave NZ :). However, I am actually starting to feel a little bit homesickness :(. I really miss my girlfriend, and would do anything to see her in real life right now :/. Oh well, two months left and then I´m back home again :). I´m going to try and enjoy every second I have left :D.

My photo of Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove in Narnia

Me and Bruce

Hot Water Beach

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And so my adventure continues... Loads of incredibly fun activities, mixed with beautiful scenery. I am sure I will come back to New Zealand in the future. It´s really the land of dreams. It felt like I was in wonderland, except I didn´t want to find my way out of the rabbit hole. Here is some of the things that I did on my last five days :D.


Today we got good use of our cameras as we drove through three National Parks with awesome scenery. Our first stop was at Fox Glacier, which was about 20 mins from Franz Josef. Fox Glacier is the first glacier I´ve ever seen up close. Quite cool, but nothing too special. I´m glad I did the walk, but I wasn´t really blown away. I took a couple of good photos though :D. After Fox Glacier we started our long drive to the town of Wanaka, a place of breathtaking lakes and mountains. The drive along the west coast is just too beautiful! We stopped at Puzzling World, the world’s first modern-style maze and a deceptive, frustrating, confusing and definitely out of the ordinary experience! In the evening we went for a refreshing swim in the lake. Even though the lake was ice-cold and filled with eels, it was still fun :D.


Day 7 was absolutely the most fantastic day of them all. We started with a drive into the mystical wilderness of Fiordland National Park and passed through the famous ‘Homer Tunnel’. From here we traded our coach for the Milford Mariner and cruised out into the Milford Sound, where we were going to spend the night. Milford Sound is New Zealand´s most famous fiord, and probably the most famous tourist spot in New Zealand. It was absolutely breathtaking! As we cruised out, we got to view spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. We even got the opportunity to go out for a kayaking trip in this amazing landscape. After a beautiful day with swimming and kayaking in the fiord, we got to enjoy a delicious buffet dinner with appetizer, main course and dessert :D.

Me, Nora (Norway), Caroline (Denmark) and Lisa (Germany)

DAY 8-9

And now for the great finale... Queenstown, the greatest tourist city of New Zealand :D. The home of bungy-jumping and other extreme sports. It is also the most beautiful city I´ve ever been to, due to its beautiful view of ''The Remarkables'' mountain range and lake Wakatipu. Many of the Lord of the Rings filming locations are situated in or outside this town :D. I actually went on a tour where we went to several of the filming spots :D AWESOOOME! I got to see for instance; Isengard, Aragorn's fall from the cliff, and Laketown. We also went to the most scary horror house I´ve ever been to. We went on this 20 min tour in a completely dark building, only red lights in the ceiling to guide us. Then, real people actually joined us in the building, dressed up as for instance clowns and little girls to scare the hell out of us. Absolutely awesome :DDDD. My favourite town in the world. I will absolutely go back there someday :). Another awesome thing happened to me on this day :D. I was just about to take a beautiful picture when I realized something. I had seen that place before!!! That exact spot had been my background picture on my phone a couple of years ago!!! What are the odds of that happening!!! I got both pictures below for you to compare :D

The picture I took...

...my background picture :O

DAY 10

Our last day on the beautiful South Island :(. Our morning started off with a spectacular Jet boat ride on the mighty Kawarau River. That was awesome! It was fun to finish off this awesome trip with a very adventurous activity :D.

We then had a stunning scenic drive as we traveled through the Mackenzie Country to beautiful Lake Tekapo. We visited the famous ‘Church of the Good Shepherd' followed by the Collie Dog Memorial, before we drove to our final accommodation at Lake Tekapo. A night filled with tears before we the next day made our way to Christchurch airport :(.

Where ''Laketown'' in ''The Hobbit'' was filmed

THANK YOU EVERYBODY FOR THIS AMAZING EXPERIENCE! We have made memories that we will never forget and friendships that will last forever. I still have one more post to publish about his trip, which I will publish later. But thank you guys for reading! I´ll write more next week :D



I could sum up these last 10 days with one word: WOOOOW!!!! OMG, the 10 best days of my life have just passed and I can´t wait to tell you guys all about it. I have done so much, so I will split this adventure into three different posts. The first post will include the first five days, then the five last days, and in the last post I will tell you about the two most thrilling higlights. The last post will be published in a later occasion! You will see that I´ll post quite alot of pictures, cause I probably took over a 1000 of them XD.

The South Island seperates from the North Island quite distinctly. The South Island has got more big beautiful blue lakes and high mountains with snow and glaciers. The environment is in my oppinion much more beautiful :D. If you google New Zealand, you will probably find more pictures from the South Island than the North Island. The North Island is beautiful in its own way with its long beautiful beaches and amazing coast, but it is nothing compared to the South! I´ve made loads of new friends and experienced so much :D. Even though it was expensive, it was absolutely worth it! Here is a link for you if you want to follow my adventure on a map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1Ttt-dY5bNpNpGuupwxlaFrxKfXw

DAY 1-2

This is where the adventure started. Barry drove me and Luk to Auckland airport, where we were going to catch a flight to Christchurch, the biggest city of the South Island. Christchurch had a devastating earthquake in 2011 that obliterated most buildings in the city. Even though a couple of years have already passed, you clearly notice the destruction when you walk around in Christchurch. It is frankly quite depressing to walk around there :(. In the evening we had our first home cooked meal, played a couple of games, and discussed the exciting days ahead :D! On the second day we drove to the coastal town of Kaikoura :D This is where our adventure began!

Earthquake memorial



The adventure started with driving from Christchurch to the coastal town of Kaikoura. Today we had the option to either go swimming with dolphins, whalewatching, or to visit a seal colony. Because of several reasons, I chose to do the whalewatching. I had never seen a whale before, so I´m glad I chose to do it. It was really something special... And in addition to the two whales we saw, we also got to see dolphins and seals :D. The methods they used to locate these whales were really quite impressive. This afternoon we made our way to Motueka, home for our next two nights and situated beside the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.


Today we went kayaking and hiking in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park, and explored the beautiful golden beaches, peaceful coves and lagoons, offshore islands, wildlife and the native forest. We had a picninc lunch by the beach before we went back to our accomodation.

Me and my new Danish friend Caroline


The day started with driving down the spectacular West Coast. We visited the famous Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks), which was at the time the most beautiful place I had ever been to :D. From there we travelled to Franz Josef, where we were going to spend the next night. Some people took a Scenic Helicopter up to the Franz Josef glacier, and experienced a snow walk on the ice :). Unfortunately, I didn´t. We had a free afternoon to eat dinner, and then we headed to the famous Glacier hot pools, the perfect place for pure relaxation.

So this was a sum up of my first five days in the South Island. It was really fun, but nothing compared to what we did, and where we went on the last five days :D. I will probably publish the next post tomorrow or the day after tomorrow :D. Thanks for reading :) I really appreciate it.



Today was my last day of this term, and on Sunday I will be flying down to the South Island for my school holidays :D. Can't wait for this much anticipated trip. What an adventure it is going to be :). Me, Luk and other exchange students are going to travel all around the South Island for 10 days to do all sorts of adventurous activities, which I´m not going to cover in detail at this point. You will just have to wait for that until I get back ^^.

We are going to fly down from Auckland to Christchurch, the biggest city of the South Island. The NZET organisation crew is going to pick us up at the airport at about 17.30, and from there it begins... An adventure which I hope is going to be the most extraordinary thing I´ve ever done. The first part of the adventure will certainly be the packing XD. I have no idea of how I am going to get 10 days of clothes to fit in one small bag. Oh well, that is a problem for later today XD. The thing that I´m most looking forward to is the Lord of the Rings tour :D. I am going to do a 4h trip to most of the filming locations of the LOTR-movies :P. More about that when I get back ^^.

Here is a short update on what I´ve been doing this week: I have for instance been to a goat farm in Te Aroha :D. I did not really expect much, but they are actually quite marvellous creatures. They are extremely cute ^^. I got to watch them getting milked, and I got to spend time with them in their sheds :). Not much to say, but below are some pictures.

Today I went to a ''hāngi'' at Goldfields school, which was quite nice (hāngi is a traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking food using heated rocks buried in a pit oven). Unfortunately they didn´t use this old method this time :/. Still very nice food and good company though! Oh well, I´d better start organizing myself for the trip :D. I´ll give you an update when I get back.



It has been two weeks since I last posted anything on my blog, so I reckon it´s time to give you an update :D. Nothing really happened last week, so I decided to wait a week for my SKYJUMP!!! More about that later. First I am going to tell you a little bit about what I did this Friday.

So my hostdad Bruce is a very good cook and he is a person who likes to get involved in different kinds of community events. Saying that, I got to help him at ''Goldfields school for disabled kids'' on their ball. Me and my exchange brother Luk worked as waiters and dishwashers XD, but it was good fun though. It was interesting and eye-opening to see how these kids and teenagers enjoyed themselves, even though they most certainly have had a tough life. I was more than happy to help them this evening :). A night mixed with good food, nice company and nice music. I´m very happy with it.

On Saturday we did it... The thing I have waited for my entire exchange. We woke up at about 8 o'clock, ate breakfast and all that. My mood wasn´t very good, because my hard drive for my computer actually broke the night before :(. On our way to Auckland we picked up Riku, even though he wasn´t going to jump. He just wanted to come and spectate, which was fine :D. It was really nice to see him again ^^.

So if you haven´t understood what a ''skyjump'' is yet, it is when you jump down the Skytower in Auckland, the tallest building in New Zealand. It wasn´t really a bungy jump, because the rope wasn´t attached to our feet, rather to our back. It wasn´t like we were diving or anything, we were flyyying :D.

They gave us our suits and then we went to the lifts that would take us up to a height of 192 meters :O (The Skytower is 328m high). We were four crazy people that would do the jump at this time. We were taken to the jumping platform and the nerves really started kicking in. I was the second to jump and Luk jumped last. The woman led me out on the platform and asked me to grab the railing. She asked me to lean forward, facing nothing but the skyline of Auckland. It was windy, and I almost couldn´t hold on any longer. She counted to three and then screamed jump!!! So I jumped, and I fleeeeew :D. About 11 seconds of awesomeness. I am sure it was like a light version of skydiving. I am definitely going to do that someday :). I landed smoothly to the cheering of my hostfamily. Another thing I can check off my bucket list. Unfortunately I didn´t buy the video of my jump, but here are some photos from the event :).

After the Skyjump, Riku wanted to go to a Scandinavian store named ''Safka''. The owner was Finnish, so they sold all kinds of Finnish lollies, chocolate, food, you name it... :). It really felt like home :D And funnily enough, Bruce bought me some Glögg, exactly the same one that I drink for Christmas in Finland (picture below) :D Awesooooome :D After that we went to Sylvia Park, one of the biggest shopping centres in Auckland, to look for a screen protector for my phone. It was more difficult to find than I thought it would be, because I have quite a new phone (S7). After an awesome day in Auckland, we went back to Papakura, and then home to Paeroa :D.

So next Sunday I am going down to the South Island for a 10 day trip. Next weekend I´ll write a little bit about my exams that I had this week, and a little bit about my expectations for the trip :D See you next week. Here are some pictures:



This is a simpler way for you to read my blog :D. Just click on the picture and you will be redirected to a google map where I have attached all my blog posts. This way you can see the exact places where I have been :)



Finally something Finnish again :D! One of my best friends came to visit me in Paeroa this weekend. Riku is also an exchange student from Finland and he is staying in New Zealand for 5 months as well. He lives in Papakura, but this is the first time we have actually met up since we arrived. He arrived at Lyn´s for lunch on Saturday and I couldn´t have been happier :). When you go on exchange you really start to appreciate your old life and your old friends more than ever. When you haven´t seen anything that reminds you of home for almost two months, you really start to appreciate even the smallest things that make you think of home.

On Saturday we went for a bike ride through the gorge with Liam and Luk, played Monopoly (Zelda version XD) and watched ''The Martian'' (Awesome movie btw.) :D. We actually climbed up one of the waterfalls next to the bike trail. It felt really good to be able to speak my mothertongue with someone face to face again.

Today I had a very good day. My exchange organisation (SEANZ) organised a trip to Waitomo Caves and to a bird park nearby. I got to see the Kiwi Bird in real life, and other famous birds from New Zealand. In the caves I got to see glowworms and some other spectacular views :D. Absolutely fantastic. Reminded me a little bit of the Wieliczka Salt Mines, which I visited a couple of years ago in Poland. It was also really cool to meet all the other exchange students again. Made me think back to the Auckland ''meet and greet camp''. We might also do ''Blackwater Rafting'' in Waitomo at some point. Looking forward to that :). I am not going to tell you any more about the caves, I´ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

After a long day with dinner at McDonalds (which I had last time about 2 years ago XD), we headed back to Paeroa. Even though I´ve had a perfect weekend, everything good always comes to an end. Tomorrow I have school again...

Riku feeding the eels :D



I haven´t done much this last week so I will keep this post quite short. One thing I wanted to write about was the ''Tough Guy Challenge'' in Rotorua last Friday. ''Tough guy'' is a kind of mud run, where you run through farmland, mud and different kinds of obstacles. It was a really exhausting challenge due to the uphills, downhills and the ''mud lakes'' you had to run and swim through, but in the end it was great fun.

This mud run was ment for secondary schools only (a couple of hundred people). We arrived in Rotorua like a minute before the start, so we just jumped out of the van and went to the starting line. I went to the front (where the serious competitors were) with my friend Cameron and the race started straight away. In addition to everything, it was pouring down with rain...

The obstacles were very various. In some obstacles we had to swim and in others we had to climb. One of the obstacles included electric wire and another had barbed wire. We ran from farmland to swamps, from hills to forests. The purpose of the run was to make us as exhausted as possible and challenge us to our limits. It really did, but I enjoyed it :D. It was fun to push myself to my limit and try to keep up with the top runners (even though I didn´t XD).

I would say I finished in the top 70 perhaps, but I´m not sure :D. The results didn´t really matter though, it was the experience I was after :). After the run we went to the showers and the hot pool, which was really nice after a cold 6 km run in mud. Below are some funny pictures of me from the run XD.

The following pictures aren't from this Tough Guy Challenge, but I attached them here so that you can get an idea of what the challenge is about.



Time is flying here in New Zealand, and I thought I would tell you a little bit about what an ordinary school week in my life looks like. Even though I've done very much during my exchange this far, you can´t always be on the move. I have my routines and I am actually living a normal kiwi life as a teenager. So what does a normal week look like? What do I do? 

Monday is as always tiring. I wake up at 7.20, take a shower, eat breakfast, make my school lunch, get dressed in my uniform and then straight off to school. Every day starts with a 5 minutes session with your form class. There we get notified about all current information about the school. After that I have a double period of fitness (every period is 50 minutes), interval for 25 minutes, double period of calculus, lunch for 40 minutes and finally Digital Technology and Maori Performing Arts. The other subjects that I take are PE and English. I also have ''Study'' a couple times a week, where I sit in the library and study or do my homework.

After school I go to either Bruce´s place or with Luk to Lyn´s. I probably have a cup of coffee and something to eat before my favourite TV show starts :D. It´s called ''The Chase''. After that we have tea, and then I go with Luk to our tennis practice. I play tennis every Monday, badminton every Tuesday, and I go to the gym in Waihi with Barry and Luk on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. All school days look quite the same. I wake up, go to school, hang out with my friends, eat and do my sports.

As I already mentioned in an earlier post... In New Zealand you have to bring your own lunch for school. My lunch has this far consisted of the same things. Two filled rolls, an apple, a banana, and a müslibar. My breakfast usually consists of two toasts, two eggs, a banana, an apple, a mandarin, and a cup of coffee.

So what do I do in the weekends? That´s when my adventuring happens. I´m lucky enough to have the best hostfamilies ever. Almost every weekend we do something new and exciting. And if I don´t do anything with my hostfamily, I usually do something with my friends. I am really grateful that I have awesome friends here in New Zealand. It means more to me than they can imagine that they hang out with me. A special thanks to my exchange brother Luk and my best friend Sian for making this exchange awesome this far :D

Just to give you an update of what I´ve been doing this weekend, I thought I would write a short summary of where my adventures have led me. This weekend we had a visitor in my age from France. He has just arrived in New Zealand and is going to stay here for 10 months. His hostfamily is on holiday so we took care of him for a couple of days. On Saturday we took him for a hike in Karangahake Gorge, played tennis, and went to Sian´s for a pizza night. I really enjoyed all of it, and so did he (I hope). 

Today we did something really cool... We went to Red Beach in Auckland and got to go for a ride with these small kind of rescue boats (for surfing). Alex, me and Luk were all in different boats and got to ride on the waves in high speed. Extremely fun. I really love all these things we get to do :D

I guess that that is all for this week. Hopefully I will go to Hobbiton soon, so I can´t wait to blog about that. I´ll write more next weekend. See ya :D

Bruce preparing our lunch

Somebody climbing the mast :D In the second picture we can see Alex meditating XD



PE school camp in Rotorua... OMG, what a thrill. I just got home from what I would call the best camp I´ve ever been on (actually my 2nd camp ever XD). The camp started on Wednesday and ended on Friday afternoon. I can´t really think of how you as a teacher could plan a better school camp than this. It was filled with activities that I have always wanted to do. The people were great and our camp leaders were awesome. I like how the teachers actually joined us and did everything with us, instead of just sitting on the side watching.

So Rotorua is a city in the North Island of New Zealand with about 53 000 inhabitants. It is a big tourist destination because of its geothermal activity (hot pools, geysers etc.) and all the various adventurous activities that you can do there. In this post I am going to tell you all about the camp and what we did there :D I couldn´t really take so many pictures, because I didn´t bring my phone to all of these activities, but I am going to post the pictures that I (or my teacher) took :).

The camp started with quadbiking in the mountains. It was my first time quadbiking and I was worse than I thought I would be XD. The only motorized vehicle I´ve ever driven is my scooter and it was nothing like it... At first I had problems with the steering, but after a while I got the hang of it. I left myself a little bit behind everybody else just so I could take my time and do it in my own pace. It was heaps of fun... I really enjoyed it.

After the quadbiking, we went straight to ''The Zorb''. For those of you that don´t know what zorbing is, it´s when you go inside a big plastic ball with water and they roll you down a hill. It was so much fun... One of the most fun things I have ever done. We only got to do it twice, but those two times were really fun. I couldn´t really take any photos here, but here are some that I found on the internet (zorb.com). In the evening we went to a small trampoline park, which was okay. I was just so tired, so I couldn´t really enjoy it as much as I would have liked to.

On Thursday we did the most adventurous activities. In the morning we went mountainbiking, which was quite scary. You can really hurt yourself on these bikes if you aren´t careful. But the safety is quite strict, so if you are careful and don´t ride over your own capability, you will be alright. After that we went whitewater rafting, which was the most awesome thing I´ve done in my life. We were 6 people in one raft while we went down the Kaituna river. It was really intense, but it wasn´t dangerous, as long as you listened to your instructor. We went dows two waterfalls. The bigger one was about 7 meters high. The raft actually flipped when we went down the waterfall and everybody fell down in the ice cold water. But after good instructions, we all succeeded in getting back up on the raft.. I hope I can do it again sometime. In the evening we went for a short swim and after that to the movie theater.

Friday was our last day at camp. We had only one activity planned for the day before we went home. That was to do ''The Luge''. We got to go up a big mountain with a gondola and ride down with these small ''carts''. We got to do it five times, which was quite a good number of times. It was really fun and one of the highlights of the camp. Actually everything we did at this camp were highlights. It was so much fun.

Yeah, so overall it was a very good camp. We got to do so much for a very cheap price. I´ve gotten closer to my friends, and I got to do things that I´ve always dreamt of doing. Thank you school camp!!! Here are some more pictures from the camp :D

Me and my friend Sian