onsdag 27. oktober 2010

Dear Diary

 15th February, Hilton Hotel –New Zealand
This day was the best day I have ever experienced. It contained everything a good day should consist of: excitement, fun, good mood, laugh, amazing people and fantastic landscape and nature. Dear Diary, today I took part of something everybody who is visiting New Zealand should do: Rafting!
It all began with me and my friends walking around in the streets of Auckland, when we suddenly saw a poster hanging on a wall. The poster said: “Do you want to have a once-in-a-lifetime-experience? Visit our office, and you will get all the information you need about river rafting. Don’t hesitate, it’s fantastic!” After reading it, we looked at each other and thought “Hey, why not try?” So, we went to the office, and at once I put my feet inside the room, a special feeling appeared. A feeling that said: you have done the right thing, and you will have a great time! And it seems like this particular feeling was right.
The next morning we went to Tongariro national park, where the rafting was going to take place, a little nervous, but exited. We met our instructors who seemed very professional. Their enthusiasm was huge, and they promised to keep us safe during the trip. After we had been taught about how to behave in the boat, we finally went to the river. The river was called “Tongariro White Water”, and it had a 3th grade of difficulty (where 5 were highest). 
When I sat down in the boat, all sense of nervousness vanished. My body became full of adrenalin and all my thoughts just disappeared. I was rafting with my friends, and the water was so clear and fresh that I could have drunk it! We rafted past volcanic cliffs, and through the native flora. The view was just incredible, and we did even see the Whio Whio (Blue duck) natives. With us in our boat was an experienced river guide, who told us about the environment and some interesting facts. Our boat went down the river in an unbelievable speed and we did even go down some scary waterfalls.
Sometimes the boat bumped into big stones. When this happened, the passengers (us) jumped very high, and it was really hard to not fall into the river. Everybody that knows me, are familiar with my unsteadiness –and this became even worse in the rafting boat! With an enormous splash I fell into the river like a big rock. I panicked, because the water was freezing and I was afraid of drowning, but fortunately my friends helped me up into the boat again. 
The perfect trip ended with a lovely dinner and good drinks at the base of the rafting-club. In my opinion this trip was the highlight of our days in New Zealand, and I definitely want to do this again!
Greatings from New Zealand,

History of New Zealand

The island New Zealand was settled by people from Polynesia called the Maoris for the first time in 950. These people arrived to New Zealand in several waves, and the most famous arrival was in 1350 when they came in canoes. The Maoris brought their domestic animals and plants with them, and they developed their own distinctive culture and social norms in the new country. The Maoris lived in houses in small villages. They were divided in several tribes, and each tribe had their own chief.

In 1642 the Dutchman Abel Tasman came to New Zealand. He was one of the first Europeans who immigrated to the country, and he named many of the small islands in the area. The English discoverer, James Cook, arrived to New Zealand in 1769. He investigated the islands more closely trough several expeditions.

James Cook
In the early 1800’s British adventures, missionaries, whalers and traders settled down in New Zealand among the Maoris. Immediately a conflict between the residents and immigrants started to develop. Due to this, in 1832 the government in London sent a magistrate to New Zealand to supervise the development and protect the British interests. After few years, New Zealand was officially made a British Colony and a brutal repression against the Maoris began. Although many of the Maori-tribes submitted to the Queen, the conflicts lasted for over 30 years. In 1852 New Zealand became a colony with its own government. And finally in 1907 New Zealand got a status as an independent country.

Today New Zealand is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth of Nations consists of 54 independent countries, most of them former British colonies or dependencies of these colonies. Examples of other countries who are members are Canada, Australia, South-Africa and India.

- http://snl.no/New_Zealand/historie

On the top of the world

13th February, Auckland city – New Zealand

Dear diary
Today Caroline, Fanny, Christine and I enjoyed our first day in New Zealand.  We arrived yesterday, but after spending many hours in the plane, we were too tired to explore this amazing country.  I have to say that when we first arrived, I was a bit shocked. In my imagination, New Zealand was a mossy bush, with the Maoris as the only living humans. But I was absolutely wrong. Auckland city is a metropolis!

After breakfast we decided to visit the Sky Tower. The tourist information at our hotel told us that it was the highest building in New Zealand. I have never been very ardent about heights, but how bad could it be? After all, I had been in the top of the highest building in Trondheim, named Tyholttårnet.

We packed our valuables, and were ready to go. When we arrived the Sky Tower, a guide followed us to the elevator. While we were standing in the elevator he told us a lot of information and facts about the tower. He said that Sky Tower was the 12th tallest tower in the world, even taller than the Eiffel tower in Paris. When he mentioned that a man hijacked a plane and threatened with crashing the tower in 2005, I froze. My mind started spinning, and I couldn’t feel my feet. What in the world was I doing in this dangerous building? The other girls looked worried at me, and pointed out that I looked pale. I didn’t want to be a coward, so I just snorted to their remarks.

As the elevator reached the top and the doors opened, we all groaned in astonishment. The view from the 328 meter tall tower was amazing. I felt like I was on the top of the world! All the beautiful nature mixed with the urban areas, was an extraordinary sight. The sun twinkled in the water surface, and the small islands made the whole vision seem like a fairytale picture.

When the shock about the fantastic view was over, I remembered my abomination for heights. My knees started trembling, and I imagined falling down from this height. My stomach turned inside out, and I had to get out of the building. The other girls started to get the idea of eating dinner in the restaurant in the top of the tower. Only the taught of food made me even more sick, so I had to talk them out of it.

After nagging about how wonderful it would be to eat outside in the beautiful weather, I managed to change their minds. We took the elevator down again, and enjoyed the rest of the day at a restaurant besides the tower. The feeling of getting out of the building was extremely liberating.

I had a very interesting day, and the view from the tower was indescribable. But if one thing is for sure, I would never visit a tower that is taller than Tyholttårnet again.

- Margrete

Mount Eden

Mount Eden - A volcano in the middle of Auckland

It was early morning when we started our trip up to Mount Eden this day. It was in the middle of February, and in this part of the year, it was summer in New Zealand. I, Christine, Fanny and Margrete was on our trip around in New Zealand. We had seen much of the country, but we had a little bit again. One of the last stop we had, was in Auckland City. Auckland City is New Zealand’s largest city with a population of 450.000. We had decided in advance that we should visit Mount Eden who is a volcano in Auckland City. It is a volcano who lays 196 meters above the sea level.

The morning we started our trip up to Mount Eden, had already the sun stand up.
It was only some skies we could see up there, beside the sunbeams that warmed our bodies in the moist temperature. It wasn’t cold, but maybe around 18 degrees in the air.
We used around one and a half hour to get us up to the top of Mount Eden. It was a little bit chillier. But it was no problem, because we had warmer clothes with us.

After we had got back the warm again, we concentrated us about the atmosphere and the nature that lay around us. The ground was covered with lush, green grass.
We could see Auckland City that lay around us, and we had a great view beyond the City.
The nature on Mount Eden was a kind of special. It wasn’t much trees and bushes around on the top, but a few trees, bushes and flowers could we see further down towards the city.

It was a special experience to stand on the top of a volcano that lay so close to the City. The nature and atmosphere that Mount Eden had, can you not see every day!

It was a great trip with the girls! 
- Caroline

Dear Diary

17th February.

We are still shaking, literally. We woke up today feeling great, but we didn’t know how the day was going to end. At 7 am the telephone rang. We had a full program, so if we were going to make it we needed to hurry up! At 8 am everybody was ready to go and the taxi drove us to the Hokianga Harbour, Northland, New Zealand. When we decided to visit New Zealand both friends and tourist operators recommended us to order an organized powhiri. A powhiri is a traditional Mãori welcoming and challenge. We were all looking forward to this and the excitement was big on the one hour drive to Hokianga Harbour. We sang many songs and Caroline entertained us with some of her less good jokes. It made it a lot easier because it was a bumpy ride. But even though the entertainment was top, I was the lucky one to throw up. I can honestly say that it has been a long time since the sight of a mountain top has cheered me that much.

Spectacular wood art
After the traditional welcoming with the challenge and all we went inside a house that had the whole inside covered by wood art. We had a wonderful time. The Maoris told us a lot about their culture, and they seemed like very nice people. After songs, tales it was time to eat. While we were sitting on the ground the ground suddenly started to shake. In the start we didn’t notice and continue on our meal. But we discovered pretty fast that the shaking was not caused of someone losing their plates. It was a real earthquake! The Mãoris started running around, placing all of their belongings on the ground. It was clear that this was a situation they had gone through before. It felt quite chaotic at the time when it all happened but when we look back on the situation we could see that they had a pretty good control over it.

I had taken a lot of pictures, but unfortunately my camera got lost under the earthquake. So to your satisfaction you only get pictures taken from Google.

Lots of love,

mandag 25. oktober 2010

Top 5 famous places in New Zealand

New Zealand is an isolated island in the south-western part of the Pacific Ocean. The country is famous for its fantastic landmarks, fjords, mountains, geysers and so on. Culture, history and nature are very important values in New Zealand. Furthermore, you’ll get more information about the most famous places in this beautiful country:

Nr 5. Mount Eden
Mount Eden is the highest point in Auckland city. It’s a volcano (cinder cone) and reaches 196 meters above sea level. Many tourists, both walking and biking, achieve the top to enjoy the amazing view over the big city.
Nr 4. Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto Island is a small volcanic island near the coast of Auckland city. The Island is only 5.5 km wide, and got unique plant species and an extraordinary forest. Rangitoto means in the Maori-language: “Bloody Sky”. The name comes from the time when different Maori tribes fought against each other on the Island. The leader of one of the tribes was badly hurt, and therefore the name. 

Nr 3. The Beehive Building
The Beehive building, also known as the New Zealand parliament building, is located in the capitol Wellington. The building got ten floors, and is formed as a beehive. New Zealand’s prime minister has got his office in the building, designed by a Scottish architect. 

Nr 2. The Elephant Rocks
The Elephant Rocks are located on the South Island. The astonishing rocks became world famous after Andrew Adamson directed the Narnia movie there, in 2005. As we remember from the movie, The Elephant Rocks are filmed as the king Aslan’s camp (picture underneath). The shapes of the stones look like elephants, and that’s where the name comes from. 

Nr 1. Auckland city
Auckland city is on the North Island of New Zealand. It’s the biggest and most populated city in the country. In this beautiful town there are many things to do and see. 

·         Goat Island Marine Reserve
The Goat Island is a little area on the coast of a small town named Leigh. The Marine Reserve is famous for its scientific research and its diving possibilities among friendly fishes.
·         Auckland Harbour Bridge
The Auckland Harbour Bridge is over 1 km long, and it’s the second longest road bridge in New Zealand. Many climbers and bungy-jumpers use the facilities of the bridge, especially at the night-time, when you can see the whole town from another perspective.
·         Sky Tower
This miraculous Sky Tower lies in the middle of Auckland city. With its 328 meters, it’s the highest man-made building in New Zealand, and the 12th highest tower in the world. In the top of the tower you can look over 80 km in every direction. The tower is a part of a hotel and a casino, where tourists can enjoy themselves.

-Margrete and Fanny

- http://www.skycityauckland.co.nz/Attractions/Skytower.html
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beehive_%28New_Zealand%29
- http://blog.ratestogo.com/landmarks-in-new-zealand/

Famous persons from New Zealand

  New Zealand's own Rose

Melanie Jayne Lynskey is an actress from New Zealand. She was born in the major city of the Taranaki Region, called New Plymouth at May 16th, 1977. She grew up with her parents and four siblings. Today she is married to the actor Jimmi Spimpson. They met at the set to “Rose bed”, and got engaged in 2005. The wedding took place in a vineyard on Lake Hayes, near Queenstown, New Zealand.

Melanie graduated from the New Plymouth Girls High School, before she started to study English literature at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. When she was young, she was already  discovered by the famous film producer Peter Jackson’s wife. At the age of 17, Melanie got her breakthrough in the film Heavenly Creatures. Her performance was described as perfect and fearless, and she won the Best Actress award at the New Zealand Film and TV Awards for her role in the film.

Melanie Lynskey and Charlie Sheen
After the great start of her career it was tough for Melanie when the jobs absented. Although she didn’t get the leading roles, she participated in many series and films starring Drew Barrymore, Kate Winslet, Katie Holmes and Reese Witherspoon, to name a few.

In 2003 she finally got a huge role. One of America’s favorite television shows “Two and a half men” hired her to the role as Rose. Rose is the stalking neighbor to Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen). She is madly in love with him, and she often appears on their porch for a nice chat or cuddling.


The national sport in New Zealand is the rough and tumble game rugby. For the people living in New Zealand rugby is not only a sport, it is also an important part of their culture.

Rugby is a very harsh sport and injuries occur frequently. There are two teams playing against each other, 15 players on each team. The main goal is to get as many points as possible by carrying, passing, kicking and grounding the ball over the opponent’s line.

The first rugby match played in New Zealand, took place in Nelson in May 1870. Since then the game has spread throughout the whole country and today New Zealand is the leading country when it comes to rugby. The national team is called The All Blacks and it is ranked as the number 1 rugby team in the whole world! The colors on the jerseys are not the colors of the flag, which other national teams prefer. The All Blacks jerseys are black, embroidered with a poppy on their jersey sleeve when playing. The poppy symbolize the soldiers who died in the battlefields of Europe.

Before every international match The All Blacks perform a haka. A haka is a form of dance that originally was used before the Mãoris were going into a battle. The haka involves loud chanting, aggressive body movements and fierce facial expressions. On this YouTube video you’ll see a real haka, preformed by The All Blacks:

- allblacks.com
- newzealandrugbyinfo.co.nz

Kia ora tatou!

Voyaging canoe
The headline is Mãori language and means “Hello everyone!”
In New Zealand there is a special kind of ethnical group called the Mãoris. The Mãori people are the indigenous people of New Zealand, and they arrived in small voyaging canoes probably in 950.
The Mãori people were originally from Polynesia, and they had a different lifestyle than the New Zealanders. It was a great transition from the tropical Polynesia to the cold New Zealand, and the Mãoris gave New Zealand the name Aotearoa which means “Land of the long white cloud” because of the high mountains covered with snow. 
 After the appearance of the Mãori people, New Zealand became affected of the Mãori settlement. There were formed tribes, built new villages and made new music and art. The Mãori people also introduced New Zealand for fishing, hunting and agriculture. Today the most well-known Mãori tradition is the oral story telling. Myth, legends, traditions and etiquette are being retold through the oral language, and the stories that form the basis of Maori beliefs are special important.
A Powhir
Today 14 percent of the New Zealand population belongs to the Mãori. They still continue to show their unique culture, and it is developed organized visits for tourists who want to see the old, but beautiful religion. When the tourists first arrive to the marae, which is the meeting point for special occasions, they will get a traditional formal welcoming, a powhiri. A powhiri starts with a challenge. The Mãoris will challenge the guests by laying a spear on the ground. One of the guests picks up the spear to show that they come in peace. Then the hosts will perform some moves that the guests will eventually imitate. After the traditional welcoming, the guests will be brought to a house. There speeches, songs and gifts are being shared, and at the end of the ceremony they may get some food.

- http://www.newzealand.com/travel/about-nz/culture/culture-maori-culture.cfm
- http://www.tourism.net.nz/new-zealand/about-new-zealand/maori-stories-and-legends.html
- http://www.virtualoceania.net/newzealand/culture/maori/
Explanation of the flag of New Zealand

The flag is dark blue and the color symbolizes the sea that surrounds New Zealand and the clear heaven over the country.
The four different stars  represent the constellation of Crux, with the stars Acrux, Becrux, Gamma Crucis og Delta Crucis. It shows New Zealand’s position in the South Pacific.

Up to left we find the Union Flag (Great Britain and Nothern Ireland’s flag). The Union Flag symbolizes New Zealand’s historical origins as a colony under Great Britain.
The flag represent the government and the people in the country.

 Sources: wikipedia

fredag 15. oktober 2010

New Zealand - geography and climate


New Zealand is an independent state in Oceania. It contains of two main islands (The North Island and The South Island) and several smaller islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is the most isolated country in the world, and the closest neighbor, Australia, is on the other side of the Tasman Sea. Australia is around 2000 km northwest of New Zealand.

Even though the South Island has the biggest area, three of four million inhabitants live on the North Island. Only the last million live on the South Island. Both the capital of New Zealand Wellington, and the biggest city, Auckland, are on the North Island.

Mount Cook
There are lots of mountains and volcanoes on the islands, and the highest mountain is Mount Cook (3764 meters above sea level) on the South Island. Although the South Island is most mountainous, the North Island is more affected by active volcanism. The biggest volcano is called Mount Ruapehu (2797 meters above sea level), and has had over 50 eruptions since 1861.


The climate in New Zealand is very various from the north to the south. Because of the country’s varying landscape, you can find both snow and beaches on the island. In the south there can be quite chilly, but the temperature infrequent drops below 0˚C in the lowlands. In the north there is a subtropical climate. That means that the summer is long and warm, and the winter is mild and short.

New Zealand is on the south hemisphere, and because of that they have the opposite seasons from Europeans. The summer in New Zealand starts in December and ends in February, while the short and mild winter last from June to August.

New Zealand is well known for having abundantly precipitation, especially in the western parts of the country. The annual rainfall on the west coast of New Zealand is actually more than Amazonas’ yearly amount of rain.


- http://www.newzealandtrademanual.com/new-zealand-info/need-to-know/a-year-round-destination/
- http://www.studenttorget.no/index.php?show=4609&expand=3796,3930,4609&artikkelid=7600
- http://snl.no/New_Zealand