So while I moved to NZ originally when I was 2 years old, I left when I was too young to have done much worth writing about. So even though it isn’t technically in chronological order, I’ll write about the second time I lived in New Zealand from 2015-16.
I moved back from Australia to New Zealand to complete my second degree at the University of Otago at the bottom of the earth. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the University, it’s based in Dunedin which is a nationally famous college party town. One of the few places I’ve ever been where entire streets can be closed off for 1,000 person alcohol fuelled parties. The only place I’ve lived where 3-400 person parties can break out in housing blocks on a Thursday night. Dunedin itself is a beautiful city, filled with old colonial buildings and is located amongst stunning coastal and mountainous scenery. The city itself has countless hiking trails and within a short driving distance there almost a limitless supply. One of the nation’s greatest tourist hubs, Queenstown is only a four-hour drive from Dunedin itself. The city has a rich Scottish settler history which is shown in its architecture and culture. Additionally, the University of Otago which is the central source of income for the city is well-recognized in the international community and has helped Dunedin to become one of only 20 World Literary Cities, as designated by UNESCO in 2014. The city itself also houses countless bookstores and several impressive libraries. As well as literature, Dunedin has a rich history of dramatic and musical performances, both of which are frequent on evenings throughout the week. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat or drink, the cities central hub, the Octagon houses numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants. Most people will start their Saturday night drinking at home in student share housing, before heading to one of the numerous Scottish or Irish pubs throughout the city and usually end up at one of the cities three main nightclubs, Suburbia, 10 Bar or Innocent Bystanders. Usually, whichever one of these clubs the evening ended at would define how the remainder of the evening would play out, with Innocent Bystanders usually meaning that everyone had a good night and went home at a reasonable time with nothing happening. 10 Bar would usually mean that you would either go home early or over to another club because after about an hour of being there you would want to leave. Finally, there was Suburbia, which usually meant that the evening was going to end messily or you wouldn’t be sure exactly how your evening ended when you woke up at home the next day with about 10 missed calls. It’s probably worth mentioning that two of these three night clubs were actually subterranean as a lot of Dunedin was. The city itself was literally built onto and into the harbour hillside, resulting in it being the home of the steepest street in the world Baldwin St. Thursday nights would usually mean that we would spend the first half of the evening at a friend’s house who lived closer to the University. Predrinks would occur at that house until it became suitably late in the evening, at which time we wold make our way to whatever party a member of the group had heard a rumour of or been invited to. Dunedin is one of those places where you literally have to know someone who knows one person who is going to another persons party to essentially have what is considered an invite. These parties would usually be in a housing complex meaning that they were outdoors and would always escalate to a ridiculous level or in a large share house in which case they would normally reach about 100 people. Being a University City, only around 1/2 of the people you would meet at any given party would be from New Zealand and of those who were, about 1/3 of them would be from Dunedin. You would usually see at least a handful of people from each party you attended at some point in the coming semester.