04/12 - 08/12

Another week of conservation work is over - the last of 5 weeks.
A short summary of what we die this week in Wellington: we filled loooads of mulch into bags which we carried uphill, we did plant releasing and track maintaining in a Bird Sanctuary, more plant releasing, as-well as some work in Zealandia (see last post) and nursery work.
To be honest, I am kind of glad that my time in the project is over because I discovered that construction work and gardening is not really one of my passions. Though, I finish this project and leave New Zealand with a smiling face. Just like all the other countries I've been to, New Zealand changed me and my mind. I learned so much, not just about native plants and animals, but about kindness, generosity and how everything seems to be connected in a deep love for our nature. In many ways, I hold a different stance about who I want to be as a person and how I want to live my life. Looking back, what fascinated me the most is probably …
27/11 - 03/12

                the heaviest insect in the world
                            in Zealandia

On Monday morning, I rejoin the Conservation Volunteers after a pretty strenious walk uphill to the historic Truby King house with a fantastic view over the bay and airport, my home for the following weeks.
This week's tasks were: potting plants in the nursery, plant releasing in nature reserves, weeding, beach cleaning and cutting down plants in Zealandia. Zealandia is a great eco sanctuary which depicts NZ's native nature - this park is actually of paramount importance to the conservation work in NZ. The native plants, birds, reptiles etc. are threatened by invasive species (the Europeans and immigrants brought  many plants and over all mammals - there were no mammals at all in NZ a couple of centuries ago) that endanger indigenous species and already made many of them extinct. The goal of Zealandia is therefore to recreate a natural and predator-free habitat for NZ's …
20/11 - 26/11

I have 5 weeks of volunteering with Conservation Volunteers in total of which I spent my third week in Titirangi, a suburb of Auckland. This time, my new team and I had to fulfill some different tasks: we do a lot of weeding in a historic garden, renewed the stairs of a coastal walking track at Piha beach, planted trees along a stream and cut down or pulled out thousands of invasive trees (a fern species from Australia) while climbing in a cliff-like mountain.
On Friday, my team and I went out for dinner and had the best and fanciest vegan ice cream in the world to finish off our last week in Auckland.
I still have 2 more weeks of conservation work to go, which I will do in Wellington, though. I caught the bus on Saturday early in the morning to go to Wellington where I arrived in the evening - NZ is actually a pretty huge country with a mountainous landscape that makes the construction of big highways nearly impossible so so you always have to expect long rides.
Now the…
13/11 - 19/11 
I spent my second week of volunteering in the same place (Atiu Creek) and fulfilled smiliar tasks as last week:  We collected seeds for growing plants, did potting for almost 3.000 plants in total, built another bridge at a paddock and chased an invasive (non-native) species.
On the weekend, I had some time to go to Auckland City and did some shopping. The more the temperatures are rising, the more you can find christmas decorations in the shops and on the streets. Odd! You definetly don't get into the christmas mood when in New Zealand. 

10/11/2017 - 12/11/2017
My Conservation Volunteers team and I rented a car for the weekend for some adventure time.  After our work on Friday, we drove back to Auckland and got our car.  Our first stop: the Kauri trees in a national park in the north. There we saw the second biggest Kauri tree (Father of the Forest) and the biggest one (Lord of the Forest). We went for a nice walk through the forests. In the evening, we drove to the Bay of Islands on the northeast, so that we could use the whole next day there.  On Saturday, some of us went on a boat cruise, I decided on renting a kayak instead with another team member. We went by kayak to a nearby island and enjoyed having some time at a beach just to ourselves. After chilling some more on the mainland, we drove to another beautiful bay which was stunning in the golden light of the setting sun.  On Sunday, we drove up north to Cape Reinga, the most northern point in New Zealand with the popular lighthouse. It's a sacred place to…
03/11/2017 - 09/11/2017
My conservation project in New Zealand starts. After meeting the team and our team leader Bruce in the office in Auckland and after a two hours drive, we arrived in Atiu Creek, a national park north of Auckland, which perfectly depicts the stereotypical nature: big, lush green hills, forests, mangroves along the coastline, a mixture of normal trees and tropical palm trees and vines in the bush, colourful birds and thousaaaaands of sheep!  There, we lived in Bruce's house with a nice common room and kitchen and of course bunk beds. We have the weekend to ourselves, so we decided on doing some walks through the park and I was also forced to watch The Lord Of The Rings for the first time as I was accused "to lack some education".  Our team consists of very different personalities, but we come along well. 
My first week with the Conservation Volunteers: We cleaned hundreds of pots for plants, constructed a bridge for the paddocks, prepared 1,092 pots…
I used my last day of free-time to meet a friend I got to know in Bali. We went to the museum and to the wintergardens in the Auckland Domain Park and chatted for hours and hours. We almost forgot about the museum which, to be honest, has no logical concept. It is called The War Memorial Museum, but it was not only about several wars, it was also about volcanos, dinosaurs, sharks and birds, insects, Japanese art, ancient tools and houseware etc.  I also met someone else and we went to the theatre, not to watch a play, but to walk around in the hallways and to look at the paintings.  Tomorrow, I will join the Conservation Volunteers New Zealand - my next volunteering project is about to start.