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Surfing at St Clair

Tom OBrien
Tom OBrien
Tom O'Brien is an American abroad! He's having a great time getting to know New Zealand while he studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin.

The first impromptu thing we did was we went surfing at St Clair Beach.

It was a beautiful day so we just decided to hit the waves. The thing was when we got there, the waves were absolutely massive. When we tried to overcome the first row of waves, we got destroyed. The waves were about 15-20 footers. Us inexperienced surfers were not ready to handle this feat. I ended the day only getting up once and with a lot of bruises.


After surfing, we met everyone else having a drink or two (or three), on the roof of our friends’ house. After that, we all had a huge potluck and we all ate wayyy too much.

St. Patrick’s Day

The other weekend was St. Paddy’s Day and you know what that means…! The green is coming out!! We all made different clothes out of the little materials we had and then celebrated the holiday in spirit with some dark beer and Jameson.


Camping in the caves

The next spontaneous thing we did was on a random Tuesday night, we all decided to sleep in the caves on Long Beach. We were all bored sitting down at the table and we got up, packed, and left. This was a truly eye-opening experience because it really made me think about how different my life is down here. Back home, I would never get up in the middle of being bored and just go to the beach and sleep there. It makes me want to change my life in that way when I get back. Not necessarily going to sleep in caves, but something just as fun and exciting.

This time at the caves, it was very different. We brought a guitar and this just made for a great mood setter.  It was a beautiful, crisp night so there were no clouds in the sky and a fire was essential. In the middle of the night, I went out and set up my tripod and took some amazing shots of the stars.

I don’t know why they came out blue on my camera but whatever, I captured them!

The best sunrise

A few hours later, I experienced probably the best sunrise I had ever seen. I can’t describe it, so I took some pictures.


After the sunrise, we all hopped in the car and drove back just in time to make it to our morning classes on Wednesday. It was a really fun night and I’m very glad we did it.