How Irish Zoologist Suzanne Burns Fell in Love with NZ
There are many “weird, wild and wonderful aspects to living in New Zealand” that have made Irish woman Suzanne Burns, 40, fall “hopelessly in love with the country.” Burns, a zoologist and wildlife guide moved to Dunedin from Cork in 2005.
She describes why she’s enamoured in an Irish Times piece:
“I chose [Dunedin] as my home as I was easily able to pick up work in my field. The fact that it was surrounded by golden sandy beaches, prolific wildlife and a vibrant student atmosphere didn’t hurt either. Dunedin prides itself on its excellent university and the fact that it is the sea bird capital of the world.
“You can drive 40 minutes from the city and see penguins and albatrosses at the end of the peninsula. When it comes to our feathered friends, there is something to be said for the birds in Dunedin. If you drive up to their nesting grounds at Taiaroa Head on a windy evening, you can watch these enormous avians eclipse the sun as they wheel around in glorious synchronicity.
“The university students provided a whole other form of wildlife and regular entertainment for all us blow-ins.
“A long established tradition and rite of passage for the first year or “Fresher” students involves couch burning. They raid skips for abandoned couches or buy them cheaply from charity shops. The fire brigade is kept very well occupied the first week of university when the students light these couches en masse in their front gardens.
“It is these things, and the many more weird, wild and wonderful aspects to living in New Zealand which have made me fall so hopelessly in love with the country.”
Original article by Suzanne Burns, The Irish Times, January 29, 2015.
Photo by Jonathan Chilton-Towle.