Then after the lessons in soil sampling it is on to serious business! During the first period of my internship I was taught certain laboratory skills (mostly just using a kit on the laboratory and getting myself introduced to the safety procedures on the three different laboratories I would be working on!). Then my assignment brought a nice gift with it, although I was expecting some sightseeing because of the samples I would be taking, I would have never expected to have a work supplied tour of the entire country!
The idea was that I would go to the most dry, most wet and some in between areas of NZ (so basically everywhere!) to sample soil. Since I could choose these places myself (as long as I had a scientifically explained reason for it :D ), the tour ended up being quite extensive. One of the most scenic places during the first of three sampling trips was Kaikoura. Kaikoura is a small peninsula on the east coast of the south island. The place is renowned for the sea life (dolpins, seals, whales) near the coast and in the morning of our stay there I went on a whale watching trip. Sperm Whale, Check! Acrobatic Dolphins, Check! Fur Seals, Check! Although I have some nice pictures of both, the most impressive was still the view of the country when standing on a high place in the peninsula. Check the view and be jealous :)