Dr Jason Price, PhD (2003)

Current job: Research Fellow with Professor E.C. Constable, University of Basel, Switzerland (2007-present)
Previous job: Marsden Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Otago, Dunedin (Jan 2004 - Feb 2007)
PhD: Prof. Len F. Lindoy at the University of Sydney, Australia (1998-2003)

In early 2004 my wife and I left Sydney. Everyone thought we were mad – most people move in the other direction (well, at least young Kiwi's). We had observed that Dunedin was well south of the southernmost latitudes of Australian Territory, excluding the Antarctic. Despite, or rather because of the southern location - I must say that my memories of the town, university and country itself are some of my fondest by far.

We arrived in a summer of “drought” which Sally explained meant no rain for 2 months. However we saved the day by bringing rain with us. From an Australian perspective this seemed a bit odd, but Sally's hospitality and the warm welcome we received from the group banished any gloom. The group was always supportive. Probably the biggest gift (aside from the Chemistry experience) was our lovely flat, and even lovelier landlady. With our colleagues help (Markus!) we had this place to move into as soon as we arrived, and were blessed with the kindest and most helpful landlady one could ask for.

The rich history of the town is obvious everywhere, with Otago University being the first university founded in New Zealand. The gold rush in the Victorian period funded development that can be seen in the many lovely houses around along with the historically important University registry building and railway station. Most visitors focus on this, and the Otago Peninsula with its wildlife and natural resources being the big draw for Dunedin.

We enjoyed Dunedin so much that we stayed for 3 years and we got out and about quite a bit, and saw some of the lesser known, remote parts of New Zealand as well. Anyone interested in the great outdoors, extreme sports, hiking (or tramping as the locals call it), skiing, mountaineering etcetera, will be in for a blast. The West Coast, Doubtful Sound and Stewart Island come highly recommended. The unique bird life offered the experience of both bird watching and some photography, capturing some the beautiful birds on the islands.

It really is worth scratching the surface and digging into the rural economy that underpins New Zealand’s success. Dunedin has a wonderful town and country atmosphere, which means you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Horse riding, farming, the farmers markets, seasonal festivals, great boutique beers, and world famous wines are all available locally. The University has a great Recreation Services department, that lets students and staff access everything the area has to offer at really great prices too! Always appreciated!

In 2007, with great sadness, and great expectations we moved to Basel, Switzerland. A very, very different town which does share one thing with Dunedin. The rubric “small but beautiful” could be applied to both. Dunedin's beauty meets the eye, whereas Basel's must be sought out to be appreciated.

Gannet

Tui

Stewart Island Fernbird

Spotted Shag

South Island Robin

South Island Fantail

Kea