Shanna Law - “Living on the Remnants of an Ancient Volcano”


Shanna Law

Shanna has travelled from the USA to study for a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geology at the University of Otago in New Zealand.  When she’s not studying she likes to hike, paint and read.


The peninsula that Dunedin is built upon is comprised of rocks created by an ancient volcano. This geologic history, along with the temperamental climate of the South Island of New Zealand, is responsible for the beautiful and dramatic scenery of the area.

One example of such natural beauty is a spot called the Organ Pipes at the top of Mt. Cargill. In one afternoon, you can hike from the University in the city to the top of Mt. Cargill and back. The Organ Pipes are columns of rock that formed as lava cooled and contracted, and though many of them have fallen over, it is a spectacular sight. They're so high that you are above some clouds, but you can still see for a long distance! If you don't want to hike that far, you can also drive part way and then take a short 30 minute walk to them.


"They're so high that you are above some clouds but you can still see for a long distance."