Finns love our beautiful mix

Friday 26th August 2011

A snow-covered mountain so close to the sea has been a surprise for four Finnish travellers visiting Taranaki.

finn_students
The teenagers from southern Finland are in Taranaki as part of a Lions exchange programme.

It's an annual exchange set up between the Lions clubs in Finland and their New Zealand members that sees the students selected hosted by Lions members throughout the country.

The highlights for the group so far have been bungy jumping at Gravity Cannon near Taihape, flying to Stewart Island and a day on the farm in the Manawatu.

Marjut Koylijarvi, 17, said the beauty of Taranaki is the mixture of the mountain and the sea.

"I've seen the sea before and seen mountains before but never so close together. It's really pretty."

She said she plans to head back to Finland where she will apply for medical school but hopes to return to New Zealand with fellow exchange student Sanna Lehtonen, 19, next year.

"I'm planning to come back for six months and work for four of them and then travel for two. Marjut is planning to join me for the two months to travel as she will be on university holidays," Sanna said.

The summer temperatures are a little more balmy at home than in New Zealand, the girls said.

"It's a bit rainy but 25 degrees or more so much warmer," Mirva said.

Photo: Four Finnish teenagers enjoying visiting Taranaki from left, Mirva Muranen, Annika Lehtonen, Sanna Lehtonen and Marjut Koylijarvi. Picture by Jonathan Cameron/Taranaki Daily News

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