Submitted by Riley Browning on the 2023 summer program in New Zealand…
This was my third week in New Zealand. This week we went to Lake Tekapo and I had my first experience in a hostel.
Lake Tekapo is a little beachy town south of Lincoln where we normally stay. It was about a 4-hour bus ride to get there. It was a rock beach and the sand was SUPER hot. The water was absolutely freezing, but it was the most beautiful water I have ever seen. While we were there we went kayaking and swimming. I took a nice little nap on my kayak while soaking up the sun and letting the soft sway of the water put me to sleep. We also went hiking on about a 5-mile trail. It only took us about an hour to get to the top (it was very steep). Whereas it took us about 2 hours to get back down (it was a long and slow decline). The view at the top of the hike was amazing. From the top, you could see the entire lake, the beach, and our hostel. There was also a little café at the top of the mountain where I got a rewarding smoothie. My experience at the hostel was not what I was expecting.
The hostel was very clean and had lots of new people to meet. In my room, there was a New Zealand native and someone from Boston. The man from Boston was traveling to New Zealand to study agriculture. This is exactly what I am doing here with my study abroad group! The bathroom was a community bathroom, kind of like you would see at a campground, but it was inside so it was clean. There was a community kitchen as well. There were about 2 microwaves, 2 ovens, 6 stove tops, and 4 sinks. It was so cool to watch multiple people at once cutting up ingredients and cooking up some tasty-looking food. In the kitchen, there was also a bin that you could put food in for other people to have, once you put something in you could then take something you wanted out of the bin. It reminded me of a Geocache, but with food.
My third week in New Zealand was a whole new experience at Lake Tekapo and my first stay at a hostel. We are going to stay at another hostel in Queenstown next week. Stay tuned! (Submitted during Week Three).