Reaching New Heights

Submitted by Riley Browning on the 2023 summer program in New Zealand…

This was my fourth week in New Zealand. This week we stayed in Queenstown, about a 7-hour drive from our usual home in Lincoln.

In Queenstown, we stayed in another hostel. This hostel was much smaller but I enjoyed it quite a bit more than the hostel in Lake Tekapo. This hostel had curtains on each bunk bed for privacy, which was nice for people who wanted to stay up late or go to bed early. Once you close the curtain the light on your phone doesn’t bother anyone. While in Queenstown I hiked, skydived, and relaxed. It was a more popular town than Lake Tekapo, with more people, more things to do, and more places to eat. The hike I went on was to the top of the mountain in Queenstown and once at the top, I could see the whole town below. It was a beautiful view! I skydived for the first time ever and it was a total adrenaline rush. I got to chat with my tandem on the flight down. A tandem is the person that is strapped to you when you first skydive, they work all the straps and release the parachute. I learned his mother and father both skydived, so he had been doing it since he was little, and he loved his job. Another experience I had in Queenstown was watching the buskers (street performers). I found that I enjoyed the musical ones more than the comical ones. There was one man who sang songs and his dog howled with him! It was nice to relax in Queenstown, but the area did finally make me homesick. There was a beach area and a dock for boats and water sports. Being on the dock and around the beach made me think about the beach at home and made me want to go back. It is also very soothing to me to sit on the dock and night and listen to the waves crash against the beach. I am still very much enjoying my trip, but I do wish I could share it with my family.

Hiking in Queenstown

Queenstown was a place I will never forget, and I am grateful for the opportunity to witness it. I met new people, saw new views, tried something new, and got a little homesick. I am ready to see what my last week has in store! (Submitted during Week Four).