Eventually I made it and headed straight to the YHA hostel, which by the way is AWESOME. If you come to Lake Tekapo, I highly recommend staying here! The common room is very cozy and it feels like im home with a family. I mean, in a way, hostels ARE a family… a family of travelers all sharing one common desire: to see new things and meet new people. In this common room there are comfy couches, beanbags, a fireplace, board games, magazines, a piano, stars on the ceiling, posters, a pet cat…. Very homey indeed. Oh, and check out the view from the common room:
I enjoyed meeting everyone here and staying warm near the fire, but as soon as the rain stopped, I dashed out the door to experience this place!
Someone told me of a pretty one hour hike up Mount John, so I headed that way. Well, apparently I took a long route because after 2.5 hours I still wasn’t at the summit! Ha! But like yesterday, I just kept walking.
I kept wanting to turn back but something kept pushing me farther. I kept seeing a point higher up and telling myself, “Oh I bet the view is even BETTER up there! I’ll just go there and then leave.” Well, I think I said that to myself about 6 times!!! I couldn’t stop hiking up. The funny thing is, I actually hate hiking. Just ask any of my climbing mates…. But for some reason, when I’m alone and in New Zealand, I feel like another force is with me, helping me up the steep mountain. In fact, it is really enjoyable. I also like being able to pick my own pace.
When I got near the top, there was a road up the mountain so I hiked to it… because someone told me that this walk was supposed to be an hour, so I wanted to make sure I was going the right way. A car of friendly old kiwis came down the mountain and offered me a ride. They brought me up to the very top, which was definitely not what I expected. It was a 360 view of mountains and lakes. Completely surrounding you. I kept spinning around, jaw open, admiring the view. In fact, it is so magnificent that I almost don’t want to post pictures, because it doesn’t do it justice… at ALL. Just imagine these pictures enhanced by 100.
Not to mention, the very top of the mountain is home to Mt John University Observatory, where they study astronomy. Apparently it is the best place in NZ to see the stars, and they even offer Earth and Sky tours.
Hiking to the summit of Mt. John was simply stunning. This is a must-do if you are staying in Lake Tekapo.
Today was another great day in NZ and I’m looking forward to tomorrow: Queenstown!