My name is Hannah, I’m 18 years old and from Northern Germany. In the following six months, I am going to do some volunteer work all around New Zealand and I am very excited about everything I will experience. Before starting my studies next year, I wanted to leave Germany for a while and travel to New Zealand, as is has been fascinating me for quite a long time now.
I’ve just spent four wonderful weeks in Wellington while studying at the Campbell Institute where I made many new friends and had some funny lessons. New Zealand’s capital is definitely worth a visit, it offers you a wide range of activities: Hike up Mount Victoria, walk along the Waterfront, take the Cable Car up to the Botanic Gardens or just wander around Cuba Street and Courtney Place!
My first project is called ‘Living in Peace’ – located on the beautiful west coast of the South Island. Im working at a hostel called ‘Rongo Backpackers’ and at a farm which belong together.
Today is my fourth day here at Rongo Backpackers and I’ve already experienced quite a lot. To start with, my journey to Karamea took me more than two days: On Saturday morning, I took the ferry from Wellington to Picton which was very impressive thanks to the sunny weather! Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to visit Picton, because my bus to Nelson left one hour after we had arrived at the port. I spent one night in Nelson und got the chance to enjoy free chocolate pudding in the hostel where I was staying (Yummy!). On Sunday, I took the bus to Westport where I had enough time to prepare myself for the last part of my journey to Karamea. I finally arrived at Rongo Backpackers Monday afternoon and was warmly welcomed there – giving me the day off and letting me settle in! My first day of work started with stacking firewood into a new-build shelter and farming after lunchtime. The wonderful thing about the hostel is that guests can turn up every time, which four travelers did on Tuesday evening. They were immediately stunned by all the artwork that exists at Rongo’s. To me, it is very inspiring and I hope, I’ll come up with some ideas in the next days and start a small ‘project’ as well!
We have a huge garden here and I can get many vegetables for free and use them for cooking. On Wednesday evening, we lighted up a big bonfire and listened to a new set of the local radio here: You can have your own radio show at Rongo’s, which means you can pick some songs and play them while commenting and later upload that show on the Internet, so that it can be heard all around the world!