By Richard Roe | Posted: Thursday February 11, 2021
The entire cohort of 30 Year 9 hostel boys accompanied by 5 hostel prefects and 3 staff departed for our Mt Aspiring Lodge on Saturday afternoon. After refuelling at Subway Cromwell we made it to the Lodge in good time to get settled in before dark.
Sunday began with some team building initiative activities on a very hot day. After lunch we put in a short burst of track maintenance across our regularly washed out stream bed, before heading over to the sanctuary of Wishbone Falls for a much-needed swim. The pool was a very popular place on such a warm afternoon, and we were proud of the conduct of our boys who prompted several comments from other visitors about how polite and well-behaved they were. That evening the seniors organised a game of spotlight for everyone.
On Monday morning each group contributed a short stint of track-clearing on the way to the seldom visited McPherson Falls. Despite the water temperature and lack of sunlight in this shady gorge many of the boys took the opportunity to swim in this pristine natural pool. The afternoon activities offered the choice of fishing, swimming in the main river, or dam building in the creek bed. Dinner that night was an impressive barbeque where the sheer quantity of meat and mashed potatoes helped to cover up the lack of vegetables which had inadvertently been left behind back in Dunedin.
It was an early start on Tuesday, to clean the Lodge and get back out to the vans. After light rain all night which turned into proper rain during the morning we had no choice but to remove our plank bridge before it washed out to Lake Wanaka, and wade through the rising stream instead. The boys will now believe just how quickly a gentle stream can turn into a raging torrent in this environment.
Overall this was a very successful trip, and this group of young men will be an asset to the hostel in the years to come.