By Shona Mckenzie | Posted: Wednesday November 10, 2021
Last week 35 students attended our Education Outside the Classroom Camp at Aoraki, Mount Cook.
We travelled to Tekapo on our first day and embarked on the Mount John Observatory walk. Lunch was enjoyed at the top as we explored the observatory, home to the country's biggest telescope. It was exciting to settle into our home for the next week, Glentanner. The facilities were awesome and the view of Mount Cook and the lake made our early mornings much more enjoyable.
Day two began with a predator workshop with The Department of Conservation. We were introduced to a range of predators and learnt about the impact they have on the wildlife and environment of Aoraki. Our DOC guide taught us about the variety of traps used in the National Park and even let us place two tracking tunnels amongst the bush.
Following this, we headed up to the Sir Edmund Hillary centre to watch a 3D movie called “Mount Cook Magic”. This gave us an insight into the work of Sir Ed, one of the world’s greatest explorers, and showcased the Aoraki region in all its glory.
Glacier boating on the Tasman Glacier Lake was a highlight for many. The tour allowed us to explore and learn about the ever-changing glacial landscape, looking at icebergs that have torn away from the face of the glacier into the rapidly growing lake. One of the most interesting things we got to see was the lateral moraines which were up to 200m, reminding us how much the lake has changed over time.
The Hooker Valley walk was first up for day three. This hike wound up the Hooker Valley, past alpine streams and glaciers in the shadow of Aoraki, Mount Cook. Following this, we attended a search and rescue workshop - an essential service in the National Park. This taught us the different roles required to save mountaineers on the Southern Alps. A camp concert ended a great day with some stand out acts.
Thursday was a huge day cycling 26km along the “Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail” from the Tekapo Power Station into Twizel. The scenery along the lake and through the Pukaki flats was outstanding. Students enjoyed a much deserved ice block after a huge day of perseverance. This is one activity we recommend doing if you are given the chance. Finally, we headed home on Friday via the Tekapo Hot Springs.
Thank you so much to our wonderful parent helpers; Jo, Paul, Angus and Mel, we could not have done the trip without your help. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!!
We send our second camp off on Monday and can’t wait to hear about the experiences they have.