On Tuesday 14 February, the Year 8's set off onto a journey of what we later on realised was the experience of a lifetime.
It was an early start on Tuesday morning. Some of us were tired, but everyone was super excited. We piled onto the bus and van and we were off on an adventure down to Deep Cove. As soon as we arrived in Manapouri for lunch, the rain came pouring down. We transported all of our gear, onto a boat. Cruising through the Fiords on the boat trip was amazing. We were allowed to go on the top level, just a few of us at a time, but we were pretty lucky no one was blown off the boat. The views were amazing as all we saw around us was beautiful mountains and bush.
When we arrived in Deep Cove, we were immediately covered in sand-flies. Plenty of us got bitten in the first few minutes, but that didn’t worry us as we were all eager to get down and see where we were staying. The hostel was amazing. We were in an isolated area with an unbelievable view of mountains and waterfalls but also no cell phone reception which was a bit of an issue for some of the girls. After hearing the plan for the week, we were all enthusiastic and excited to get straight into it.
Set in the beautiful Deep Cove, Fiordland our camp was absolutely spectacular. It was the most, or rather should I say the second most, memorable camp of my life (Year 7 camp was the most memorable...) For those who didn’t know about our Year 7 camp, we all caught the gastro bug…
I really enjoyed it because it was a fun, yet challenging camp. We all did a compulsory walk which took all of us just under 4 hours long. Although our entire bodies were aching at the end of that day, most of us were eager to do another.
We all enjoyed the activities we completed over the week. Separated into three groups, we all gave a go at fishing, ABL team building and weaving with Tahu. These activities were a great time to have fun as a group and also learn different skills independently and in teams. I especially loved swimming in the rock pools. The water was absolutely freezing but everyone was brave or should I say crazy enough to jump in.
So, the next day, a solid group of us set off again to the Hanging Valley walk which, in my opinion was completely worth the difficult tramp.
We trod for hours climbing under, over and on top of different sized tree roots, I’ll tell you now, it was a challenge. Finally, we reached the top: hot, sweaty and exhausted but the significant view of Deep Cove most definitely made up for the task.
On day 3, we were up early and ready to catch a Real Journeys boat out to the Tasman Sea. This was a real highlight as it was a beautiful morning and the views were magnificent.
We were very lucky enough to see dolphins in their natural environment and seals sunbathing on the rocks, something I know we will remember for many years.
We were very lucky to have Amy and Mizey from Adventure Southland and also Tahu from the Orokonui Eco-sanctuary with us. We took part in fun team activities with them after dinner and they also took us on the walks and joined in with everything else we were doing. Tahu was so fun to have with us as she had such an adventurous and positive attitude. She arranged some acting, games and learning about where we were and also the wildlife around us. Amy and Mizey accompanied us on our walks and also were great to have on our trip.
Also, the wildlife and the scenery were absolutely magnificent. I have been lucky enough to have travelled to many different countries in my life and so far, nothing has compared to the beautiful Fiordland. It was so natural and un-touched that it almost seemed like an artwork. We were actually lucky enough to meet Wendy and Wally the Wekas, and a couple of cheeky Keas which we later on named Colleen and Kev. Throughout our stay we noticed that both of these species enjoy stealing human shoes…
We would like to make a special thanks to all the parents that came to Deep Cove with us and also a big thank you to Mrs Walker and Mr Walden - without both of you this camp would not have been possible.
Year 8 camp was honestly the most amazing, so all of the Year 7’s this year, please make the most of this unique camp. We all wish we could go again.
By Lucy Cowie and Grace Johnston