Published: Tuesday, 06 September 2016 10:03
On the first day of spring, 11 keen students and 2 teachers headed out to the Wild West Coast to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Hillary Award Practice Tramp.
We began on the aptly named Hillary Trail, heading down the Omanawanui Track with native bush stretches merging onto rocky outcrops, steep valleys and soaring heights, granting us stunning views across to South head, the Waitakere ranges and the stretch of black sandy shore at Whatipu.
The students were in fine form, encouraging one another down the slippery and treacherous parts of the track, stopping from time to time to munch on chocolate-filled scroggin, and take pictures to record their travels.
We arrived at the historic Whatipu Lodge by nightfall and enjoyed home-made dinners (thanks students!), games of pool, puzzles and a great Kiwi quiz. The students bunked in the cosy homestead, sleeping deeply after a vigorous day outdoors.
The following day we trekked up the very muddy Kura track and summited Mt Donald Mclean to enjoy gorgeous views from the top, as we ate a well-earned lunch.
The final tramp for the Bronze award will be completed in December at the Pinnacles, Coromandel. We look forward to another adventure with the well-organised, adventure-loving students.