Students beat off midwinter blues with a camp in Kahurangi National Park


In mid-June, while most of us were finding a warm fire to sit beside, out of the elements, the Level 2 Outdoor Education class spent three days tramping and camping through Kahurangi National Park. A member of the class, Sam Boothroyd, explained what the class got up to.

“The weather prospects for our upcoming 3 days in the wilderness of the Kahurangi National Park weren’t promising, but that didn’t stop both level 2 classes from being excited. Prepared for the worst, we made our way to a cave rock shelter in case we were forced to seek shelter during the night. 

Sleeping under fly sheets in winter with a weather forecast of rain, seems like a bad idea I admit, but it was a pleasant night with the only real disturbance being some curious Weka which we found everywhere we went. Sleeping in the wilderness and drinking water from the streams was such a good feeling for all of us, especially after being trapped inside during lockdown and I’m sure we were all grateful for it. 

The next day was bush navigation and everyone was hyped.

We spent an entire day pushing our way through thick, impenetrable bush, often even having to resort to a clumsy form of breaststroke in particularly thick areas and navigating over open tussocks that were often shrouded in low fog. We learnt how to use compasses to take bearings as well as combining the landscape and the map to find out where we were and how to get to our destination. It was an epic day and we ended it exhausted but in high spirits. It’s fair to say we all slept well that night, even if it was a wee bit damp. Throughout the day, we had all had a go at navigating and taking a leadership role on and off the beaten track.

Students stop for lunch in Kahurangi National Park — Image by: Kristel Leijten

The third and final day was a happy and sad moment, with everyone starting to feel tired but loving every moment and not wanting it to end. We tramped through some impressive native bush, beach forests and mountain tops and saw native birds such as Weka, Fantails and the South Island Robin. Gordon’s Pyramid also offered us glimpses of some impressive views through the clouds which we were happy to see after a much steeper detour. The caves and mines were interesting to see and cave Wekas gave a few people a scare, but all in all, it was an awesome trip with awesome people, in an even more awesome place.”

Felix Radman-Brown is well rugged up for his Level Outdoor Ed trip — Image by: Kristel Leijten

By Level 2 Outdoor Education student Sam Boothroyd