Out in the field: A South Island Adventure

Tauranga Girls College recently embarked on a South Island adventure with Educating Adventures. 

The students study the South Island High Country and this trip was an opportunity for students to see and experience the landscape that they learn about rather than as an abstract place in a textbook.

Here is a blog written by Geography Teacher Nicky Hodson

2022 has certainly turned in another interesting year for Education Outside of the Classroom (EOTC). Despite many cancellations and postponements, 25 of our Year 12 and 13 Geography students were lucky enough to head off to the South Island during the April school holidays. It was touch and go for a while but with the help of our amazing travel company, Educating Adventures, our students set off on ANZAC day.Our Year 12 students study the South Island High Country and this optional trip was an opportunity for students to see and experience the landscape that they learn about rather than as an abstract place in a textbook.

 Our trip was five action packed days of adventure. Students flew into Christchurch and explored the city on a walking tour. This is the 10th year that we have run this biannual trip and it has been fascinating to watch the progress of the Christchurch rebuild. From there they headed into the heart of the Mackenzie Basin with the first stop at Lake Tekapo. Students visited the Dark Sky Project that night which was a highlight for many students. On Day 3 students climbed up Mount John to fully appreciate the intermontane basin and 360 degree views. The weather was perfect and the view did not disappoint. The afternoon was a leisurely soak in the hot pools and ice skating. Day 4 was all about the glaciers. We visited the DOC education centre at Mt Cook and then went out on the glacier boat on Lake Tasman: rolling icebergs and 500 year old glacial ice just some of the stunning highlights. For students from the North Island the scale of everything was unbelievable. Our final stop was Queenstown. We did all the regular tourist things - gondola, luge, visit to Walter’s Peak on the TSS Earnslaw and of course some shopping! The late night flight home was a quiet one with 25 happy students and two very tired teachers!

 EOTC really is where real life, relevant learning happens. This trip, for many, is the only one they have been on in a few years and will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

Some student voice of the trip:

“The Tasman glacier was a highlight because I’m glad I got to see and learn all about it as the guide said it was going to disappear in the next 50 years and the beautiful landscapes of the South Island because it is so different to the north island”

“Observatory, absolutely LOVED. So interesting learning about the stars I was just speechless. Am thinking about studying it that's how good it was.”

“The highlight of the trip for me was on the last day we boated to Walters Peak, which was just absolutely fabulous and the vibes were immaculate. And also, Tekapo was amazing because the views were pretty. And Christchurch because we learnt the history of the earthquakes and how the city was planned and laid out.”

Final Note from Educating Adventures

We were so glad that we got to run the trip for Tauranga Girls College this year. Thanks to Nicky and the girls for providing us with this awesome feedback and we look forward to doing it all again soon! At Educating Adventures, we run both international and domestic travel experiences for schools around the globe so if you’re starting to think about your next Adventure, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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