We arrived at Manapouri after a long bus ride from Dunedin for the hour-long boat ride across the lake. Everyone loved the boat trip and almost everybody was up on the top deck.
Once we reached the wharf at West Arm we had to unload the bags which took all 49 of us. We reloaded the bags onto the next bus and had another hour bus ride to get to Deep Cove in Doubtful Sound.
There was nature everywhere, which wasn’t much of a surprise since we were in part of the Fiordland National Park. The hostel manager, Billy, told us to unload the bus and sit down in the living area. We then had a quick briefing and were introduced to our wonderful instructors Annalise, Mysie and Tahu. That evening we went on the Helena Falls walk which was to a magnificent waterfall. We had to cross a swing bridge to get to the actual waterfall and, once there, everybody marvelled at the size and booming sound of it!
The next day we went fishing! This was most people’s favourite activity as quite a few of us caught their first fish! On our first turn at fishing the last group ran out of squid. Trust me the squid was, well, not what you’d call appetising. We went for another walk where we saw the tunnel from the Manapouri power station. It had to be dug underneath the mountain to reach the lake on the other side. We also made some amazing flax creations with the help of Tahu. Hopefully some of the parents received these as gifts.
On Thursday we had to wake up at 6am to get on the boat which would take us to the Tasman Sea. There were a few tired faces that morning! We saw some seal pups and might have seen some dolphins too, but we must have scared them away because there was no sight of them. Not many of us were very enthusiastic about the 4hour walk to follow, although in the end we were all enjoyed it and felt very pleased with ourselves on the achievement. It is easy to say, that at the end of the day, most of us slept like logs, which I’m sure the teachers and parents did not mind about.
After we got back, Tahu brought out all of her face paint and painted for about three hours straight! There was certainly a long list of names waiting for her creative skills to come to life on their faces! We played fun games like the Mini Olympics at night time. On Friday, the bus trip home was very comfortable. We watched Peter Jackson’s version of King Kong on the bus and there were definitely quite a few people sleeping and trying to have some quiet time.
Overall, we had a marvellous Year 8 Camp at Deep Cove. It gave us the sudden realisation of how lucky we are to have such stunning wildlife right on our doorstep. Although, we wouldn't have been able to go and see such fascinating nature if we did not have the special parents and teachers that came along with us. An extra special thank-you to Mrs Walker and Ms Hillier who made Year 8 Camp possible. We are very grateful for you both and we loved your help and company. Thank you to Mr Procter for his kitchen duties and delicious food, Mrs O’Neill for her fantastic marine biology knowledge, Dr Neylon for her medical expertise and Mr Henderson for his great fishing skill and his helpfulness and encouragement around camp. Also, a big thank you to all of our parents for letting us take up this amazing opportunity to go on such an incredible experience that we will never forget.
Written by: Aliya Drake, Elloise Cameron and Brooke Duncan, Year 8.