Year 12 Geography Field Trip to Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki / Mount Cook by Mrs Sarah Harrison

Year 12 Geography Field Trip to Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki / Mount Cook

As part of the Year 12 Geography programme, the Year 12 class headed out to the Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki/Mount Cook to research different elements of the environment. The students were focusing on how temperature is influenced by the local relief and wind patterns, which involved taking measurements of the height above sea level, the wind speed and direction, and the temperature, as well as taking observations of the vegetation and general weather. The primary research forms the basis of their research assignment which requires them to explain how elements interact differently within a large environment.

On the 11th of March, the students headed out to Burkes Pass as their first research location and split up into small groups to record their data from multiple tests over five minute intervals. This process was repeated at the Tekapo Canal and Unwin Lodge which is close to the Southern Alps. After lunch the students stopped in at the Aoraki/Mount Cook Department of Conservation Visitor Centre to listen to DOC Rangers talk about how different groups of people have changed their use of the Mackenzie Basin over time. Following this, the students walked up to Kea Point to view the Mueller Glacier Lake and then up to the Tasman Glacier Viewpoint the next valley over to observe the Tasman Glacier and its accompanying glacier lake.

Following a comfortable night at Unwin Lodge, the students walked past the second swing bridge on the Hooker Valley walk to view Aoraki/Mount Cook. The presentation from the DOC staff and the walks will help students with one of their end of year exams as they are studying the Canterbury High Country as their case study. The data collected by the students is now being used in their research internal.