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Photo by Kelly McNicholl

Yr 13 History Trip - Arrowtown

Jane Turner —

The Year 13 History class spent time learning about the Central Otago Gold Rush, and completing a ten credit research internal.

They had the opportunity to go down to Arrowtown (luckily amidst the outbreak of Omicron) and experience the history first hand and to gather information to help with understanding of the topic. They were researching areas such as the discrimination of the Chinese during the gold rush, Women’s roles, hardships for the miners and the impact of the gold rush on the New Zealand economy then and up until today.

They departed Christchurch on Sunday 20th March at around 8:30am after all taking a RAT test. They were all cleared from COVID after a bit of nervousness so jumped into the school vans and were on their way South. They had a couple of scenic stops on the way down, stopping in Geraldine and Lake Tekapo where they looked at the Church of the Good Shepherd and enjoyed the beautiful scenery which was a treat.  When they reached Cromwell they visited the Goldfields Mining Centre where there were saw machines that were over 100 years old still working.  Everyone enjoyed walking around and looking at the Chinese hutts up in the hills and learning about how gold is formed in the area and the different types of mining over the years by the historian there.  They then arrived at the accommodation at the Arrowtown Top 10 Holiday Park, staying in a self catered lodge overlooking the colourful trees.

The next day the majority of our time was spent gathering primary sources at the Lakes District Museum with access to the archives and other resources that aren't always available to the public. Alot of students got their white gloves on and got to find original photos, diaries, artifacts and all sorts of interesting things!

They managed to have a walk around the historic town and main street of Arrowtown for our lunch break and enjoy the scenery and beautiful weather.

In the afternoon they were taken on a historic walk around the town seeing things like the old gaol, churches and houses that were used in the late 1800s, the graveyard, and the historic Chinese Village.

After such a big day they decided to enjoy some takeaway dinner in Queenstown next to the lake skimming rocks on Lake Wakatipu. It was a really lovely evening and Queenstown was so quiet with no tourists!

The last activity in Arrowtown before leaving was to try their luck at finding some gold in the Arrow river.  They all managed to pan for gold and were successful, an exciting way to end the trip on.  On the way home pies from the famous Bakehouse in Fairlie were much needed for our long drive home!

A big thankyou to Mr Carter and Vicky Chandler from the 24/7 youth worker team for all of their support and help to make sure this trip could go ahead and run so smoothly.  Everything that you did to ensure the students had a great learning experience was much appreciated.

Mrs Turner and the Year 13 History class