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Tekapo Trip
Photo by Yuto Tada

International students trips and experiences for 2016

Christine Bennet —

The international students at Logan Park have had a very active year with activities that have let them see a lot of our beautiful region.

In term one, 16 of the students went on a tramp to Stewart Island where they did the Rakiura track, which is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and took 3 days. Although it was cold on the second night the students were snug in huts for the 3 nights. They flew to the island and one of the highlights, besides the great bush experience, was eating fresh seafood and having iconic blue cod and chips!

Also during term 1, some lucky students got to join Year 10 Tautuku Camps in the Catlins where they enjoyed a week of  tramping, camping, abseiling, kayaking and the world famous mud-walk.

In term 2, the international students visited the Albatross Colony on the Otago Peninsula which is the only colony of Royal Albatross within city limits in the world. There were several chicks waiting for their parents to return from fishing and we got an amazingly close view from the viewing hide. The students learned a lot about the Royal Albatross and one lucky student even got to dress up as one! We also got to see the disappearing gun which was set up in the late 19th Century when New Zealand felt under threat from Russia. However, the gun never had to be used.

The annual trip to Tekapo took place in term 3. Although this is a winter term and Tekapo is in the mountains, we were very lucky with the weather and it was crisp and clear most days. The scenery was stunning and although we missed out on the Mount John observatory visit because it clouded over, many students got photos of a stunning night sky later in the evening. Highlights of the trip for many were the hot springs and the walk into the Tasman Glacier and lake with its brilliant blue water. We also visited the very impressive Mt Cook/Aoraki visitors’ centre and did a short bush walk in the Mt Cook township.

While NCEA exams were being held in term 4 the students participated in the summer school programme which ran for 3 weeks. It began with a 4 day Greenstone Caples tramp where the students experienced a dramatic thunder storm one night but overall the weather was great and the views amazing with varied terrain. As well as this, the students experienced a visit to the Orokanui eco-sanctury where we did a 2 hour bush walk down the valley and learned a lot about NZ native birds and plants. We also had close encounters with seals, sea lions and penguins at Nature’s Wonders on the Otago Peninsula on a day trip with Awesome Tours. We did a day’s rock climbing at Long Beach. Besides the outdoor activities, students looked at street art and visited Toitu, our settlers’ museum, where they got to dress up as settlers and experience life on a ship travelling to NZ. Other highlights were visits to the Chinese Garden, Planetarium and Otago museum. Students also spent an afternoon ice skating and a morning playing lazerforce. Overall, the students had a fun time at the summer school where they could enjoy each other's company in a relaxed environment.