Ohakune Outdoors Camp Report
The van ride was agonisingly long, heading to Ohakune with 28 students, music and different voices spread across each van. After stopping at Taihape for lunch and then another hour of driving, everybody ended up at the Station Lodge - a ski lodge with bathrooms, kitchens, bunk rooms and an outdoor spa pool. This was also our homebase of this camp.
There wasn’t that much excitement on arrival, we numbered off and brought our gear to our rooms. The rooms were all different sizes, some even containing more bunk beds than others. After we went on a short hike, our personal chef, Mr Mills, cooked us barbequed goods that filled us right to the brim. Then before the night's end we played the ‘name game’ so we could truly get to know each other and proceeded to sleep ready for a great day tomorrow.
Waking up at 8.00am, we packed our bags with food and water and were already fuelled by the delicious breakfast prepared earlier that day. Surprisingly, the weather was amazingly warmer than expected, with people shedding their clothes very early on.
Stopping multiple times to look at the history of New Zealand, we eventually made it to Old Coach Road. The bridge was considerably high and for some people this was a breeze. Although some of us weren’t as fond of heights as others, getting over the bridge wasn’t all that difficult. After we walked back we had lunch at the lodge then drove up the mountain and walked to Waitonga Falls, where some of us got soaked under the waterfall.
We came back to the lodge
and messed around for a bit before doing Theatre Sports with Mr Mills. We then
got served Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner. After this some played ‘spotlight’
while the rest of us headed for an early night, as we had to wake up at 8.00am the next day for rock climbing and “Lodge Games”.
On Wednesday the camp was split up into two groups. The first group being split in two again doing activities and games to see which of the two sub-groups could complete the challenges given to them, while the other group had an even bigger challenge ahead of them with indoor rock climbing and who could do it in the fastest time. After those challenges had been completed, we continued on to the “Mini-Olympics”. These activities were done in cabin groups, with each one being weirder than the last, including chubby bunny, charades with animals, and even limbo. Another wonderful meal cooked by Mr Mills (chicken and banana curry) and after yet another fun filled night we set off to bed amped for yet another adventure on the Tongariro River.
There was an early morning wake up to pots and pans banging by the professional musician Miss Power. We all got in the vans and drove to the rafting spot. We then got our gear on and headed to the river. When we got there we split into multiple groups and met our instructors. The immense feeling of exhilaration when riding down the rapids was upon most of us. There was a lot of splashing and although the water wasn’t too cold, it was enjoyable. We then headed off to hot pools which unfortunately, were closed. So we had to go to a different place which sadly, had a closed rock climbing wall. However, the Manu pool made up for it. After that we went back to the lodge to have a warm hot chocolate made by Mr Mills with many marshmallows. For dinner we had Nachos, which were delicious! We then got into groups of 4, all combining people of different cabins, and got quizzed about what we did in the week.
Woken up again by Miss Power continuing her music career, we packed up the pillowcases and sheets, swept and vacuumed, and double checked bags for the right contents. We had a group discussion about what were the highlights of camp. We then got in the vans and started heading back with a quick stop at the Ohakune Carrot Adventure Park and Tangiwai disaster memorial before we carried on back home.
Overall, the camp was amazing and was definitely worth the money, it contained many experiences that we wouldn’t have tried otherwise. A huge thanks to the teachers and Mr Mills for being our personal chef, and a special thanks to Mrs Mills for leading the camp.
By Owen Syme and Wade Armstrong