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Photo by Peter Blank

Geographers analyse the Tongariro National Park

UHC Admin —

Level 2 Geographers had a great experience heading to the Tongariro Volcanic Centre where they analysed the different flora in various locations. Student Gleb Mezentsev tells us about his experience.

 The main focus of the trip was to research vegetation types that grow around the volcanic centre and how elevation and climate affects it.  This was part of a five credit NCEA assessment.

We were split into groups of four from our two classes and had to measure plants, identify them and write it down different aspects of each site onto our data tables. 

On the second day we got to Whakapapa ski field and Brodie's data table flew away as the wind was really strong up there. He had to run down the hill to retrieve his work which was pretty funny. 

We visited 10 different research sites where we had to collect data and even visited the Tangiwai rail disaster site where a train came through giving us a realtime visual of what this could have looked like. 

We were served great food with fish’n’chips on the first night, bacon and eggs for breakfast, we made our own sandwiches for lunch, burger and chips for the second night's dinner and spaghetti on toast for breakfast on the last day. 

The night before we had to leave back to Upper Hutt we watched a horror movie called The Babadook. It was a really weird movie with almost everyone sitting around on the couches watching it on the hostel's big TV. We were screaming into each other's ears and trying to jump scare each other.

After breakfast the next morning we settled into the bus excited to go back home. A tyre in the bus was fixed in the morning, however the mechanic said that another tyre had to be replaced. Originally we stopped in Ohakune for a 30 minute stop to change the tyre but that half an hour quickly turned into an hour and a half.   The teachers managed to discover the best chocolate eclair shop in New Zeland.

We walked around the town of Ohakune going to the carrot park and getting food from bakeries. Logan and I also got chased by a dog which we found on the side of the road while walking to the park. 

Overall the trip was a great adventure with different side quests and fun things. We would definitely go again but without the research bit. We’d go to ski and play with snow. It was really fun being around friends and spending time together on our trip to Tongariro National Park.