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Photo by Peter Blank

Activity Day Continues Despite Mother Nature

UHC Admin —

The much anticipated Activity Day for 2020 delivered what was anticipated from outset, a way to complete a bizarre year on a positive note. Despite mother nature raining down on some of the activities most went off without a hitch. Here is a first hand wrap of the day - note the many pictures at the end of the article.

Sustainable Shopping 

Students and teachers had an awesome day out experiencing ethical and sustainable eating and shopping in Petone, including the trendy Seashore Cafe, an Indian restaurant for a vegetarian lunch and LOTS of op shops! 

The group even managed a cool visit to an international fashion stylist who gave lots of ideas on sustainable fashion trends. 

Zoo Trip

A rainy start to the day where 25 keen students accompanied by five members of staff hopped on a bus to the zoo.

Wellington Zoo pulled out all the stops. The animals were all out enjoying the day, and their visitors. The tiger was pacing, the otters were showing off, and the meerkats were busy digging. 

The rain stopped for us, with a hint of drizzle as we were departing for McDonalds in Petone, who were very efficient with our large group, and all were enjoying their kai within fifteen minutes of arriving.

Weta Workshop

Our group went to the Weta Workshop experience tour and then onto the Weta Cave shop. 

The trip to the Weta Workshop was like entering another world. We were able to hold some of the props and costumes used in films - the detail was amazing. 

One favourite was the dwarf helmet from The Hobbit; it made such a difference to put it on and have to view the world through the slits. It was quite heavy and square like the rocks the dwarves mine. Paulette looked particularly good wearing it! 

Sadly we weren't allowed to take photos of these things because they are still owned by the film companies. We were told that Weta deliberately made the dwarves' boots heavy so the actors walked heavily. In contrast, the helmet worn by an elf in LOTR was delicate and light. 

Even the chainmail worn by different characters changed. It struck me just how many different departments they had and how many creative people were employed - we were told that any student with a passion for making costumes, props, models etc who wants a career in film should keep photos of what they've done. 

Richard Taylor started out making things on a large board that covered his bed. Peter Jackson made things in his bedroom. Getting involved in local theatre and working on costume, prop and set design is another good way to build a portfolio.


It was a rather wet occasion with water down below and up above. The river was 3/4 full and swift making it an easy paddle. 

There were many waterfalls along the way which painted a picturesque journey. 

We stopped at the heated waterfall to walk the students through and discovered one of the rafts had an extra passenger. A very large spider. The rafting guide was horrified and Sibu Ngenya saved the day by carefully removing the spider. After that we continued down the river finishing the trip with a quick dip.

Escarpment Walk: Morphed

Activity Day dawned wet and windy. There was a need to change the Escarpment Walk into an indoor activity. 

A heap of wooden pallets were located. Only four of the initial seven who had signed up for the trip appeared on the day. They cut the pallets down and then began to build an Christmas tree with the timber. Kale, Lily, Robin and Violette worked hard, cutting, drilling, and attaching the boards and making amazing decorations. 

At 11.00 am we took a break for lunch and then went off to Hang Dog for a few hours. The team did some great climbing. We then returned and finished the tree. It looked amazing. 

Soon after the event we found out that the Fergusson Rest Home and Hospital were keen to have our tree in their foyer, so Violette Billington and Kali Bishop delivered the tree. 

Lynne Pierse the Care Home Manager and Claire Stewart the Reception Manager were greatly appreciative. It was great to bring a smile to lots of faces as they come into the home. 

All in all, it was a full on and satisfying couple of days.


About 120 students and staff descended on the Brewtown complex in Upper Hutt to enjoy a day of inside fun on a very wet day. 

Students spent the day go-karting, bowling, ice skating, and trampolining. The highlight of the day must be when the pizzas arrived for lunch and the two delivery staff just kept coming back in with more and more piles of pizzas – 100 all up! 

The students were hungry though, as there were only a couple of pizzas left at the end. 

Mini Golf & Adrenaline Forrest

Despite the inclement weather, students braved the conditions to head over to Porirua and take part in mini-golf, lunch at Aotea Lagoon and a blast up the trees at Adrenaline Forrest.   

Students were excellent and got on with the activities and made the most of the day.