On Sunday the 7th of May the level two geography class drove a hectic 10 hours to Aoraki/Mount Cook.
This trip was a new experience for the class as many of the students had never visited this ‘mighty mountain’. Most of the students had prepared for the expected low temperatures. “I’m apprehensive about the cold so I’m taking many warm layers like hats and gloves,” student Lauren Cox said. It was also a new encounter for teachers and trip organisers Mr. Dickson and Mr. Gargiulo.
The purpose for this school trip was to collect data from an uncommon environment and altitude that would allow different vegetation to grow. The main focus included glacial processes, cultural processes and how tourism is affecting the surrounding area.
Mr. Dickson had planned for many fun, factual and active pursuits while staying in the area, such as hiking the Red Tarns, a guided tour of the Hooker Valley and experiencing the wonderful glaciers up close while being thrown around in a jet boat.
Mount Cook had its enjoyable moments but for a brief period Mr. Dickson was thinking of turning around, when he realized how long the drive down to the highest mountain in New Zealand was. “I’m hoping a parent helper might help with the driving next year because it is a very long way,” he said.
Level 2 geography classes previously had visited the ‘wild West Coast’ and let the students explore coal mines, cement works and caving. However, due to activities in the area being shut down or suffering high costs, it became impossible for the geography class and teachers to afford this trip.
Aoraki/Mount Cook is a tapu or a scared mountain, and is therefore respected. It has a legendary story like no other in New Zealand.
By student reporter Isobel Newmarch-Chapman