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Duke of Edinburgh Silver Practice Expedition

May 03, 2016 at 3:14 PM

During the April term break, 78 students and 13 staff from the College set off for Great Barrier Island for the practice expedition of the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award. Early one morning the group embarked on the ferry in calm weather making for a smooth four-hour crossing to the island. Once ashore, they tramped along the coastal cliffs to the Harataonga Beach campsite for the first night of camping in tents.

The second day saw groups heading off on the two-day tramp, with the first section taking them down Windy Canyon and to the summit of Mt Hobson in perfect weather. Many reached the Medlands Beach campsite by 4pm allowing time for a swim. The final day dawned with rain and a severe weather warning. The return leg of the tramp was shortened so that everyone was back at the ferry before the inclement conditions set in. Following a lunch break at Tryphena Bay, the ferry trip back to Auckland was plain sailing despite the earlier rain and gloomy forecast.

The expedition was enjoyed by all who took part, with this student’s reaction echoed by many: ‘Personally, this was my favourite expedition out of all of Silver and Bronze because being able to go to the Barrier, climb the highest mountain and see a breath-taking view was incredible! At night we would set up our tents and cook our dinner under the stars. To have the opportunity to be out in completely natural New Zealand bush is special because how often do we get to do it with our schoolmates? For me and many others the expedition is a once in a lifetime experience.’

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