Outdoor Education Students Dive at the Poor Knights

August 11, 2015 at 3:59 PM

With plenty of initial practice in the College pool during the course of last term, our Year 12 Outdoor Education students were well prepared to take on the next stage of their SCUBA training as they headed first to Matheson Bay and then on to the Poor Knights Islands off Tutukaka.

Outdoor Education is a relatively new course at the College and is offered at NCEA Level 2 (Year 12) and Level 3 (Year 13). It is not for the faint hearted and prospective students must demonstrate a real passion for the outdoors and be prepared to meet the many challenges! The course aims for students to become actively knowledgeable, skilled and safe in selected activities, with care for the environment a paramount focus.

The modules provide a range of outdoor challenges as diverse as sea and white water kayaking, bushcraft, mountaineering skills, mountain biking and SCUBA diving, along with the added challenge of a solo overnight experience. The students examine the concept of outdoor education as a worthwhile, life-long interest as well as its potential for future employment.

And so with their first open water dives behind them, 16 students travelled to Tutukaka to dive with Dive Tutukaka at the Poor Knights Marine Reserve with the opportunity to dive at both Fraser’s Landing and in Reco Reco Cave. For most of the students, this was Dive 4 and 5 of their Open Water dive licence, being examined through Naui, although a handful were completing their Advanced course.

Twenty three kilometres off the Tutukaka coast, the Poor Knights are known as one of the top ten dive locations in the world and our students were soon to discover why as they experienced first-hand some eye-popping underwater sights! The area is a total marine and nature reserve, and also a pending World Heritage site.

The island’s volcanic origins provide myriad spectacular drop offs, walls, caves, arches and tunnels. Above and below water, the Islands are abundantly populated with unique and incredibly varied plant, animal and fish life. It is, however, only the intrepid few – those who venture underwater – who can really appreciate all this area has to offer.

Student, James Delegat combined both his passions on this trip, the love of the outdoors along with his love of photography. The accomplished photographer took many fantastic photos from the depths. Well done James!





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