Year 12 Geography Field Trip to Aoraki Mt Cook

Sunday 14th May 2017

Early on Monday morning the 8th of May a group of 19 young Geographers left Dunedin bound for Mt Cook Village. 

Aoraki Mt Cook in early dusk.
Aoraki Mt Cook in early dusk.

With an extremely cold lunch stop in Omarama and a quick stop at the Salmon farm on the way, we arrived at Mt Cook Village at 1:30. Once we arrived we met up with Andrew from DOC. He took us on an hour long trip up the Red Tarns walk. Along the way, we stopped at three different spots to record various elements of our surrounding at the different altitudes. Once we reached the top of the walk half of us had a profile picture shoot. Photoshoots over and done with we wandered back down the mountain and drove to the Hermitage. At the Hermitage, we watched two movies, one showcasing Mt Cook and the other about the Search and Rescue team. After we had woken up the boys who had fallen asleep we found our way to the Youth Hostel, in which we would be staying the night. That night many of us had a chill in the sauna.

Day 2 and we woke to the soothing voice of Mr Campbell far too early in the morning. Once we had all eaten our breakfast we went to the rubbish and recycling centre to meet up with Garry from D.O.C. and learn about how one of the best waste and recycling centres in the country operates. From there we went down the hill to the effluent ponds to see how the sewage is dealt with. After we had soaked up all the information possible we got back on the bus and drove around the corner to the Tasman Lake. We, first of all, walked up to the lookout from which you could see the Tasman Glacier, Lake Tasman and Mt Cook and right the way down the valley towards Lake Pukaki. After that short stop, we walked down further to the boats that would take us up to the face of the Tasman Glacier. Once we were all aboard our two vessels we slowly made our way through the icebergs and through many taste testings of the ice to the face of the glacier. All along the way, we were learning about the glacier by our boat drivers. After we had finished on the lake we headed on the bus to up behind the Hermitage where Mr Campbell once again imparted knowledge upon us about the bush and water systems. From there we all made our own way back to the Youth Hostel. Some of us went on a short track in the middle of the village called the Bowen bush tracks and others went for the hike along the Governor's bush track which took us through the original bush and the newly grown bush. That night was once again hanging in the sauna and having yarns with Mr Idour and Mr Campbell.

On the third and final day of our trip to the magnificent Mt Cook National Park, we woke up to no wind whatsoever and not a cloud to be seen. Perfect flying conditions. After we had checked out we made the short drive along to Glentanner where some of the boys and girls would experience their first ever helicopter flight. We flew from where we were up onto the top of the Murchison glacier where we had another photo shoot and threw a few snowballs. On the ride back down we chased many Tahr along a ridgeline before circling around the mountain and heading back to Glentanner. The flight was incredible and unlike anything else that many of the boys had ever experienced before. After all the excitement was over we faced the long drive home stopping for lunch in Oamaru.

The trip was a great success and a valuable resource to the Geography boys and girls who now have to sculpt their knowledge into our Sustainability internal.

Huge thanks to Mike Idour, Don Campbell, Brian our bus driver also Garry and Andrew from DOC, who without this trip would not have been possible. 

Heliworks heading onto the mountains.
Aoraki Mt Cook in early dusk.
Governors Bush walk. 
Just before take-off into the mountains.
Year 12 geography Mt Cook field trip.
Overlooking the Tasman glacier at the lookout.
The rapidly melting terminal face of New Zealand's longest glacier.
Early morning Helicopter flight.
Atop the mountains. Jake Willsman, Sam Taylor, Tyler Wilden, Josef Van Plateringen, Cam Johnstone and Harry Smith on their Helicopter break.
Mt Cook from the top of Red Tarns walk.
Anna Snow reaches out to an iceberg on Lake Tasman.
Anna Snow and Maya Berg atop the mountains. There is a rapidly advancing cold front in the distance.
Cam Johnstone and Josef Van Plateringen looking back at the Tasman glacier terminal face.