Duke of Edinburgh: Silver Journey

Posted Wednesday February 28, 2024

For our Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying journey, Ava and I as well as the rest of the Silver group (Luke, Carlos, Isaac, Gemma and Ophelia) completed an overnight trip across the Weller’s and Roy's farm. The original walk consisted of a two-night tramp starting from Dolamore Park Road taking us out to finish at the Glenure Road car park (a total of 54 km). This tramp was organized all throughout last year but was unable to be finished due to wet weather. We finished the first night in late November and were finally able to complete the Hokonui Traverse early this week starting on Sunday and walking out on Monday.

As this tramp was an independent walk, meaning no adults accompanied us, there was a lot of planning which was put towards us being able to go. We learnt how to properly read a topographical map, how to use a compass, read contour lines and plot coordinates as well as timing our walk based on altitude and distance.

We really enjoyed this tramp which took us through different types of farmland, across paddocks as well as climbing Ben Callum hill which gave us a great view of the Hokonui Hills. We loved seeing our own backyard from a different viewpoint, learning more about where we live and the environment around us here in Southland.

On behalf of the Silver Duke of Ed students Ava and I would like to give a massive thank you to Mr. Ryan who put in a lot of work behind the scenes to get us approval and the amount of time and effort he put towards the tramp, we wouldn't have been able to complete it without him.

We would also like to thank the Board and our principal, Mrs. Quinney, for giving us the opportunity to be able to walk this tramp independently, which showed many useful skills which we can take away. Finally, we would also like to say a big thank you to the farm owners for letting us have access to their farmlands and properties and to Mr Ryan’s family for letting us use their campsite and hut on the last night.

- Ava Wiegersma and Hannah Hargest