Friday, 25 August 2017

The Descent

This morning we packed out bags and prepared for the journey home after a magical week in the Bay of Islands. Once we were all packed and ready to go, we gathered as a group one last time to say farewell and thank you to Chris, Sarah and Michael from Adventure for Good.

After every student had thanked our guides we took our final group shot before boarding the bus in preparation for our 4.5 hour journey back to Glen Innes, Auckland.  One our way back we passed Kawakawa where our Tuhi Mai Tuhi Atu buddies in Room 5 attend school and we wondered what they might be up to at the time. We were hoping to visit the Hundertwasser toilets but had to continue on with our drive as we were attempting to arrive back for the end of the school day.

We also were lucky enough to see a pod of dolphins as we travelled on the car ferry. This was really exciting as it was the first time that a lot of us had seen dolphins before!

An hour or so later we stopped off at Whangerei were we had lunch by the water. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed our stop here, particularly as we all had an ice cream to cool us down. While we were there Amelia spotted a fudge factory and she and Miss Stone had a quick look inside. Amelia will be writing about this visit when we return to school, so please check out her recount next week!

After this we got back on board the bus and ventured towards Auckland for the remaining two hours of the journey. We could really see how big Auckland was when we realized that we had been driving through it for well over an hour before we reached Glen Innes. We arrived back shortly after school had finished for the day so we were greeted by lots of our siblings, cousins and whanau. Our tamariki left feel exhausted but content, bringing back new experiences and knowledge.

Adventure for Good

One of the main reasons that our camp has been such a success is down to the organisation, charisma and energy of our facilitators from Adventure for Good. Not only did they prepare our main meals, but they taught us lessons in bush survival and kayaking, facilitated a range of games and activities and joined us as we visited a range of historical sites.

During our evenings at camp, the Adventure for Good guides planned and facilitated a range of games and activities for us to take part in. On our first night, we were given maps of the campground and asked to complete an orienteering activity. The catch; it was pitch black (we relied on our torches) and all of our group members were tied together. This was so much fun and we all had a great laugh! As we had not seen the campground in the light before we all got very lost which we found incredibly funny - what a way to inspire teamwork and group bonding.

On the nights that half of our party were sleeping in the bush, the other half got to participate in a range of activities. On our night, Chris set up a quiz for us to participate in which involved questions around New Zealand history and some of the things that we had learnt about from visiting the various historical sites. This was a perfect way for our Tamariki to use their new knowledge and they had a lot of fun. I was very proud of Amelia, Davarni, Dekorah and Telesia's group who won this
The winning team learning to play Trivial Pursuit
On our final night Sarah and Michael facilitated two activities. In the first activity the groups had to create a skit that illustrated something that they had learnt on the camp. Two of the groups shared information about the History of New Zealand, while the other two illustrated elements of bush survival. Check out my group rehearsing their skit below (Telesia is narrating):


The next activity (The Mostest) required the group to put forward different individuals to compete in a range of mini competitions. These included things like the person who could hold the plank for the longest, eat a grapefruit the fastest and sing the best(est). This was so funny and had the whole group erupting in laughter at several points of the evening!

Throughout the week Sarah and Michael had been very supportive of our learners during our excursions. Sarah was very happy to support our mini swimming lesson, to drive my group to each of our activities while I ran mini maths lessons (you can't go anywhere without a bit of maths) and to make extra stops/ to slightly change our schedule when the weather did not allow us to stay outside. The learners really looked up to them and they were greatly encouraging.

The facilities at Orongo Bay Holiday Park were also great for our learners. They especially enjoyed the board games, playground, trampoline, tire and rope swings. Even Miss Stone had a go on these!

Then there was the support and involvement of the other kaiako who we met along the way. Whaea Roy and Whaea Monica greeted us at the Treaty Grounds and shared many stories with us on our two visits. Dan from Bay Beach Hire was really encouraging and supportive during our kayaking session and Luke and Rachael from Barefoot Sailing Adventures were very welcoming and knowledgeable on the SV Kopiko - they all ensured that we were having a great time! We also learned a great deal from our guides at the Stone Store, Kemp House and from Kepa at Rewa's Village.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Barefoot Sailing

Image may contain: ocean, outdoor, water and nature

This afternoon we jumped aboard the SV Kopiko run by Barefoot Sailing Adventures. Our Skipper Luke and his partner Rachael greeted us on the shore before explaining how the Catamaran worked and fitting us with our life jackets.
Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor, nature and water

We then set off from Waitangi and sailed through the beautiful water, enjoying both the calm seas by the shore and the rougher waves further out, which at times had us squealing with delight as we hit particularly large waves! We particularly enjoyed the way that they had made the catamaran extra comfy, by getting us to relax on beanbags - what an awesome way to spend an afternoon!

Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting, outdoor, water and nature

After some time, Luke invited some of our tamariki to support him to hoist the sails. They had such a wonderful time participating in this way and felt proud to have played a part in the sailing of the ship.
                                     Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

As we once again approached calmer waters, Rachael came out with hot chocolate and biscuits, which warmed us all from the sea breeze. With our hot drinks warming our bellies, we broke out into some of the waiata we had been practicing throughout the trip and it was great to see Sarah from Adventure for Good joining in as well. We all felt very content peacefully sailing along at this point.

Finally we pulled up on the shore at Russell and Luke put down the anchor. As we climbed back on the shore we were greeted by Ms Card and Michael from Adventure for Good, who drove us back to our base camp.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

On Thursday morning we returned to the Treaty Grounds with Sarah from Adventure for Good. We met with Whaea Roy and Whaea Monica who we had met during the Powhiri on Monday.

The treaty grounds were a great place for us to consolidate our knowledge about the Treaty of Waitangi. It was great to see one of the copies of the Treaty with some of the signatures on it and to discuss the main events of the time. Here are some of the facts that we found most interesting:

  • There was a fear that the French would invade New Zealand. A French man named Charles Philippe Hippolyte de Thierry tried to create a French Colony in 1837 which he planned to lead, but he was unsuccessful. In fact, there were a few attempts by the French to colonize New Zealand, but the Treaty of New Zealand was signed swiftly after these attempts were made, stopping the French plan from being carried out. We had talked a little about this in class but we did not know that the French were this active in attempting to colonize New Zealand.
  • In 1835 Māori rangatira or chiefs signed He Whakaputanga - Declaration of Independence to stop people from other countries from making laws in New Zealand. This was the first time that different iwi had stood as one people and it established  Te Whakaminenga, the Confederation of United Tribes. The British supported this document and King William IV was dubbed the protector of this. James Busby facillitated the creation of this document and he believed that it would stop other countries from making formal deals with Māori.

We also discussed the differences between the two versions of the Treaty and the way that the Treaty was signed (including the fact that it did not make it around all of New Zealand/ every rangatira).

We then travelled to the Wharenui on the Marae where we looked at the different carvings and patterns. The students got to draw their own Tukutuku panels which was a lot of fun! After creating our artworks we stopped to have a quick game with Ti Rakau and some kai before travelling down to the water to see a waka.

Whaea Roy told us about the waka and how it sails every year for Waitangi day. She also told us the story of when her dad got to row in the waka in the 1970s as part of a display for Queen Elizabeth II.
Sitting on the stump of one of the Kauri trees that was used to build the waka

We then hopped back in the bus and travelled up the road to Paihia Town where we looked around the pier, shops and brought some kai for our lunch.

Finally we enjoyed a picnic at the Waitangi Reserve alongside Michael and Sarah from Adventure for Good and all of our Glenbrae School Whanau.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Our Trip to Kerikeri

This afternoon we headed to Kerikeri to learn more about the history of the area and the relationship between the Maori and the settlers. We got to travel over in the car ferry which was a lot of fun and felt quite strange as the boat was moving but the car stayed still!
Image may contain: outdoor

Once we arrived in Kerikeri we drove up towards Kemp House and the Stone Store with Sarah from Adventure for Good.

We first headed to Kemp House (which is New Zealands oldest building) for a tour. In 1814, Nga Puhi chief Hongi Hika sailed to Sydney with traders on a ship called The Active. In Sydney he met Samuel Marsden, who he invited back to the Bay of Islands. With Hongi Hika's protection, Samuel Marsden began to build in the area as he wanted to create a Mission station in the Bay of Islands to spread Christianity around New Zealand. In 1818 Samuel Marsden brought 13,000 acres of land form Hongi Hika and he instructed Reverend John Butler to build the mission house (later known as Kemp House) in 1822.

The house then had several different owners, but it was occupied by the Kemp family and their descendants from 1832 to 1976 (142 years) until it was donated to Heritage New Zealand. The house is styled to appear as it did in 1832 and some of Charlotte Kemps original furnishings are still on display today.

After this tour we visited the nearby Stone Store. This was originally built in 1832 as a shop for the missionaries, where kai from the local farms were sold. Over the years it has been used as a library, military barracks and a boys school, before it was used once again as a general store from 1874, run by the Kemp family. It is now set up as a museum and it has lots of information about life in the 1800s inside.

Finally we visited Rewas village, where our guide Kepa told us a lot more about Hongi Heke and the  Ngāpuhi iwi who occupied the area. Just beyond Kemp House once lay Kororipo Pā and a large Kainga (village). Kepa told us about some of the famous Rangatira (chiefs) who had lived in the area including Hongi Heke and Tāreha of Ngāti Rēhia who stood at over seven feet tall.

 He then showed us around the replica fishing village, which gave us an idea of what Māori life was like before the Europeans arrived. We looked at different types of Rongoa (herbal medicine) and kai that the Māori used at the time and still use to this day. It was fabulous to see how to pick and use this Rongoa, as our local supermarkets sell pricey versions of these natural remedies which are not too difficult to find!
Image may contain: 1 person, tree, sky, outdoor and nature


This morning we headed out to a beach in Russell with Sarah, one of the Adventure for Good guides. We were all really looking forward to this and it was a first time for the majority of us. Miss Stone was particularly looking forward to this activity as she had kayaked in her youth.

When we arrived at the beach, Dan from Bay Beach Hire fitted us all for life jackets. This was fantastic as we had all learnt about life jackets during our water safety lessons in term 1. We then had a lesson with Sarah on the shore about how to paddle and steer a kayak, before we carried the kayaks into the water in pairs.

We excitedly took off and practiced a range of maneuvers, like a 360 degree turn, kayaking to a buoy, kayaking in different directions and more! We all found it pretty simple to steer the kayaks and our strict fitness regime paid off as we all had the strength to paddle and steer for some time without any complaint! Image may contain: sky, ocean, outdoor, nature and water


After practicing for a while we went on a tour around the bay and weaved in and out of the rock pools that lined the shore. It was a beautiful day in the bay, the water was tranquil and it was absolute bliss floating on the water.

We managed to get back to shore pretty quickly, so we asked to go swimming. Here we practiced some of the moves that we learnt in term one like the HELP position, huddle, skulling and treading water. We then had a little play and splash around before Sarah took a small group of us to swim out to a buoy and back - what a fabulous experience!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Bush Survival!

This afternoon Michael, our Adventure for Good guide, took us out to the back of the camp site for some lessons on bush survival.

Our group first wanted to learn about building a shelter first, so Michael began by showing us how to tie a variety of knots. We would need these to secure the tarpaulin on our shelter.

Once we had learnt to tie the knots successfully, we began to set up a shelter by tying rope between two trees and securing it to ensure that it was tight.

We then lay a tarpaulin on top of this rope and secured it to the ground using tent pegs and rope. We then had created something that would keep us dry if it rained, as the water would run off the sides of the shelter.

Following this we went to the bush to collect tinder and a collection of sticks ranging from the thickness of half of a pencil to the thickness of our thumbs.

We dug a hole in the ground which we lined with a few sticks. This would keep our fire out of the mud at the bottom of the hole. Next we made a bundle of tinder and lit a match underneath it to start the fire. To keep it going we added the sticks that we had collected earlier.

That night we ventured to the bush to sleep under this type of shelter. Miss Stone and the girls found a large spot to build their shelter and the girls secured it to ensure that the tarpaulin was tight. The boys chose an area that was slightly smaller, which made it far more difficult to set up their shelter.

Before bed we had a bonfire and ate delicious marshmallows which was great fun! We were all pretty cold overnight but most of us settled down into the shelter well. Next time the boys decided that they would choose a larger camp ground as some water came in on a couple of boys in the morning.

Historical Russell

This morning Mrs Tofas group, Miss Stones group and Michael from Adventure for Good headed to Russell town to explore some of the museums and historical sites there. We were looking forward to learning about what the area was like around the time the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.  At this time, the capital of New Zealand was in the Bay of Islands, so this was were most of the trade was carried out and where a lot of Europeans headed.

We first stopped off at Christ Church or  Te Whare Karakia o Kororareka which is New Zealand's oldest church! The church was built in 1835 by some of the early missionaries (European priests and Christians who wanted to teach the Maori about Christianity). It's first service was held in 1836 and the priests spoke both Te Reo and English. It was visited by lots of Maori and Europeans, including William Hobson and it is the Burial place of Ngāpuhi chief Tamati Waka Nene.

The church is still open and in use to this day and it was been visited by thousands of tourists and public figures over the years, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and then Prime Minister David Lange
After this we headed to Pompallier Mission. In 1839, French Catholic Bishop Pompallier bought land in Russell with the intention of building a print works that would create Catholic prayer books in Te Reo Maori. He was the first Catholic missionary to do this and had a difficult job in front of him, as there was a lot of Protestant Missionaries in the area who had already converted Maori and who attended Christ Church. In 1842 the building was operational and they created over 30,000 books until 1850 when the mission left Russell.

Inside Pompallier Mission we were taken on a tour of the building where we were shown how the books were created, from the leather hides that bound the books to the way the words were printed on the paper.

We then headed over to Flagstaff Hill where we visited the flag pole that Hone Heke chopped down three times to protest the Government moving the capital city from Okiato to Auckland. The view up here was stunning and rife with natural wildlife.

To conclude the trip we took a quick look around Russell Museum before we headed back to base camp for some kai.