Walking for Gold

The Duke of Edinburgh Award program has long been a part of extra-curricular activity at Pacific Hills Christian School and another group of weary travellers has completed their Gold Award trek through the rugged peaks of New Zealand.

Eighteen students navigated the mountainous and beautiful Routeburn and Kepler Tracks in the South Island over two weeks. The former is 42 kilometres of scaling lofty heights, being rewarded with breath taking scenery, then descending onto the Routeburn Flats. Kepler Track is even longer at 60 kilometres and tour leader Mr Colin Lees said it offered spectacular views.

“Kepler has the most diverse landscapes of any track in Fiordland. When we were walking along the ridge tops above the tree line we were sheathed in thick cloud. It was a surreal, almost mystical feeling and the challenging terrain and cold drizzly conditions made for an absolutely epic day.”

The next stop was sea kayaking in Milford Sound surrounded by steep mountains rising thousands of metres into the sky.

It wasn’t all hard work for the students. They also enjoyed jet boating on Shotover River, hurtling along a zip line and gazing out over picturesque Queenstown from the gondola hundreds of metres in the air.

“We were privileged to have a front row seat to view God’s creative genius and His handiwork”, added Mr Lees.