By Mike McGarry | Posted: Tuesday March 14, 2023
We spent 6 very pleasant days in the Matukituki Valley.
The boys were well prepped to prepare for the best weather with warm clothes, sun block and insect repellent and worst that the coast can offer with warm clothes, jacket, hat and gloves. This prediction came true with a spectacular thunder and lightening show on the Wednesday night as the boys crowded onto the balcony to watch.
We arrived and walked in with lovely weather, so decided to do our overnight on the Monday evening. This was an 8km walk up the east branch of the Matukituki river past the old homestead. As we approached the swing bridge, we were greeted by Dunstan High School who had also decided to camp up that way for the night. We set up camp, got the burners going and went for a very refreshing swim. The sand flies were waiting so most of us coated ourselves in Dimp. It was a beautiful night but the temperature dropped quickly once the sun went down so we got into our tents and settled in for the night.
The next day we made our way back to the Lodge and dried out the gear to store for the next group coming in.
The rest of the week was kayaking, orienteering, cutting wood, swimming at Wishbone Falls and playing games in and around the Lodge.
The food was good and there was plenty of it to go around despite all of us being novices in the preparation. A real learning time for us.
One of the highlights of the week would have to be Luca Verheul setting a new record for the climbing around the stone chimney challenge. A staggeringly quick time of 17.2 seconds! The previous record was almost twice that at around 30 seconds.
Overall, it was an enjoyable time with a few ups and downs, which is expected with 25 teenage boys living together in close quarters.
Thanks to the staff (Mr McGarry, Mr Pope, Ms Martin and Mr Martin) who gave up their time to come and share the experience with us.