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Duke of Edinburgh Silver and Gold Expedition

As the sun was reaching its zenith over Spirits Bay on Friday 25 November, a group of 15 students taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh programme began their four-day tramp to complete their Silver and Gold Award. This is their report.

After a 10km hike along the beach to Pandora Campsite, some of us were lucky enough to have a swim with dolphins, but unlucky with bare hand fishing attempts.

The next day, we set off only to be pushed by Monsieur Bidet through a ‘French Track’ (noun: an extremely overgrown trail with prickles everywhere after many years of not being used). We suffered from scratches and emotional damage and learnt to never underestimate Grammar teachers’ willingness to put us to the test.

On the third day, we were confronted with a great deal of ‘Angusta’ on the 25 undulating kilometres that led us to Cape Reinga under the blazing sun. But eventually we prevailed. The ‘Augusta’ we reached may have been a damp tent from the previous night and a freeze-dried meal, but it was enough. The last day was characterised by a high energy start followed by a seemingly infinite walk along the infamous 90-Mile Beach. Finishing amongst the glorious Te Paki sand dunes was a treat after a long, yet unforgettable, journey.

Our thanks to Master in Charge S. Bidet for his ongoing support and guidance of the programme.