We hiked in the Kosciuszko National Park, after about 9 hours on the bus from Newcastle.  Some described the three day adventure as “We ate breakfast packed up walked, walked, walked, walked, set up camp ate played a game and then slept.”  Others however embraced the challenge which every new day posed.

After waking up very early we got ready for an adventure full of unknowns. We arrived at school and piled our hiking packs into the bottom of the bus, found our seats and ‘really’ enjoyed our 9 hour bus trip sitting because we knew the next 3 days would be on our feet walking with a hiking pack. We had a 3km hike to where we would be camping that night.  The hike the first day was easy, because there was trails and there wasn’t many inclines. It was dark when we arrived at camp so we had to set up our tents, cook dinner and fill up our water from the creek in the dark. We had a group camp fire and all talked which was fun, and also did some stargazing which helped to clear our minds and focus on how amazing everything really is.  Spending the first night at campsite shared with a brumby was pretty eventful, after the brumby followed me around our tent in search for someone to share breakfast with it.  On Day 2 we had a short hike to the Currango Homestead covered in old newspapers. It gave me an insight to how people used to live and the history of the mountains. We then left the dirt track and started to navigate through the grasslands to Bill Jones Hut, this for me was the most fun part of the trip it taught me how to navigate and was great to see all the wildlife (brumbies, kangaroos).  It was a challenging day for many with the distance covered and tiredness setting in. When walking up the final hill with it in sight was so rewarding to final let our packs go from our backs and enjoy a such beautiful view of landscape as well as the stars above our heads while we sat around a campfire.

On Day 3 we all hiked for about 2 hours before reaching the Cooleman Caves. This cave was very small and had little patches of water spread throughout it. Some of our group decided to hike to another cave that was much bigger, it had massive puddles of water and at times you had to cross it just by stepping on small rocks. It was very hard because there were five of us and only 2 head torches. At the end of the cave there was a spring, it was so cold that just putting your hand in the water for a few seconds would start to make it numb.   When the hiking was over, some of us went to the fresh water creek and took off our stinky and sweaty hiking boots, walked into the icy cold water and looked back on where we were, knowing we had hiked such a long way.  We then travelled to a local caravan park in Tumut. We had a pizza dinner and showers at the caravan park which was great.  Caving today taught me you have to be very careful and bring more head torches! Also it showed me how much we rely on things such as toilets, showers, and electricity.  The final day we were up at 5am, packing everything away and back on the bus for the trip home at 6am.  There was some jostling to get a seat on the smaller bus with Mr Bennett and his tunes. Stopping at Maccas was a treat after our hard work and then we continued all the way back to school. It was refreshing to know we would be able to have a sleep on a bed that wasn’t just air, and reflect on what we’d learned from this hike, and how much we have to be grateful for.

During the camp we got to talk to new people from our year, got to know them because they were in our hiking groups.  A lot of my classmates in my group surprised us with their mental toughness and their resilience when we were getting tired … others didn’t give out extra food for free!  We learned that even though someone isn’t the most keen they are still trying their best and helping others enjoy the experience.   We found it that we can truly work as a team sensibly.

It was fun getting to know some new teachers.  Mr Cox is very experienced and a laid back and funny guy.  We found out more about our teachers including what schools they went to and how many siblings they have, that they can have a good laugh, and we are very lucky to have genuine and hilarious teachers.  Mrs Winch … the best of all time GOAT!  We learned that teachers are always there to support you, no matter what.

Abbey, Emily, Josh, Joshua, Lily, Natalya, Sam, Teesha