A handful of international students have braved the Kiwi wilderness for the first time on a Duke of Edinburgh adventure alongside Kuranui College students.
Lindsay Turner, Kuranui teacher in charge of the scheme, said the group of students completed an overnight tramp to Totara Flats as part of the programme, walking in from Walls Whare and finishing at the Holdsworth Rd End.
Ms Turner said she was delighted with the effort and determination displayed by the students, a few of whom are visiting from overseas countries, including Norway, Japan and Germany.
"This was their first experience of the New Zealand bush. I was impressed to see them adopt a good Kiwi attitude of getting on with it, by establishing a good pace and never giving up.
"We were fortunate to also experience some great Kiwi weather, so they got to see some great views of the Tararuas," she said.
Ms Turner said students took responsibility for planning and organising the trip in the bush and had to map out where they were going, devise an appropriate gear list, sort out their own meals and ensure that plans were made for possible emergencies.
"For some of our students this is the first time they have carried all their gear which is difficult if you're not used to it," she said. The tramping exercise is part of a wider Duke of Edinburgh programme at the school that is designed for young people aged from 14 to 25.
The DOE Hillary Award has several components including service for others, completing an adventurous journey that students had planned and prepared, learning a new non-physical skill, and physical recreation where students participate in some form of physical activity.
"There are bronze, silver and gold award levels and completing a DOE Hillary Award is a real achievement that brings a list of long-term benefits, including building confidence and developing good teamwork," Ms Turner said.