Trip highlights shared by Libby McKinnel, Maggie Nicholson, Liam Clissold, Kate Watson, Jordan Miller, Emily Chamberlain, Joshua Kotkamp and Ella McGuigan.

What was your favorite moment?

On the last night we spent our evening down at the beach, climbing the rocks and spotting dolphins.

-Ella McGuigan

My favourite part of the tramp was when all the students went down to the beach on our third night. We climbed the rocks and watched the dolphins we also meet Pāua divers who gave us some Pāua to try … I’m very grateful and thankful for this opportunity.

-Kate Watson

Cards at the end of a long day were always something that we all looked forward to. It was always so funny when everyone got competitive, blaming the dealer for their rubbish hand or that another player was cheating.

-Jordan Miller

I enjoyed the track when we were up in the sub-alpine zone up at Okaka Lodge where we were higher up and could see over Fiordland as well as the satisfaction of making it up to the lodge after a very long, steep day of tramping.

-Liam Clissold

What was your greatest challenge?

The very first day where we had to climb 800m above sea level to Okaka Lodge. Three hours of steep climbing saw us reach stag point. Here was the most amazing view of the ocean and land. This definitely was a very rewarding moment. However we still had about 100m to climb to get the lodge. It was a grind to continue as it felt like the pain wouldn’t end but surely enough we made it to the lodge. Overcoming this challenge taught me to be resilient and to hang in there when times get tough.

-Libby McKinnel

Another challenge would be trying not to eat all my food, as I needed to ration it along the four big days of tramping.

-Maggie Nicholson

The greatest challenge on the trip was staying motivated at the end of the second day, when we were wading through a foot and a half of water, drenched from head to toe, just trying to reach the dry hut for the night.

Jordan Miller

The Humpridge Track was a big challenge for me, as tramping is something I don’t really enjoy. But the amazing views were worth the very hard first day.

Kate Watson

What was your funniest moment?

The funniest moment on the trip was when we met these people who were catching pāua at the beach we swam at. One of the girl’s father told her to say that she had never eaten it before, so he would get pāua for dinner. Sure enough the men gave her some pāua, as they thought it was bizarre that she had never tried pāua [since] pāua patties are renown to be the best in the south.

-Libby McKinnel

We were going through the mud and it started making funny sounds. We just cracked up … [a] silly moment especially as we were rather tired.

Joshua Kotkamp

The funniest moment for me in the trip was watching some of my friends do dances on the beach before getting soaked by waves. Also some of our group, including myself, tried to climb up rocks along the beach in scuffs, only to slip, slide and fall all over the place.

-Emily Chamberlain

The funniest moment on this tramp would have to be running down to mussel beach for a swim and climbing on top of rocks to spot dolphins and [then] coming across people looking for paua. [This] resulted in our group being given paua with a bit of persuasion, by the hunters and taking it back to the hut.

Maggie Nicholson

What was the key lesson you learned?

A lesson I learned during the trip was that you need to support every member of the group and have fun at even the most challenging parts. By supporting everyone you help lift the positive feeling within the group to make everyone feel involved. By doing this in my everyday life, I can help those around me more and have a more positive outlook on even the hardest parts of life.

Emily Chamberlain

. . . always seize the opportunity, despite how hard it can initially look. I was nervous to start the tramp, hearing how challenging some parts of it were, but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and the memories I made.

-Ella McGuigan

The lesson that I learnt and that I can apply to the rest of my life was that having good friends on the trip made it much more enjoyable. For example when it was raining and it was so miserable, we somehow made it fun by have a good time even when we were knee deep in mud.

Joshua Kotkamp

…your group is only as strong as your weakest person, but with teamwork and positive communication between the group you can achieve your goals and get anything done.

-Jordan Miller

We’re delighted to share another trip report from recent recipients of FMC’s Youth Award Grant. These grants are awarded four times a year, so if you’re inspired to get some financial support, head over to FMC’s website to apply.