By Veronica Amey (2021)

By getting out of my comfort zone, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the wider environment, as well as develop self-confidence and teamwork skills. I’ll never forget this trip and the lifelong friends I have gained through doing this.

Day 1:  This was the first day of the trip. For this day we spent it travelling to Picton on the ferry and we stayed the night in a motel, which meant the next day we could spend a full day doing adventurous activities.

Day 2:  This was the first day of our adventurous expedition. We caught the water taxi to Ship’s Cove at 8am in the morning. Then when we got to Ship’s Cove, we started our 8 and ½ hour day with 29km of tramping ahead of us. The first part of the walk was very uphill and hard with 17kg packs. Everyone in the group was encouraging, fun and kind. We all helped each other and kept going despite how challenging the hills were getting. It was an awesome challenge for us as we had to strive to keep going, which we did. We stopped every so often for water breaks and for lunch, afternoon tea and morning tea to make sure we were keeping ourselves and mates hydrated and energised for the rest of the tramp. When we arrived at Camp Bay at 5:30pm. We all set up our tents and cooked our dinner together. We were all so exhausted everyone was asleep by 7:00pm that night. 

Day 3:  This was our second day of tramping. We set out at 8am to tramp from Camp Bay to Cowshed Bay. Everyone was sore from our previous day of tramping, so we kept this in mind and frequently checked on each other. The tramp was 24.5km which took us 8 and ½ hours as it had a lot more uphills — we were tramping at the top of the ranges. The views were spectacular. I was amazed at how beautiful the country we live in is. Although this day had its challenges, I loved the company of all my friends that made the pain go away and we all got along and worked really effectively together as a team. When we got to Cowshed Bay at 5pm after a long hard day of tramping. We set up our tents and cooked our dinner by the water and watched the sunset. This was an awesome experience that I will never forget, as it’s not everyday you are surrounded by nature and good company in such peace. We were all very tired and we all talked until 7:30pm and then we fell asleep ready for our next adventure. 

Day 4:  This day we went kayaking around the Kenepuru Sounds. It was one of our favourite days and it was so nice to not be carrying our 17kg packs. Kayaking was so much fun and we saw lots of little fish, starfishes, mussel farms, oysters and even a seal that swam beside our kayak for a little bit of the trip. We stopped for lunch in a little bay that had golden sand and played around for a bit with driftwood. We then got back into our kayaks and completed the day with 25km of kayaking overall. When we got back to shore where our campsite was, we all had a little swim in the cold salty water. That night we cooked our dinner and all sat around a table and talked and played games until it hit dark and we went to sleep. 

Day 5:  We started this day very early with us all waking up at 5am. We ate breakfast and packed up our tramping packs and tents up. We were walking with our tramping packs and day bags to get our bikes at 6am in the morning, when we gathered our bikes we walked up a 1km with our bikes and tramping bags to Torea Bay, where we put our tramping packs on the water taxi. We started our cycle just before 8am in the morning. The start of the track was a straight up hill, very very steep. We all attempted the big hills but ended up walking our bikes to the top, as the steep hills felt like they were impossible. The cycle started off to be very challenging. Once at the top, we were set to go and everyone biked down the hills, which I found so much fun.

Once in Anakiwa at the end of the whole Queen Charlotte Track, we had lunch around 12pm. Then for our home stretch of the trip we biked the last 21km on the road back to Picton. That night we all went and got takeaways and stayed in a hotel and ate our food and talked and played cards and watched rugby. 

Day 6:  This was our last day! We all woke up in our hotels to find out our ferry was delayed. Because of this we had time in the morning to muck around. We went to a famous Picton Bakery and sat by the wharf and ate while waiting for our ferry to depart. Once on the ferry, we played cards and talked. We then made our way back to Palmy and finished!! 

This trip taught me so much about organisational skills, work ethics and how to keep striving. None of the activities we did were easy, which we were expecting. But despite this, we kept our heads high and kept moving and motivating one another. I am forever grateful for this trip and the great friends I have. I had so much fun adventuring my own country that is so beautiful.

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.