From the Class 6 (2015) Geology Camp

Every year at Te Ra, the Class 6 Geology main lesson and the study of the different rock types and the rock cycle culminate in the much anticipated 5 day camp in the Wairarapa. Two weeks ago, this year’s Class 6 visited the stunning lime stone formations of the Ruakokopatuna Chasm and the Putangirua Pinnacles, and we even had a chance to ‘explore’ a glow worm cave (cave spider, eels and all!). Have a look at a selection of writing samples below! Of course, there is more to any school camp than just the trips: it’s the living and playing together, the sharing of whole days and nights, of meals and the bedtime stories (not to forget the Talent Show). We were blessed with hot days and balmy nights, and the only downside of the lack of rain was that showers were limited to “only when absolutely needed” – which did not matter much as on most days we managed to dip into one river or another during our outings. As always, a camp is a true community effort, and Class 6 is grateful to the parents who joined us and helped us during the week: Briar, Eric, Joe, Dan F, Mary, Esmee, Andrew, Dan M. Many thanks also to Vita’s granddad Martin, who shared his geological expertise with us during the chasm walk, and to Eileen, the German volunteer, who was a fantastic trainee camp mother to have with us. We would also like to acknowledge Jenny Fraser from Kapiti Explorer and Marine Charter, who provided us with a satellite phone for the duration of the camp – and yes, we did need it: on the first evening! Thank you!!! The school is also extremely grateful to Trevor Hawkins, the Wairarapa contractor who managed to get one of our hired vans (which had got stuck on the driveway to Waikuku Lodge) back into action, and who has let us know that he would not charge for this much appreciated service!!! Kerstin Wagner IMAG2616


I looked down a 16 feet drop into icy cold water. I heard the ladder creak and falling water. Underneath me I saw the black shape of an eel. I looked up and saw the green vegetation and moss. I felt the back of my shirt sticking to me as I looked down at the chasm.   (Ethan)

My heart was beating fast. I looked down at the rails. My foot went down onto one rail, and then another and another until I was at the bottom. I was expecting clear, peacock-green water, and it to smell like roses, but it smelt like dead sheep and the water was churned up by people’s feet.    (Vita)


The lights turned off, it was pitch black. I took a step, slipped and plunged into freezing cold water. It was deep. I could not feel my feet.   (Tui)

My heart thudded as I stepped into the blackness penetrated only by tiny green lights. Suddenly I saw a golden glow up ahead and my heart leaped at thinking of an end to this darkness, then dropped again when I realized that it was only a torch. Someone’s voice echoed off the dark walls. The gold glow vanished and I took a sharp breath. The walls were covered in tiny green lights. It was a breath-taking sight. It was only later as a shaft of sunlight illuminated the cave, dimming the small green lights, that I looked back and thought about my wonderful experience. The damp, musty smell, the terrifying blackness and the wall of tiny green lights. I realized how lucky l was to have gone through a glow worm cave.                 (Leah)



Excitedly I increased my pace. The high spiralling towers stood in front of my eyes like the gates of a glorious castle. I felt a shiver of anticipation run though my body. It felt like I stood in a parallel universe, hidden away in a small pocket of New Zealand.     (Jacob)

Tall shadows surrounded me ominously, the leaning towers of stone. I felt like I was in an ancient haunted castle or at a museum of giant sized statues. I wanted to touch everything but was afraid the rocks would cascade down like a waterfall onto my head. It was scary but enchanting.                                                                                   (Georgia)