A short tramping trip can teach students valuable skills in planning, leadership, working with others and resilience, to name a few.

But there are also opportunities to enhance learning in a range of subject areas, so why not band together with the EOTC teacher at your school for a cross-curricular excursion?

English

Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like being immersed in a unique setting or experience.

Have students sit at the bottom of a deep gorge or the banks of a rushing river and ask them to write an opening chapter for their next creative writing piece, based on the sights, sounds and smells that surround them.

Or wait until the end of the day, when they are entirely pooped, and ask them to write a few descriptive lines about how they’re feeling, then use that as the basis of a story when they return to class.

Traditional Japanese Haiku poems take nature as their subject, so what better way to introduce this topic to your English students?

History

Many of our Great Walks are steeped in history.

Get students out and about on the Rakiura Track, where they can explore the site of early Māori settlement of Pa Whakataka (accessible by canoe).

During the 1800s its sheltered harbour was used by sealers and later as a whaling base. Gold prospectors also tried their luck here, without much success. 

From the track you can gaze across at Māori Beach, which houses the remains of the sawmilling enterprise which operated in the early 1900s.

Lake Waikaremoana holds close links between the Tūhoe spiritual and cultural traditions and the forested hills of the park.

According to the Department of Conservation website, in pre-European times, life was determined by the practical demands of an annual cycle of food gathering.

Exploring this significant cultural site with students could be a fantastic way to bring Māori history and culture to life.  

Due to open in 2019, the Paparoa Track and Pike29 Memorial Track leads to the site of the former Pike River Mine.

The tragic mine explosion in 2010 that killed 29 men here has resulted in the creation of an independent organisation with specific responsibility for workplace safety.

Walking this track could be a great introduction or conclusion to a study of this event and how it changed conditions for workers in New Zealand.

Art

What better environment for an exercise in landscape drawing or photography?

Have students scatter themselves about a beautiful spot on the track (out of the way of fellow trampers) and explore how they may capture the same setting from a multitude of different angles. 

Assign groups of students to different artistic elements (eg. colour, line, texture) and have them keep a visual journal as they walk, noting down the best examples they find, of their particular element.