|Senior Room on Camp at Sutton|
Sutton Camp Report
Waitahuna Schools Camp this year was at Sutton near Middlemarch. We enjoyed discovering the exciting things that you can do in a very remote area. One of the highlights was the Macraes Mine and Fish Hatchery. At the hatchery they have ponds with rainbow trout which they hatch. When the fish have grown up they release them into local rivers and lakes. They hatch 10 000– 12 000 trout a year.
Macraes mine is the biggest open-cast mine in New Zealand. One dump truck fits a lot of rock but it only produces 2 teaspoons of gold. The workers work a 12 hour shift and work around the clock. The dump truck tyres are humungous and we could fit our whole class inside the tyre.
One sunny day we set out from Hyde on our bikes to ride a section of the Central Rail Trail. The trail followed the old railway line that went from Dunedin to Cromwell. We rode to Tiroti Station, over 3 bridges and through one tunnel. Our total journey was 12 km and the scenery was fantastic with views of the Taieri River—but there were a lot of rabbits!
One day we journeyed to the Hyde Train Disaster Memorial which is between Middlemarch and Hyde. This memorial is to remember the people killed in the 1943 train crash. This is the 2nd worst rail disaster in New Zealand history. It makes you think and remember the people who died in the train disaster. It also makes you think about death, as it is like a grave for the people who died. It made us remember the stories we heard about the disaster—such as ‘the bags falling off the racks in the train before the crash’. It was sad to think how isolated this area was and how long it would take for the emergency people to arrive in 1943.
Past Macraes by the wetlands we travelled to the skink enclosure. Skinks are native lizards that are found in the hills around Sutton, unfortunately there are a lot of predators that kill them so they have made an enclosure to keep the skinks safe and help grow their numbers. The predators are cats, rats, ferrets, stoats, weasels and possums. Skinks are cold blooded so the ones in the cages have a lamp to warm them up and the ones that are outside, find a rock and sun-bathe until they can scurry fast to find their food. Before you hold a skink you have to rub your hands with soap that has alcohol in it so there are no diseases from your hands onto the skinks. You also have to do this after to protect yourself from any skink diseases. We all thought the skinks were really interesting and were amazed that they only live in such a special place in New Zealand.
As you can see there are a lot of things to do near Sutton Camp. We really enjoyed our camp and we would like to thank our parents for their help on camp.
Liam, Taylor, Olly, Danielle, Jack,
Jacob, Joshua, Abby, Rebecca & Jake
|Abby cycling a leg of the Rail Trail|
|Dotty at the skink enclosure|
|Jake at Macraes Mine|