Duke of Edinburgh expedition to Kondalilla and Mapleton National Park

It was with great excitement that the 20 new Bronze, Duke of Edinburgh candidates arrived at the entrance to the Baxter Creek section of Kondalilla National Park. After a short briefing, they were off with the map in hand to chart our course to the Baxter Creek Falls.

After weaving through some wet eucalypt forests we dropped deeper down into the gorge that Baxter Creek had cut into the landscape. We zigzagged down through beautiful rainforest into the Baxter Creek Ravine. As we hiked up the creek we were greeted by the spectacular beauty of the Baxter Creek Falls cascading down the cliff face.

Many students chose to sit on the rocks and enjoy the view while others went exploring and a few brave ones even swam in the pools at the bottom of the waterfall. After lunch we hiked up the other end of the ravine and then on to Mapleton where we camped for the night.

Students organised their own tents and bedding before cooking their own meals on the camp stoves and Trangias. The group bonded as we sang around the campfire and talked about becoming a person of courage and value. After a very cold night and high winds we were up and at it. Breakfast was cooked and then we set off into Mapleton National Park through a majestic forest of large Tallowwood trees. The winding path had spectacular fungi and large strangler figs along the route. When we finally reached our destination at Mapleton Falls, the students enjoyed the views over the valley and a quick lunch before setting off towards home.

We would like to thank Mr Curtis and the College leadership for the wonderful opportunities they provide for our students to grow and thrive.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a voluntary program where students who serve the community, develop their own skills, improve their personal fitness and go on adventurous expeditions, are endorsed by the Duke of Edinburgh as exemplary citizens. The Award is available with progressive demands on time and commitment. The levels are Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Bert Kasselman, Head of Christian Studies and Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator

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