Our Year 10 Central Australia Trip runs each year for our Year 10 students and is always a popular, fun and memorable event.
On Saturday 17 June our Year 10 students including 78 students, 9 teachers and staff and 4 Bus drivers and 3 cooks embarked on 10-day Central Australia Trip visiting Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, The Royal Flying Doctors Service and School of the Air and ANZAC Hill lookout for the traditional Rowville Secondary College group photo. Also, they visited Alice Springs Desert Park, Standley Chasm, Simpsons Gap, Kings Canyon, Uluru and much more.
All the students would like to give a big thanks to all the teachers involved helping this camp run as smooth as it did and a massive thanks to Mr. Gilbert and Ms. Zaal for taking time out of their own days to organise this amazing camp.
CENTRAL AUSTRALIA TRIP STUDENT LOG
Day 1 & 2
The day started before the sun rose at 5:45am rocking up to school on Saturday! Everyone said their last goodbyes to their beloved families and then we left the West at 6:15am and had 78 student zombies crawling onto the bus. Blankets and pillows surrounded us and luxury in the most uncomfortable place was found. We buckled in and got ready for the next 34 hours of sitting down and communicating without our phones! I know right…. everyone spoke face to face, not even the teachers could believe it.
We took a few quick pit stops along the way for everyone to go to the bathroom and stretch their legs. Getting closer to the late morning and early afternoon most people were exhausted and slept until lunch time. Our first major stop was dinner time where we all went off at a 24-hour servo. Dinner took a while, it was one restaurant to about 80 people; we were lucky enough that the place had a TV and the footy on to watch, this kept us entertained for a while.
Most people slept on and off throughout the entire night. Morning came and we got woken up at 5:30am at a stop in Coober Pedy. The sunset rose and we needed things to keep us entertained, we made our own bracelets out of a sting of leather, we stuck gummy bears to our heads and kept lollie banana’s on our mouths as long as possible.
Before we knew it, we were getting closer and closer to Alice Springs! Our first real stop of the trip. Once we arrived at our first camping spot at 4:30pm on the Sunday night, we set up camp and all chilled out until dinner came. Everyone looked and felt like zombies, so not long after dinner everyone slowly went off to bed.
We woke up bright and early to an amazing sunrise for a jam-packed day getting ready to learn about the rich history in Alice Springs. We split off into two separate groups and went off to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and School of the Air. At the School of the Air, we got shown first-hand how people who live in the outback and don’t have access to education are given an education. At the School of the Air, we gave $260, that we had fundraised before the trip with a sausage sizzle on both campuses. We donated books for the kids who attend the school and left our names and comments on each book for the children to see. Next, we went to the Royal Flying Doctors Service and saw the first air born hospital service which was created by the man on the $20 note, John Flynn himself. We roamed around a small museum and did a couple of interactive activities before we went into a theatre room to watch a short holographic film on the history and progression of the RFDS.
Once that had commenced, we all went back to camp to grab some lunch and have a short break before we hit the road again for a short 10-minute trip to ANZAC Hill Lookout where we took the traditional Rowville Secondary College group photo. After that we drove down the road to the shopping centre and had an explore in the local Kmart and Coles where most people got a bit of shopping fever and went a bit too crazy with their money…
We then headed back to camp for free time before dinner and waited for a reptile show full of Lizards pythons and poisonous reptiles. The highlight was holding the reptiles including having a huge olive python slither over our shoulders.
Once it started getting late the teachers eagerly ushered all into our tents to get a good night sleep ready for a full day 4.
The day started bright and early with a beautiful sunrise to greet us. We all went off on the bus to Alice Springs Desert Park where we saw all different sorts of reptiles, mammals and birds. We all walked down to the amphitheatre where a bird show was being held, people were being swooped and spooked by the array of majestic birds on show.
Standley Chasm was our next stop, here we had a short walk down a narrow pathway that led to a small pool of water. A group photo was held, and then we headed back down the pathway to the bus.
Next spot on the agenda was Simpsons Gap, there we also had a group photo all stacked on top of each other, the people as the bottom were squished flat by the end. After this, we had a short walk through a gap in the towering mountains and tried to spot the well-hidden mountain wallabies. We went to the end of the pathway to pose for some photos behind the mountains. Whilst trying to jump over the streams of water, a few unfortunate people may have fell in and gotten half of their bodies wet. Next, we took a quick stop at a cool monument of a rock. This rock contained the one and only John Flynn’s ashes, this was only a quick 5-minute stop.
Our last stop the day was the Op Shop, the aim for this was to buy a ‘formal’ outfit for our last day. Of course, the formal idea didn’t stick, the girls where dressing like Adam Sandler and the boys where putting on netball dress’s and accessorising to the brim.
We then went back to relax and pack as much as possible to get ready to leave Alice Springs in the morning and go to King Canyon for a night.
Today we left Alice Springs and hit the road again for a short one-night stay at Kings Canyon Creek Station. The travel from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon was a quick four hours. The plan at the camp site was to have a night under the stars, but the weather had other plans for us. With the turn of events of rainy weather and muddy grounds we had to set up all the tents and postpone the sleep under the stars to another night.
Early in the night we took a short, wet walk through the bottom of Kings Canyon. Everyone walked back onto the bus shivering and a bit grumpy from having wet clothing. We went back to the muddy camp site with some unwelcome flooded tents. We had dinner and an ‘early’ night sleep getting ready for the next day. Throughout the night we could hear packs of dingo’s howling fairly close to the camp. Some people even got some food eaten from their bags that were in other tents and some teachers that slept under the shelter think they got a little bit of a friendly sniff from the animals. The next morning, we get ready for the big 6km walk around the top of Kings Canyon.
A 5:45am wake-up call made a lot of unhappy campers, everything muddy and wet didn’t make it much better. Eventually everything got back on the bus and we got ready for the big scenic walk around the top of Kings Canyon.
With bad weather the night before, to not a cloud in sight and the sun beaming over us made it almost worth a raining night last night. The group took roughly 3 hours to complete the amazing sightseeing walk full of a variety of scenery from ancient sand dunes that had now become rock, the Garden of Eden paradise and rock fall. The edges of the canyon were breathtaking. After the walk we all had a refreshing watermelon snack and a big lunch.
Straight after lunch we got comfy again for another 4-hour bus ride to Australia’s most famous landmark, the one and only Uluru.
Today was the day that we visited the monument of Australia, ‘Uluṟu’. We started at the Cultural Centre were we educated ourselves in the rich history involved with the aboriginal people and Uluṟu. Some souvenir shops were available to purchase small Items.
After that we drove closer to the monument and got to do a close walk to some water hollows around the rock. We got to see the classrooms of the aboriginal people and the stories they hold within.
After the educating experience of Uluru we went back to camp to quickly eat lunch and hit the road again to go camel riding. Once we got to the site, we had to sign in and we went in groups of 8 around a small field whilst the guide told us cool facts about the camels. Some of the camels got a little too close and personal with some others, whilst some students got a little too close and personal with the camels.
Before the night had fallen, we travelled back to the car park of Uluṟu to see the beautiful sunset. Everyone was memorised by the changing colours of the rock with the falling sun in distance. The amazing chefs had made us all bickies and cheese with veggies and dip to go along with the awesome experience. Once we all had taken enough photos, we all went back to camp, ate dinner and had a campfire with Lucas playing the amazing guitar. Everyone got tired quickly and went off to bed.
After a good night’s sleep, a busy day greeted us – our last day in Uluṟu! First stop was Kata Tjuṯa where people choose between a short and long walk. The long walk involved a lot of uphill, downhill and loose rocks, but the rewarding views of the horizon was all worth it. The shorter walk involved an easier pathway and more stable for people. The walk rewarded the people with a great lookout view of the gaps between the rocks and the horizon above.
The long walk took roughly 4 hours and 7.4km, whilst the short walk took less than 1 hour and 1km and both invoking its own rewards. Once we headed back to camp, we had a lot of free time to relax and get ready for shopping in the town centre. In the town centre souvenirs were available for us to purchase and a lot of snacks were bought to get ready for the king bus ride home.
Later that night we held the annual formal night, the outfits people wore was one to remember. A group of boys wore netball clothing and girl clothing whilst most of the girls dressed as guys with long camo shorts and button up shirts. We had a little catwalk of all the outfits and did a couple of awards for the formal night and the trip in general. Some people slept outside that night, but most slept outside the last two nights before at Uluṟu. We had an early night, as we all got ready for an early wake up call to hit the road home after an amazing successful camp.
Day 9 & 10
The big trip back began with lots of sleeping and music to listen too. In the afternoon we stopped at Coober Pedy for a town your, opal cutting demonstration and tour of underground homes and a mine.