Five students from Covenant, plus one from Christian Brothers High School Lewisham, successfully completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying Hike
for the last four days of Term 4.
With heavy rain forecast for three of the four days the team prepared for the worst. This meant covers for back packs, dry bags, snap lock bags, extra shelter and raincoats. We were grateful, and fortunate, that it only rained on the first and third day and not when we were setting up, eating or packing up. While other parts of Sydney had thunder, lighting, hail and heavy rain we only heard and saw lighting and in comparison had relatively light rain.
Starting the hike from Helensburgh Train Station the first night was spent at Mirang Pool. The second night was at Uloola Falls and the final night at North Era before returning to Helensburg Station. Over the four days we were never too far from civilisation with constant reminders: views of the city skyline, camping under power lines or flight paths to Sydney Airport, walking through suburban streets, restocking supplies at IGA, deciding whether to take the lift or use the stairs when crossing railway lines. While phones were rarely used we were often in mobile phone range and even had free WiFi at one location.
Between hiking, cooking and navigating there was time for resting, chatting, building sand castles and taking naps. Fortunately we did encounter some wildlife including an echidna, red bellied black snake, a wallaby, black cockatoos, thieving sulphur crested cockatoos, a one footed duck, deer, crabs and lizards. In addition were the unwelcome leeches, ticks and bugs which were more attracted to some hikers than others.
Two fish are in a tank. One says to the other "Do you know how to drive this thing?"