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Senior Geography Camp

1/03/2016
​Recently our Years 11 & 12 Geography Students attended a two day field camp at the Numinbah Valley. Students undertook field work that will assist with an upcoming Field Report. The focus of the study was the impact that development in the upper catchment has on the Gold Coast water supply, as this catchment supplies the water for the entire Gold Coast.
 
The camp was a great success, with student comments like “Best camp ever!” The real praise however, was for the food! There was much of it and it was delicious…
 
We have a very positive and long-running association with The Numinbah Environmental Education Centre. The Centre has excellent resources for the study of geography out in the field, an important component of the Senior Geography Course. Local residents are well-educated in how to care for their catchment, in large part because of the work schools do in this area. The facility has evolved over the years into a model of sustainability and it was certainly an eye-opener for students, to be confronted for the first time with composting toilets. They took everything in their stride and centre staff commented that they were one of the ‘best-behaved’ and most pleasant groups they’d encountered.
 
The two accompanying teachers, Elizabeth Nicolson and Debra Mansini also praised the behaviour and effort of all students, making this a very enjoyable camp for all. There was no down time with students busy sketching the topography of Mt Hobwee and the Border Gate region of the upper catchment of the Nerang River, undertaking biological and chemical water quality testing, where they observed yabbies in the upper catchment, a sign of good water health.
 
A walk through remnants of ancient rainforest in Natural Arch was memorable and they returned to this site after dark to observe the famous “glow worms”, a fascinating natural phenomenon. Late in the afternoon, students took to Hinze Dam in canoes to observe the impact of the raising of the dam wall by 14 m. several years ago. This was conceived during the drought of the early 2000s to ensure water supply. After a long hot day in the field, the temptation to get wet was too strong for a number of students and we enjoyed a refreshing early evening dip.
 
After an early start Wednesday morning, it was off to the Hinze Dam for more water quality testing and then on to Weedon’s crossing at Nerang, where due to the impact of the dam, the environment has slowly changed from a fresh water habitat to a saline environment, where mangroves have established themselves much further inland than nature intended. Students observed the full “Mountain to Mouth” with the last stop at the mouth of the Nerang River, on the Spit at Southport. Tired, but happy campers arrived back at school and will now use the data gathered to write a full written field report as their ‘big ticket’ assessment item this term.