Outdoor Education – Camping at Mangawhai Heads

Recently, Kamo High School’s Outdoor Education course took its Year 12 class on a 3-day camping trip to Mangawhai Heads in Northland. This story about the trip was written by German student, Niklas Todt, who is studying at Kamo High School in Whangarei.


I love the nature. Imagine being on a two-day camping trip in the middle of scene that looks photoshopped by a grand artist: rising hills, mile-long beaches with huge sand dunes; and all of that with good friends. This was part of my Outdoor Education trip last weekend (early June 2020).

Our trip started pretty unusually as the first thing we did was change a flat tire on the school van. It was early in the morning, everybody was still half asleep but already looking forward to the next few days. After 1 hour of driving we finally arrived at the Mangawhai Heads camping ground.

After we sorted ourselves and set up out tents, we went for our first walk to experience the beautiful nature of Mangawhai. It was a long walk and we were on the track for about 4 hours. Everyone was tired. We had quite a few breaks during our walk. Finally, after 15 km and a few strays we managed to find the campground again. After arriving at the campground, we all had a 30-minute relaxing time before dinner.

To experience all facets of camping, we cooked our own meals on gas cookers. The dinner was fun. We all cooked together, sat down and talked. After we all finished eating, there was still time left and, even if we all felt pretty tired because of the exhausting day, we decided playing cards to let the last few hours pass by.

At about 10pm we all went to bed and feel asleep. Unfortunately, it was pretty cold and I woke up 3 times in the night. Also, my mattress wasn’t thick enough which made it a realty uncomfortable sleep for me.

The next day started and while I was still sleeping, everyone already started to pack up their tents. At 9:30am I finally woke up and prepared by breakfast. Because I ate mostly all of my food at dinner last night, my breakfast wasn’t much. Still tired from the day before and the worst sleep I’ve ever had, I started packing up my tent. I was in a hurry because we needed to be ready by 10am to leave the campground.

On our way home, we stopped at the beach where some ‘crazy’ students decided to go for a swim in the cold water. We spent at least half an hour at the beach before we stopped for a lunchbreak. Luckily, we stopped at a bakery where I bought my lunch. I was starving because of the small breakfast.

We ate our lunch and played turbo touch for a about 1 hour because there was still a lot of time left. We split the class in half and started playing. At 1pm we left the rugby field, jumping back in the van and headed off home.

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