Environmental experience . . . Environment Southland environmental education officer Hannah Sim looks over a map of Northern Southland, where she is about to provide an environmental camp through beef, deer and wind farms, wetlands and Fiordland National Park on November 25 and 26. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Environment Southland is giving pupils an up-close and personal opportunity to experience the spectacular surroundings of Northern Southland.

The inaugural event is Explore Southland – The Sustainability Roadshow, in which secondary school pupils passionate about the environment will explore national parks, farms and wetlands in Mossburn, Te Anau and Monowai.

Environment Southland environmental education officer Hannah Sim said it was an amazing opportunity for pupils.

“Secondary school is important and to enable these kids to live in the moment and spend time learning from all the people on board, it will hopefully fuel their passion even more,” Miss Sim said.

The two-day trip would begin with visiting wind farms and a Ballance Farm Environment Award-winning dairy farm.

“These are things they won’t have been able to do before.

“They’ll get to taste fresh milk and see efficient dairy farming and [learn] how businesses can operate and be environmentally friendly.”

A deer farm that had fenced-off waterways and rejuvenated wetland would allow pupils to view new environments.

“They’ve re-done it completely from what it used to be and let it go to its natural state.”

They would visit Fiordland College, which is a green-gold enviroschool, and learn tasks they could implement back into their schools.

The Department of Conservation would take the group to Rainbow Reach, in Fiordland National Park, to see the human impact on nature in the area, among other activities.

Getting up close and personal with the 278ha Rakatu Wetlands would inspire the pupils, Miss Sim said.

“It’s a really big area and they’ve been restored back to their original state since 2000.

“Experts really put the effort into them and there’s a real passion for them.”

The camp would finish by visiting an award-nominee beef and sheep farm and the Monowai power station.

“They [the farm] border the national park and are self-sufficient which is really, really cool for us to see.

“The power station is renewable energy and is still a sustainable power option,” she said.

“It’s going to be such a great event and they’ve really spent the time putting in the extra effort to put it together.

“The camp’s got really cool features – schools, national parks, sheep and beef farms.

“It ticks all the boxes.”

The camp was for years 10 to 13 pupils and was completely free.

  • Anybody interested in the camp is urged to contact Hannah Sim at by the end of the school holidays.

latest Running SneakersNike