At the end of December, fifteen KYS Guides accompanied by Ustazah Rogayah, our guider participated in the Girl Guides Flight 2018 Camp which included a short tour of New Zealand beforehand. We left Malaysia on the 31st of December on an Air Asia flight that transited in Gold Coast Australia airport. Upon arrival at Auckland airport, we were greeted by a tour guide and proceeded to check in at Kiwi International Hotel to turn in for the night.
The next day, it was a full day tour as we ventured off to Rotorua which is located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone of New Zealand. We visited a wonderland of Maori culture which is best known as Whakarewarewa The Living Maori Village and discovered the lifestyle and traditions of the people of Tuhourangi/Ngati Wahiao as well as witnessing their authentic culture of locals that live in harmony with their unique geothermal environment. We were truly amazed to be given the chance to have a close look of a real Maori Village existing on a thin mantle above hot magma. It was truly exciting to see the geothermal wonders, and famous geysers that interestingly enough, smelled like rotten eggs. The provided tour was definitely a great way to explore the village as we were entertained by a cultural performance group from the Maorians themselves like the almighty Haka Dance. Later, we visited the Skyline Rotorua which happens to hold the best gateway to downhill luge-tracks, zip-lining, nature trails, mount biking with unsurpassed scenic views. Earlier, we had our hands on the fun-filled gravity thrill Luge ride. On the same day, we visited the Government Gardens, to enjoy the rose gardens, lakeside wildlife and admired the spectacular architecture of Rotorua museum and had a picnic with a magnificent view before heading back to Auckland.
The following day was dedicated to visiting Devonport, a harbourside suburb of Auckland. We were also given time to walk around the Winter Garden. Rare and spectacular plants were showcased in an ever-changing display in each of the two barrel-vaulted Victorian style glass houses. After that, we were given a few hours of freedom to roam around Queen Street where we shopped with glee. After getting souvenirs for our loved ones at home, we made our way back to the hotel to get ourselves mentally and physically prepared for camp.
The next day, we flew off to Wellington and took a 2 hour bus ride to Masterton. We headed to Rathkeale college for our onsite activities. Upon arrival, we were allocated into decade-themed subcamps according to our offsite groups and began to set up our campsite. We also had an ice breaking session with our host campers as we would be staying with them for the next 7 days. In the evening, we attended the opening ceremony thay started off with a very welcoming speech by the owner of the college itself. However, things went a little bit haywire as the participants were welcomed by an extreme stormy weather leaving us no choice but to sleep in classrooms instead of tents due to safety precautions.
The first two days at camp were filled with various activities. One of them was The Flying Fox, where we had to climb a very wobbly ladder that gets more and more narrow as we climb to the top. Some other activities that we did were building a raft, horizontal bungee, bumper ball, blow up obstacles, segways and many more.
As for Masterton Monday, we were all given different activities. As for me, I was given an activity called “Shoot for the sky”. Personally, I think it’s definitely a good experience to be given the chance to shoot a rifle with live ammunition at the rifle range. Well i guess getting only 50 points isnt bad for a first timer. After we were done with our activities, We headed back to Rathkeale college for the closing ceremony where we were entertained by many performances such as singing and dancing by different contingents from New Zealand, Singapore, and Australia. The Malaysian dance team, Fierce Fusion, inclusive of our very talented dancers Harisa Rohaya, Hanis Qaisara, Amirah Syazreen & Sharifah Nur Maisurah were also given the chance to perform their amazing dance routine that night.
On the next day, we headed to our offsite activities where we had to separate and go to different locations . Some of us were given the opportunity to try out some activities such as Wellington City Explorer, Tararua Tramp, Conservation Keeper and .All Things Big and Small. As for me, I participated in Locked Up and Flying Free, and went on a 3 hour journey as we were going to have our camp at The city of Napier, a popular tourist city, with a unique concentration of 1930s Art Deco architecture that was built after much of the city was razed in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake. We started off our second day going around Napier for scavenger hunt and later on went for a precision sport called footgolf in which players kick a soccer ball into a cup in as few shots as possible. Pretty much identical to golf, you just have to use a five size football instead of a golf ball, and strike it with your foot rather than a golf club. As for the next day, we paid a visit to Hawke’s Bay’s museum of technology, or better known as The Faraday Centre. It was indeed a mind blowing experience as we got to discover history that comes alive through hands on experience. Rather than reading and looking through pieces of history, we were encouraged to touch, hold items, pull levers and truly discovered how things would have been in days gone by. We ended the day by paying a visit to New Zealand’s oldest prison which offers guided day & night tours and is the one and only building where it is possible to see the original path of the Hawke’s Bay earthquake. We were all very delighted at the end of the day as we managed to try new activities that we did not even know existed.
On the last day of camp, 12th of January, we were struggled with mixed emotions as we were all sad to be leaving the camp but at the same time happy to be going back home. Once we managed to pack everything up, We made our way back to Wellington airport and flew back to Auckland airport and boarded our flight to Gold Coast airport followed by one to KLIA.
All in all we were very grateful to be given the opportunity to attend an international camp like Flight 2018. Many valuable experiences and memories were gathered during this camp from freezing in our tents to learning on how to set up the tents, as well as use the instant cooker. In the end, we definitely learned a lot of survival skills that would come in handy in the future. Not forgetting, We also managed to interact with people from different backgrounds and countries thus forming international bonds that we hope will last for a long time. Lastly we hope that many girls will get to have this same kind of experience because that’s what Girl guides do. They go on adventures and make memories forever.