Students’ Kosciusko hike isn’t just for the great view from the top | Photos

Cootamundra High School’s senior geography class walked to the top of Australia as part of a study on the ecosystems at risk for the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

Accompanied by school staff members Mark Mortensen and Geoff Black, the class ventured to Mount Kosciusko between the February 21 and 23 this year.

The expedition started with a guided tour of the Yarrangobilly Caves and were educated on how the caves were formed and how the management team of the National Parks and Wildlife are preserving these caves for now and future generations.

During our time at this site, we conducted field studies and surveys to assess the nature and well-being of the caves, the surrounding flora and fauna, and the evidence of management conducted to restore and preserve this ecosystem and reduce the risk and stress.

The caves were quite beautiful and interesting to study.

After this we continued our long journey to Thredbo Valley. That Thursday, we ventured up to the top of Mount Kosciusko.

This hike was longer than we expected and after two hours of walking we were relived to reach top point of Australia.

While climbing up the mountain we took time to conduct our field studies.

We studied the natural aspects (flora and fauna, temperature, humidity, wind level, soil pH) and also noted human impacts on the ecosystem such as pollution, infrastructure as well as the current management strategies in place to deal with the impact of humanity (such as pathways and information stands).

This study helped us learn more about ecosystems and the process of sustaining a pristine fragile environment, and our role in protecting them.

To end our trip we travelled back to Charlotte Pass to investigate the human impact of tourism on Kosciusko National Park.

This was the official end of our geography expedition.

Afterwards we travelled back through Jindabyne for lunch and a look around before returning home to Cootamundra.

Overall this trip was fun and educational and it has been beneficial to our HSC geography studies.

This is a worthwhile case study that will help us with our HSC examination.

We would like to thank Mr Mortensen for organising it and Mr Black for accompanying us and lending his knowledge and experience.

Also thank you to Tanya Nicka for volunteering to attend as supervising support.

Have you got a school story to share? Email cootanews@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

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