Maitland Area School

Maitland | Yorke Peninsula | South Australia

This year's Illawonga Camp was the first three days of Term Four, so well done to everyone for remembering to be there on time straight after the holidays!We left Maitland at 8.45, with our usual bus-driver Brian (who has told us 'this is his last year' four years in a row!) and we were delivered to the campsite just in time for lunch. A quick bite and we were straight into the afternoon's water activities.


We headed down to the Swan Reach pontoon, as our usual base was under water. It seems as though the extra volume down the Murray is making a difference.In groups we took turns at swimming in the Murray, tubing along the Murray and knee-boarding along the Murray. It was an exhausting afternoon and there was just a touch of the sun on a few students when we returned to the camp for our first gym session (hello again, foam-filled pit!) and finished the evening with songs, stories and some terrible jokes around the camp fire. 

There were more water activities on the Tuesday. We headed back down the now familiar steep path to the Murray and split into groups to explore the nearby caves (very scary in pitch black), kayak through the billabongs of a now magnificent Murray wetlands, go rowing and travel downstream to the Big Bend. We saw the magnificent Murray River Queen paddle-boat and ventured into a lagoon filled with duckweed that closed behind us as we travelled.In the afternoon we went to the Yabbie Farm. Last year our total Yabbie catch was - one hundred and sixty - this year (just four weeks earlier) - less than ten. Ah well!On Tuesday night we went out to  the 'Big Bend at Night' show where we raced sheep, cracked whips and oohed at baby emus.

Wednesday was archery and gym, and just as the stormy weather closed in, we were off home.

Thank you to Chelsea Koch and Jake Summerton  for helping run the camp and being so supportive. Thanks also to everyone at Illawonga for making it such a great three days.

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