Hillmorton High School
Tankerville Road
PO Box 33-115, Hoon Hay
Christchurch 8025

T: +64 3 338 5119
F: +64 3 338 1609
E: admin@hillmorton.school.nz



My Spirit Trip was 10 unique days of fun and adventure with 52 amazing people.

We started in Auckland Harbor and sailed around Kawau Island up to Great Barrier Island and made our way back passing the Coromandel to Auckland Harbor again.
From the first day on, we, the 40 trainees, were divided in 4 different “watch-groups”. I was in the group called “Starboard A”. With those ten people I grew closest during my time on the ship and they are good friends of mine now. We did all our activities together, cleaned together, set the sails together, helped in the kitchen together, went on night watch together, rowed “rubber duggies” together, lived emotions together, helped each other and much more. And we were a great team, always making fun out of the hardest things and everyone was motivated, even though we were often very tired because we didn't get a lot of sleep at all.

My biggest fear before coming to Spirit was to jump into the water every morning before breakfast. The first morning I did it with my friend together and with a loud scream we jumped into the freezing sea at 6.45am when it was still darkish outside. It took me a while to get over the reeling and now it is actually unbelievable for me that I jumped into the deep sea during winter time every morning of those 10 days. I was always really proud of myself afterwards when I sat at the breakfast table.

My favorite day on the trip was the day when we were in a bay next to Great Barrier Island. It was stunning weather and not too cold and the plan for the day was to climb up the 28m high “Midship-Mast” and in the afternoon to learn how to sail a Dingy-sail. I went up to the very top without any problems, but I was just a bit scared on my way back because I realized then that it was actually quite high. But there was no reason to worry about because we were the whole time clipped on the ropes with our harnesses. In the afternoon we went Dingy-sailing and that was an amazing time after our leader taught us what to do and left us sailing the Dingy by ourselves in our group. That was the first time we were off the boat after 4 days and the first time that it was just our “watch-group”. It was good to have some time away cause it got quite challenging after a couple of days living with 52 people on such a small space. In the end the crew had to get us back in because we enjoyed our time so much. That night we also went on shore the first time and had a big bonfire and a barbecue.

Rowing back in the dark together with my friends was much fun and because it took so long we started singing random songs and were just happy altogether. The day after was day six and I think everybody woke up with “day-six-itus” which is pretty normal to have on day six. We had been told that you get grumpy with everyone because you are tired and need some space and time for yourself. We went on shore again for that whole day hiking and we got told that we would hike to some natural hot pools which sounded amazing to us because we hadn't had hot water to bath in in a long time. That was good because we could all be a little bit just by ourselves and had some time to recover.

We were on “Specials” which meant that we were on kitchen service for that day. We had to pack everybody's lunch and went ever on shore in our rubber-duggies again. The hike was 15 km long and we came back in the late afternoon. Everyone was really tired and just wanted to sleep because it was quite exhausting walking such a long time on shore after we were living on such small place for the whole 5 days before. Also we were walking all funny cause we had the “boat-thing” going on which made us walk in curves. After that day it was all good again. We did a beach clean the day after and saw dolphins and a whale. On one of the last days we had to write a letter to ourselves and during the ten days we had sessions of theory in which we learnt how to do different useful knots, learnt about the sails and about the different signs and their meanings in the harbour.

Everything we did and all we learnt was preparation for our last day which was “Trainee-day”. On that day we had to do everything on the boat by ourselves. The evening before we elected the crew members who were responsible for the ship that day and the rest of us were trainees and we had to do the usual job like setting up the sails, helping in the kitchen and cleaning.

During the whole trip lots of people got seasick at least once, especially when our crew took us for fun out into the rough sea one day. But it wasn't too bad and just three people had to throw up over the whole ten days.
Our nights were always really calm because we stayed in sheltered bays and our bunks were actually pretty comfortable. For two nights our Watch-group was on “night watch” which meant that two of us were responsible for two hours during the night and had to check regularly the position, the engineers room and the anchor. That was alright but the days after I was always extra tired. But the good thing about it was that we could see the stars and had some time just to talk with the boat to ourselves, and that we got some delicious cake. All the food during the trip was very good.

I will never forget this amazing time because I learnt lots of new things again about myself and developed my leadership skills in a bigger community.

I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to go on voyage 624 of Spirit of Adventure and I can just recommend it to everybody. It is a great experience where everyone is taking something different out of it for himself or herself.

Marlene Ostrop


I have been here in New Zealand for over three years now and I have experienced bad moments and great moments. 

I really enjoyed Christchurch for its variety of things to do and having nice friends. Being an international student in Hillmorton High School is really fun.

However, it was not fun at the first time in Hillmorton High School. It was like starting a new life because you hardly know anybody and cannot speak English fluently like my language.  Everyone who is an international students would have experienced how hard it is to get close to other students due to the lack of English skills. On the other hand Hillmorton High school, students are so nice that students did come up to me and asked me to hang out with them.  

Hillmorton High school has provided me some good friends and a great atmosphere. The teachers in Hillmorton High school are always helpful to international students so are my friends.  It was really tough to be here in New Zealand alone and living apart from your parents. However, Hillmorton High school made me comfortable and the home stay parents helped me to forget that I am here alone.  Therefore, I am here in New Zealand for over three years and at the same school. 

Now I am Year 13 and going to graduate this year, I have experienced many varieties of moments. I am going to miss the moments that I had and the friends who I have in New Zealand.  Now it is the time for me to move on to another future and start a new life again. I will make an opportunity to come back to see my friends in the future and this could be hard too.  

Jong Bo Yoon


私はヒルモートンハイスクールでとても充実した日々をすごしました。それはここにいる沢山の優しい先生や生徒のおかげです。私の座右の銘は“全ては自分次第”です。私はこの言葉を覚えていて自分から行動を起こすように心がけていました。でも自分から行動を起こしたからといってそれだけでは楽しんだり、英語を身につけたりはできません。先生や友達はもちろん、普段あまり話さない生徒や喋った事のない人までもが私を助けてくれたり、言葉を理解しようとしてくれていました。これが私がヒルモートン生活を楽しめた一番の大きな理由です。そしてヒルモートンハイスクールにはフレンドリーな人が沢山います。私は学校で時間を過ごすにおいてこれが一番大切だと思います。だから私はこの学校にこれてよかったしそんなヒルモートンハイスクールが大好きです。  Y11 岡 彩果 I have had an amazing time at Hillmorton High School because a lot of sweet person are here. I have a motto that is every thing is it’s up to me. I always remember this word and try to make actions by my self but I cannot enjoy spending time and studying English just by my self. I really need to help by someone. A lot of teachers and students always help me and try to understand what I say even though we didn’t talk usually to each other and also we have never talk to each other. That’s why I’ve had an amazing time at Hillmorton High School. Hillmorton High School has a lot of friendly persons. I think it is most important things to spent time at school so I’m glad to come here for a year and I really like Hillmorton High School!! Y11 Ayaka Oka


I’m an international student from Bangkok, Thailand. I’m studying in year 12 at Hillmorton High school. I have been here since April, 2007. I started at the second term of year 11.

First, I met some Thai student which is really helpful to have some one that actually speak in your own language to help you at school and also hang out with you. Then I started to talk with kiwi friends in classes and other international student i.e. Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Brazilian, Germany, Samoan etc.

It’s really a big change. Having a good friends are as important as education. It’s really hard starting to talk to strangers that not speak your own language. But when you practise everyday, may be with your host family, friends, teacher, you will get uses to it and you will feel confident to speak English as your own language. Mistake is good when you learn from it, I reckon it true but try not to make the same mistake more than 3 times because that means you not prove nor try hard enough.

In this technology world, electronic dictionary are some thing I always see them with the new international, especially in ESOL which is good because I reckon you should know wh! at the word actually mean in your language so you can use it in the right way.

My favourite subjects are art, photography and graphic, because I want to be an interior designer when I finished my education. In the art block we have almost everything you need. This year I did some painting, print making and art design. In art design and photography the art department just got new 12 Apple emac computers for students with 2 printers and 3 scanners.

For me, being an international in Hillmorton High is not so hard, most of the students are quite friendly even sometimes they do some stupid things but they never look down other students from other countries. I have lots of good kiwi friends. Teachers are happy to help when you got problems, not only for the work but some times also when you want some one to talk to as well. And I reckon most of the students feel the same.

ฉันคือนักเรียนต่างชาติจากกรุงเทหหมานคร ตอนนี้เรียนอยู่ชั้น 12 ที่โรงเรียน ฮิวมอตัน ไฮสคูล ฉันเริ่มเรียนเมื่อชั้น 11 ปี 2550 ในเทอมที่ 2 ในทีแรกฉันพบเพื่อนคนไทยบ้าง และมันช่วยฉันได้มากเลย ทั้งเรื่องที่โรงเรียน และอื่นๆ จากนั้นฉันเริ่มคุยกับคนนิวซีแลนต์ และ ชนชาติอื่นๆ เช่น ญี่ปุ่น, เกาหลี, จีน , บลาซิล, เยอรมัน และ ซามัว และนั่นเป็นจุดเปลี่ยนที่ใหญ่จริง สำหรับฉันการมีเพื่อนที่ดีนั้นสำคัญพอๆกับการศึกษา มันยากนะ ที่จะคุยกับคนชาติอื่น พูดภาษาอื่น แต่ถ้าฝึกพูดบ่อยๆ ทุกๆวัน อาจจะกับโฮส แฟมมิลี่ เพื่อนๆ ครู แล้วคุณจะค่อยๆรู้สึกมั่นใจขึ้นเรื่อยๆ การทำเรื่องผิดเป็นธรรมดาอยู่แล้วแต่อย่าให้ซ้ำเกินครั้งที่3 เพราะนั่นคือเราไม่ได้พัฒนา ในโลกเทคโนโลยีนี้ talking dictionary เป็นอะไรที่ฉันมักเห็นนักเรียนต่างชาตืที่พึ่งมาใหม่ พกไว้เสมอๆ โดยเฉพาะในคาบภาษาอังกฤษที่เป็นของคนที่มีภาษาอังกฤษเป็นภาษาที่สอง แล้วฉันว่ามันเป็นสิ้งที่ดี เมื่อรู้คำศัพท์ใหม่ๆ เราควรรู้และทำความเข้าใจความหมายนั้นๆอย่างแท้จริง แล้วมันง่ายขึ้นเมื่อคุณวามารถเข้าใจในคำนั้นๆตามภาษาของคุณเอง วิชาที่ฉันถนัดนั้นอยู่ในทาง ศิลปะ ถ่ายภาพ และกราฟฟิค เพราะฉันอยากเป็นมัณฑณากร ที่ห้องศิลปะนั้น มีเครื่องมือแทบทุกชนิด! ไม่ว่าจะเป็นด้านลงสี ปรินท์ถาพ หรือ ดีซานย์ ที่มีคอมพิวเตอร์ใหม่ๆ อย่าง apple มาให้หัดใช้กัน เครื่องปรินท์เตอร์ และสแกนเนอร์ อย่างละ 2-3 เครื่อง สำหรับฉันแล้ว

Letter from Germany

 Letter from Johanna who was with us from July 2007 until May 2008 in Years 12 and 13

Dear Hillmorton High School students and teachers,

 I have been back in Germany for about two months now and I have to say that I loved to be a part of the Hillmorton High School community and to learn a lot about the kiwi culture, which was totally new to me. During those ten months, I stayed I fell in love with the kiwi lifestyle and loved to see the pictures that were taken during this special and eventful time. Even though I wasn’t used to wearing a uniform I started to like wearing it and missed it on my first day back at my German school. I realised how important it was for me to wear exactly the same as everybody else. And the uniform is absolutely cosy, too. During classes I met many students and teachers who were supportive and helped me to get through everyday life and classes. It wasn’t always easy to understand instructions or orders but there has always been someone who helped me or who I could have asked for help. After a few weeks I felt like someone who belonged to the school and as someone who was a part of this community even though I had problems with the English language and the different, new culture.

The subjects that I had, helped me to understand how it is to be a student at a school in New Zealand. I always liked going to school and got the impression that the subjects are always close to reality and the life out of school.

The International Department at our school is a place where many different cultures come together and I think that the mixture of internationals is unique for a stay at a high school in New Zealand. I loved to learn things and habits of the other students who came from a country that is different from the one all my other classmates live in. I started to try different foods for instance and love sushi now.

One highlight of my stay was the field trip to Wainui. I have never been on a trip like this before and enjoyed seeing the dolphins and the funny hours we had at our camp. Those days close to Akaroa helped me to get closer to my classmates and deepened existing friendships.

When I think of being a student at Hillmorton High School I only think of positive experiences that I gained. This year will always be special a one to me and I hope that I will never forget what I learned about myself and others at this special High School in Christchurch.

I want to thank the International Department staff, my teachers, my classmates and my great host family to make my stay in New Zealand so unforgettable and great! Thank you so much for supporting and helping me.

Johanna Rickert


 Eu sou um aluno internacional do Brasil. Aqui no colegio Hillmorton eu tive um otimo tempo. Eu tive a oportunidade de conhecer culturas diferentes, todos os tipos de pessoas e aprender com essa experiencia. Os amigos que eu fiz aqui foram muito especiais, alguns eu matenho contato ate hoje. Conheci pessoas do mundo inteiro, fiz grandes amizades com os kiwis. Pessoalmente, a Nova Zelandia e um dos melhores lugares para conhecer novas culturas e pessoas, se voce tiver tempo. P.S: Nao tem acento nos teclados daqui.

I am an international student from Brazil. Here in Hillmorton High School I had a really wonderful time. I’ve been able to live in a different culture met all kinds of people and learn with it. The friends that I did here were very special, some of them I will keep in touch for live. I’ve meet people from all over the world and made some really good kiwi friends. Personally, I think New Zealand is the best place to meet people and cultures, if you have time.

Jose Eduardo Bernardes Taliberti


Hi! My name is Sofia Schon and I’m coming from Sweden. For about one year ago, I decided to go to New Zealand with an organisation called ASSE, to have an exciting year with a new culture and new people. I have now been here in New Zealand and here in Hillmorton Highschool for about four months and I’m really enjoying it! Friendly students, teachers and a very good host family make the everyday life here very joyful. I have already been to some amazing places, e.g. Lake Tekapo, Wanaka and also seen a little bit of New Zealand’s beautiful countryside. There are many new things for me in the school here. School uniforms, subjects such as childcare and tourism and the school sports. Here I play in the touch rugby team and I like it very much. Touch is not the only sport you can play here; volleyball, tennis and netball are some more examples. Anyway, before I finish this I must say: If you have the opportunity, you should definitely go overseas for one year. So far it has been giving me friends from the whole world, experiences for a lifetime and a taste of a new culture. Awesome! So just do it!

It´s Perfect for me!

Hello, I’m Marie Wonneberger and I’m from Germany. I’ve been studying at Hillmorton High School for about four months and I will stay another eight months. Hillmorton High School is a quite small school with “only” about 650 students and a small number of internationals compared to other school in Christchurch. However, for me it’s perfect. With the other exchange students, you still have people who are in the same situation than you are and you have the possibility to get friends from all over the world. But at Hillmorton High it is also easy to get to know the “Kiwis” and you can discover and experience their culture. In New Zealand, every school has a wide variety of subjects and you can always try something new. Why don’t you try drama class and get a role in your own play? What about photography where you can develop your photos in one of the school’s darkrooms? Or why don’t you try a new sport after school like netball, rugby or touch? Anyway, whatever you choose to do, your time in New Zealand will be great fun and living the Kiwi way of life is a wonderful and unforgettable experience: Every day you get to know so many friendly new people and you can enjoy the freedom and independence far away from your home country, your family and your friends. Going to New Zealand was definitely the right decision for me!!!


Hi, ich heiße Marie Wonneberger. Ich bin jetzt seit vier Monaten auf der Hillmorton High School und bleibe noch acht weitere. Hillmorton High ist eine relativ kleine Schule mit “nur” 650 Schülern und wenigen Internationalen verglichen zu anderen Highschools in Christchurch. Für mich ist es perfekt: Mit den anderen Austauschschülern hat man immer noch Menschen, die in der gleichen Situation sind wie man selber und man hat die Möglichkeit, Freunde von überall her zu finden. Aber auf Hillmorton High ist es auch einfach, die Kiwis kennenzulernen und ihre Kultur zu entdecken und zu erleben. In Neuseeland hat fast jede Schule eine große Bandbreite an Fächerangeboten und du kannst immer etwas neues ausprobieren. Also warum wählst du nicht Drama und spielst eine Rolle in eurem eigenen Stück? Warum versuchst du nicht Photography und entwickelst deine eigenen Fotos in einer der schuleigenen Dunkelkammern? Oder warum probierst du nicht eine ganz neue Sportart nach der Schule wie Netball, Rugby oder Touch (-rugby)? Egal, welches Fach du wählst, deine Zeit in Neuseeland wird sehr viel Spaß. Den Kiwi way of life zu leben ist eine wunderschöne und unvergessliche Erfahrung: Jeden Tag triffst du so viele nette neue Leute und du kannst die Freiheit und Unabhängigkeit weit weg von Zuhause, der Familie und den Freunden genießen. Nach Neuseeland zu gehen war auf jeden Fall die richtige Entscheidung!

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