Hillary Outdoors has a wide variety of roles based at our two Outdoor Education Centres at Tongariro and on Great Barrier Island and also our support office in Auckland.


Job Vacancies

Outdoor Instructors – Tongariro Centre

We are recruiting for two multi-activity outdoor instructors, and two senior instructors with a high level of technical ability and a strong focus on educational outcomes.

Hillary Outdoors is arguably New Zealand’s foremost and most iconic outdoor education provider. Each year we introduce thousands of young people to the outdoors through our Centres at Tongariro and Great Barrier Island and in regions all around New Zealand through our events and off site programmes.

Our core business is secondary school groups where instructors have the autonomy to plan their own weeks based on the objectives of their clients and their own specialties so there is ample room to make sure the job is not repetitive. We also run adult multi-activity and specialist technical skill courses, corporate groups and of course, our well regarded 2-year tertiary programme in Outdoor Leadership. Working these advanced courses are a goal that most of our staff work towards over 2 – 3 years.

We are looking for someone who is energetic, exciting, and motivated. It is essential that you enjoy working with young people as this is our bread and butter work. These programmes include basic rock, high ropes, kayaks and canoes on flat and moving water, alpine, bush, cave, ABL and facilitation. Senior instructors will also work with our tertiary programme, corporate and adult technical skills courses.

The successful candidate will possess an enthusiastic commitment to the industry and an eagerness to pass on quality learning experiences to participants. You will be expected to run programmes independently after a 7 week induction period has been completed. Hillary Outdoors has a commitment to ongoing staff development and there will be opportunities for further on the job training and working towards NZOIA awards. However we do need the successful candidate to have the skills and experience to run school programmes without too much skills training.

We would prefer the multi activity candidate to have 1 or 2 NZOIA Level 1 awards (or equivalent), and senior instructor candidates to have 3 or 4 NZOIA Level 1 awards (or equivalent) or Level 2 awards. Previous experience and qualifications will be reflected in the starting salary which is very competitive with other organisations and there is opportunity to move up our pay scale through our internal competency system.

We run a comprehensive induction programme for new staff regardless of their past experience which allows them to get familiar with our local environment and organisational systems. We take our staff professional development very seriously and have a department dedicated to training. Staff coming from other organisations are often amazed by the training opportunities we provide.

Hillary Outdoors is committed to role modelling and educating our clients into sustainable living and nurturing a respect for our environment. It is essential that you share these values and any experience in teaching environmental education or sustainability would be an advantage.

‘Support’ weeks are allocated occasionally where you will be supporting other instructors in the field, working with maintenance and catering, driving shuttles and performing other non-instructional tasks. Instructors at Hillary Outdoors also have a responsibility during support weeks to assist with resource development and maintenance tasks, so any wider work experience will be considered favorably during the application process. The work is physically demanding with hours including an overnight camp and an evening presentation each week.

Hillary Outdoors has a great working and living environment, whether you are single or have a family. We have on-site accommodation available for rent at well below market value rates. Many of our staff live in Turangi where rent and house prices are astonishingly low. Staff have an excellent network for adventuring together, varying from family friendly trips to ‘on the edge’ adventures. If you have kids, the local school in National Park (up to year 8) runs a fantastic ski programme over winter where they can ski up to three days a week! With decent rivers, lakes, mountains, rock crags, bush and ski fields on our doorstep, it is an ideal place for any outdoors person to live and work.

Essential skills and qualities include:

• An ability to deliver high quality courses using a wide range activities and venues independently.
• An empathy with young people and recognition of the benefits of Outdoor Education in their development.
• A passion for environmental sustainability.
• An ability to work as part of a close knit team
• A commitment to further training and personal development.
• A knowledge of risk management in outdoor recreation.
• Driving license with P endorsement (or commitment to gain a P endorsement).
• Outdoor First Aid, PHEC or equivalent First aid certificate.
• Have a broad range of experience across all the activities Hillary Outdoors offer.
• Multi activity instructors will ideally hold 1 or 2 NZOIA Level 1 awards.
• Senior instructors will ideally hold 3 or 4 NZOIA Level 1 awards and some Level 2 awards.

Interviews will take place over two days (a day of formal interviews and a day working with a group of students).

Closing date for applications is 26 August 2019

Please use these links to submit your application:
Multi-activity instructor application form
Senior instructor application form

Job Description for L2instructor
Job Description for L3 instructor
Job Description for L4 instructor


Volunteer at Tongariro

What better place to experience the true New Zealand culture than living and working at the country’s largest outdoor education centre situated at the base of Mt Ruapehu – adjacent to the Tongariro National Park.

Or on Great Barrier Island, in the Hauraki Gulf. Exposed to rugged elements, Great Barrier Island shields the inner islands and offers a variety of environments that challenge and inspire.

Hillary Outdoors would struggle to function without the commitment and huge amounts of work that our volunteers put in. Hillary Outdoors volunteers work for 35 hours a week in the maintenance and gear hire departments and this gives them free food and board plus the chance to ski, climb, sail, surf, paddle, hike etc. in their free time at the weekends (depending on which centre you are at!)  If you volunteer for 7 weeks then you will be able to observe a Hillary Outdoors five day school programme on the 8th week.  Volunteers come to us from  all around the world and they are an important part of the centre’s “culture”.

Part of the deal is that you can volunteer for as long you want; from a minimum of 3 weeks to 6 months. Volunteering at Hillary Outdoors is a great way to meet people, make friends and explore the Central North Island.

To be a volunteer at Hillary Outdoors, please note the following:

  • You must be over 18
  • We are able to offer volunteer positions throughout the year. However, due to the length of time it takes to induct staff at Hillary Outdoors we need a volunteer to be able to offer us a minimum of 3 weeks work.
  • Volunteers from overseas must have a valid work visa for New Zealand
  • You must have medical and travel insurance

If you wish to volunteer at Tongariro please complete this Volunteer Application Form and our volunteer coordinator will be in contact.

Volunteer at GBI
PLEASE NOTE: all volunteer placements at GBI are now FULL until July 2020.
Internships at Tongariro
Exciting opportunity for up and coming outdoor instructors!If you have either a Tertiary qualification in outdoor studies or have plenty of personal experience, but need some work experience to get on the career ladder why not volunteer as an intern at the most iconic Outdoor Education Centre in New Zealand!

  • Gain work experience alongside our full time staff on a variety of courses
  • Train alongside our full time staff during our training weeks
  • Have an opportunity to join in on some of our skills courses
  • Have access to equipment to play in our amazing local environment
  • Live and gain work experience alongside a crew dedicated to working and playing in the outdoors
  • Work towards national qualifications, both NZOIA and Skills Active

There are two intakes per year; these are Jan-June and July-Dec. There are 4 places available per intake.

  • This is a voluntary position
  • Food and accommodation in a shared house in our staff village is provided
  • Based at our Tongariro Centre
  • Closing dates: 10 June for July intake;  10 November for January intake

To be an intern at Hillary Outdoors, please note the following:

  • You must be over 21

For further information and an Intern Application Form please contact us