Hillary Outdoors Great Barrier Island

Port Abercrombie view_HR

Hillary Outdoors Great Barrier is located on the edge of Karaka Bay, Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf. Great Barrier Island is the guardian of the gulf. Exposed to rugged elements, it shields the inner islands and offers a variety of environments that challenge and inspire.

Hillary Outdoors students and staff are privileged to have access to this world-class outdoor classroom right on Auckland’s doorstep. The island is just 35km long and 15km at its widest point.

The Orama Oasis hosts Hillary Outdoors on their 230 hectare property at Karaka Bay 4km from Port Fitzroy, and surrounded by pastureland, regenerating indigenous bush and mature trees.

This centre offers a tranquil and unique environment for a range of groups, from schools to business and management training groups. The main centre includes a large communal kitchen, dining hall, indoor gymnasium, shop, conference facilities and lounge. We also offer specialised guided trips through Hillary Guides.

The most common means of travel to the island are by ferry and plane. Hillary Outdoors has discount arrangements for group bookings travelling to Hillary Outdoors Great Barrier.

The school group accommodation is the Pines Cabins. The Pines Cabins bathroom has solar water heating and 4-bunk rooms. With larger groups the overflow normally stay in Shady Heights.

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We would love to discuss your requirements with you. Please contact us

We have a well set-up training room, with whiteboards, work tables and modern audiovisual equipment. The lounge, in the second storey of the Main Lodge, has a fantastic view out over Karaka Bay. Our gear is stored in two purpose built storage facilities. The main shed is right at the centre, and our sailing dinghies are stored at Barbecue Bay, a short walk or boat trip around the coast.

On-site there is a purpose built boat-ramp, wharf and floating pontoon.

We have a comprehensive range of wetsuits, lifejackets, thermals, spray jackets, raincoats, packs, tents, sleeping bags, cookers, etc… Our fleet of modern 4WD vehicles is ideally suited to the Barrier’s rough roads! We use outboard-powered inflatables as safety boats and coach boats, to support our water-based programmes, in particular sailing.

We use Perception sea kayaks and surf kayaks, for their stability, ease of use and reliability. Double sea kayaks are very stable and hold a huge amount of gear. We also have single sea kayaks for more experienced paddlers. Sit-on-top kayaks are the easiest way to get out on the water fast. Perception Flows are a purpose-built surf kayak, but they are also very stable on flat water and are a perfect fishing platform.

In the surf, they make learning to ride a wave incredibly easy. In the right conditions, you’ll see Hillary Outdoors instructors getting great down-the-line rides, carving turns and doing back-loops. Topper Topazes are designed as an easy entry-level sailing boat with the potential for high performance. They carry a jib (optional) and even a gennaker (experts only!). The 12-foot Fyran dinghies are equipped with anchors, bailers and oars. If venturing further afield Hillary Outdoors supplies flares and charts with a full briefing and rescue boat safety back-up.

We do not supply outboard motors, but you are welcome to bring your own.