International Weeks – October school holidays

For international and host students

Choice of two Centres and two weeks…

Great Barrier Island or Tongariro

1-6 October OR 8-13 October 2017

Choose from two weeks during the October school holidays to participate in this outdoor education programme specifically designed for the enjoyment of international students attending (or about to attend) New Zealand secondary schools – as well as their host students. Students can attend as individuals and do not need to be part of a school group.

International students are invited to bring one home stay buddy with them for only $300!*

Total places are limited and bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis. This programme is designed for students in Years 9 – 13.

These five day programmes are a great chance for students to meet other internationals and also develop skills such as teamwork, leadership and perseverance.

Customised to provide a real kiwi experience

No international programme would be complete without some particularly kiwi experiences. In addition to the customised programme outlined below, participants will benefit from these aspects that are unique to their time in New Zealand;

  • Unique experiences. Depending on the Centre visited, availability and other conditions such as weather, these experiences could include learning the haka, local games or eco sanctuary experience
  • Learning about local flora and fauna. Participants may even get to participate in conservation efforts or learn about local bushcraft
  • Kiwi culinary experiences. Great chance to try some classic New Zealand dishes
  • Get off the beaten track. Programmes in such remote areas provide opportunities to visit special New Zealand places that would otherwise be difficult to get to – these include walking tracks, hot pools etc. Instructors are experts in the local area in which they will be guiding students, so programme participants will get some real ‘local knowledge’

* Great opportunity for international students to mingle with locals

In a recent government survey of international students’ education experience in New Zealand, one area of disappointment for many international student visitors was the lack of opportunity to mix with young people living in New Zealand. Often a key focus of international student programmes is to encourage interaction between international students…through this Hillary Outdoors programme we are also providing an opportunity for international students to also spend more time with people permanently living in New Zealand, where interaction is ‘facilitated’ by instructors to help create a richer understanding of local culture and celebrate our differences in a positive and meaningful way.

Programme Overview:


  • Travel to your location of choice at Tongariro or Great Barrier Island (possible travel options will be provided upon registering your interest for chosen Centre)
  • Welcome and Introductions, meet your fellow students and the instructors you will be spending the week with
  • Learn about the outdoor adventure spirit NZ is so famous for, how it came to be, and the beginnings of Hillary Outdoors

Monday – Wednesday:

  • Head out with your team on outdoor adventures. Your instructor will let you know the options and as a team you will pick an activity that will excite and challenge you
  • All of our activities provide the opportunity for you to explore and learn about the beautiful NZ environment
  • Tongariro options include: Activities from a selection of rock climbing/abseiling/ mountain activities getting into the snow/ kayaking/canoeing/high ropes/flying fox/bush walks.
  • Great Barrier Island options include: Sea Kayaking, Surf Kayaking, Coasteering, Rock Climbing, Hiking, Via Ferrata, High Ropes plus many more

Thursday – Friday: 

  • Overnight Expedition (Great Barrier Island): It’s time for the great kiwi camping experience! By foot or by sea kayak your overnight expedition is a great way to explore some on NZs best keep secrets. Get off the beaten track, explore the coves, beaches, lakes and forests. Find some wildlife and learn about the history and culture of the area you are in. That night set up camp or experience a Department of Conservation hut, catch a sunset or check out the stars
  • Overnight expedition (Tongariro): Spend a night out either on the mountains, in the bush or on the lake. You may even get to camp out in the snow. Experience a journey in the outdoors leading you to a beautiful location where you can sleep out and weather permitting watch the sunset and see the night stars.
  • On Friday return to base for a final wrap up before heading home

Programme costs and dates

International Student Cost: $600 inc GST per student (includes accommodation, meals and activities). Travel costs to and from the Centres are extra.

Domestic Student (home stay buddy) Cost: ONLY $300 inc GST per student (includes accommodation, meals, and activities). Travel costs to and from the Centres are extra. To qualify for this special offer, domestic students must accompany an international student on this programme (i.e. they must be part of the family who is hosting the international home stay student).

All programme participants will receive a souvenir tshirt inclusive in the cost.

It is not essential for schools to send accompanying teachers, however there are a limited number of places available for teachers where the fee will be waived in exchange for helping out with duties. Fee for additional adults will be $300 incl. GST each (excluding transport).

Great Barrier Island: Sunday 1 – Friday 6 October 2017 OR Sunday 8 – Friday 13 October 2017

Tongariro: Sunday 1 – Friday 6 October 2017 OR Sunday 8 – Friday 13 October 2017


Register your interest by clicking button below!

Complete the registration details by clicking button below and we will email you the information you need to secure places for students, including how to pay, transport options, the programme for the week and booking/medical forms etc.

Any questions, please get in touch here.

Schools register here

Individuals register here