Job Vacancies

Instructors – Tongariro Centre

Hillary Outdoors is New Zealand’s foremost and arguably 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.

Although we are fully staffed at present, we are always happy to accept expressions of interest so that we can get back to you when vacancies arise.  Please send your CV and a cover letter to

Hillary Outdoors has a great working and living environment, whether you are single or have a family. We have onsite accommodation available (with new fibre optic cable internet) at well below market value rent. 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 each winter where they get to ski up to three days a week during the winter months!

With decent rivers, mountains, rock crags, bush and a ski field on our doorstep it is an ideal place for any outdoors person to live and work.

The work here has huge variety. While our core business is school groups, instructors have the autonomy to plan their own weeks based on the objectives of their clients and so there is ample room to make sure the job is not repetitive. We also run adult courses, corporate groups and of course, our long standing Tertiary Programme. It is essential that you enjoy working with young people as this will be where new instructors will commence their career with the organization and this is our bread and butter work. However our more experienced staff will be required to work across our range of programmes. As you develop as an instructor, or if you already have the necessary skills and experience, you can expect to work on a wide variety of courses.

We run a six week induction programme for new staff regardless of their past experience which allows them to become familiar with our local environment and organizational systems. This is appreciated by new employees as it takes a while to familiarize yourself with the huge variety of options available.  We also have a dedicated Training manager and take our staff professional development very seriously; staff coming from other organizations are often amazed by the training opportunities we provide here as summed up by two instructors who have worked in a variety of places in the UK for 20 years.

 “The training is amazing! Neither of us have ever had anything like the amount of training that instructors get here ever! “

The successful candidates will possess an enthusiastic commitment to the industry and an eagerness to pass on quality learning experiences to participants. They will be expected to run programmes independently after the 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 any further skills training.

Previous experience and qualifications will be reflected in the starting salary which is very competitive with other organizations and there is opportunity to move up our pay scale once you are in post through our internal competency system.

Strong interpersonal skills and a passion for the outdoors are essential characteristics for the role, as is the ability to motivate and inspire people and maintain high expectations for students. The candidate must have an excellent work ethic, be supportive of directives from management and role-model good practice.

Previous experience working with school groups is essential as are NZOIA awards at least at a leader level.

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 favourably during the application process.

Please be aware that the work is physically demanding with long hours including an overnight camp and an evening presentation each week, so if you don’t like hard work then please don’t apply.

Essential skills and qualities include:

  • Ability to deliver high quality courses independently using a wide range activities and venues.
  • Empathy with young people and recognition of the benefits of Outdoor Education in their development.
  • Will ideally hold some NZOIA level one awards and have a broad range of experience across all the activities Hillary Outdoors has to offer.
  • Ability to work as part of a close knit team.
  • Commitment to further training and personal development.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of risk management in outdoor recreation and education.
  • Drivers license with P endorsement (or commitment to gain a P endorsement before employment starts).
  • Pre-hospital emergency care or equivalent First aid certificate.

PLEASE  NOTE:  If you are applying from overseas we will offer a one-year fixed term contract in the first instance.  Minimum requirements from overseas applicants are, Winter ML, SPA, Current First Aid, Full UK driving license and BCU level 1 Instructor. In addition, an MIA and white water skills and experience would be a distinct advantage. You will also need to show at least 3 years experience of working in a residential setting with young people.

Please submit your CV and a covering letter to Sally, by email


Contract Instructors – Tongariro Centre

Hillary Outdoors is looking to enlarge its pool of contract instructors.  We are expanding and need contractors in two areas:-

  • We need contractors who are able to work with school students from year 8 to year 13 on 5-day general activity courses. Our official purpose statement is “Youth Learning through Adventure”.  The contractor will need to be competent in disciplines of bush, alpine, flat-water kayak and canoe, grade 2 river management, single pitch rock-climbing and abseiling, and camping.  At least two NZOIA level 1 qualifications would be a convenient start.
  • Contractors able to work at tertiary level and adult skills development.  We run leadership and skills courses in rock climbing, river rescue, white water kayaking, caving, mountaineering and sea kayaking.  Applying with a NZOIA level 2 qualification will get us interested.

If you are keen on becoming a contractor for Hillary Outdoors, probably New Zealand’s largest and most inspirational Centre, please drop a line.  Send us a CV, chat on the phone, tap someone on the shoulder.  We would love to hear from you.  In the first instance contact Jono Maxwell, Tongariro Centre Manager, email


Catering Coordinator – Based at Tongariro

Hillary Outdoors Education Centre Tongariro seeks an energetic Catering Coordinator to support our Catering and Facilities Manager.  On a day-to-day basis you will play a key role in ensuring the smooth running of our commercial catering facility, and delivery of quality meals for up to 7o people.

The suitable applicant will:

  • Have the ability to deliver exceptional service to our clients and staff
  • Have an understanding of working in an institutional catering facility
  • Have a strong food safety focus and knowledge of food safety systems
  • Show a commitment to health and safety
  • Have previous commercial catering experience
  • Need to be able to work both as part of a team and unsupervised
  • Have excellent time management and prioritisation skills
  • Display pro-activity, showing initiative and high motivation
  • Be able to work and live in a relatively isolated part of New Zealand
  • Be able to supervise and engage with young people

You will be responsible for:

  • Supervising students on a day to day basis around duties such as cleaning
  • Producing quality nutritiously balanced food in a timely manner

Accommodation may be available if required by the applicant

If this sounds like you, please send your CV and a cover letter to  If you would like to discuss this position further please contact Flo Scott by email or on 07 386 5511.

Closing date for applications:      Friday, 21 July 2017

Hours:   Rostered, some weekend work, approximately 30 hours a week

Successful applicants will be required to pass a pre-employment police check and will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing.