Job Vacancies

Centre Manager, Tongariro

The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoors Education Trust is a leader in outdoor education.  We are offering you the opportunity to lead our experienced and energetic team at Tongariro in providing residential outdoor education programmes primarily – but not exclusively – for secondary school students.

During its 45-year history Hillary Outdoors has introduced a very significant number of young people to the New Zealand outdoors through our centres at Tongariro and Great Barrier Island and in all regions of New Zealand through our outdoor school challenge events.  Currently we have over 4,000 young people per annum attend programmes at our Tongariro Centre and we are in a growth phase with student numbers up by more than 10% on last year.

The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of outdoor education best practice and safety management and will demonstrate exceptional judgement and interpersonal skills.  Experience of effectively managing a significant budget and making managerial decisions is a must.

At Hillary Outdoors we have a core 5-day programme but we have developed longer duration programmes at our Great Barrier Island Centre and this is an opportunity for further growth at our Tongariro Centre.

You will be supported by an existing, well-established team of permanent employees plus a head office function based in Auckland.

The suitable applicant will possess:

  • Proven management and leadership experience
  • Exceptional personal attributes in areas such as integrity, resilience and empathy
  • Education background including knowledge of the New Zealand Curriculum
  • Experience of managing safety in the outdoors, ideally as both a multi-discipline instructor and a manager
  • Experience of training staff to deliver educational outcomes with a focus on personal development
  • Effective networking skills with partners and local communities
  • Excellent leadership, team building and customer service skills
  • Strong organisational skills and a “can-do” attitude with high level of tenacity and commitment
  • Strong “hard skills” in relevant outdoor disciplines

The Centre Manager will report to the Chief Executive and will work closely with their team, as well as the Hillary Outdoors Senior Management team.  This role requires good communication skills, a high level of professionalism, and an ability to be self-directed.

Hillary Outdoors Education Centre Tongariro is situated adjacent to the Tongariro National Park.  This is a unique opportunity to join Hillary Outdoors in one of our most influential roles at an exciting time in the development of the organisation.  The remuneration package is competitive and will depend upon the skills and experience of the appointed person.  Housing is available on site.  For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Graham Seatter, Chief Executive, phone 09 446 2051.

For a Job Description, please contact Sally Teesdale, Office Manager,

All applicants are required to provide a CV and a covering letter.  To apply, please submit your application to Sally Teesdale.


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:

  • An ability to deliver high quality courses independently using a wide range activities and venues.
  • An 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.
  • An ability to work as part of a close knit team.
  • A commitment to further training and personal development.
  • A 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