Our Uniqueness

HillcrestHillary Outdoors is New Zealand’s pioneering Outdoor Education organisation. Being one of the first Outdoor Education Centres established in this country (originally The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand, or OPC), we have helped shape the Outdoor Education industry and are recognised as leaders in this field.

Hillary Outdoors was established on the banks of Mangatepopo stream in 1972 by its original founder, Graeme Dingle, with a vision to educate young New Zealanders. In its infancy Sir Edmund Hillary lent his name to Hillary Outdoors (or OPC as it was) and was personally involved as a mentor and patron for over 35 years. Hillary Outdoors has impacted the lives of thousands of young people and programme participants. Our current patron, Dame Jenny Shipley and committed trustees help our team keep that original vision and passion alive today.

Here are a few more things that make Hillary Outdoors special…

  • We have 2 of the most remote and stunning locations in New Zealand
  • The largest Outdoor Pursuits organisation in New Zealand, with over 6000 students participating in our programmes and events annually
  • Hillary Outdoors is recognized by Sport New Zealand as a National Training Centre for training outdoor professionals
  • Both centres offer long immersion programmes giving participants to take independence and responsibility to a whole new level