The ‘original’ Hillary Outdoors Programme supports school students from Year 7 to Year 13 to learn through adventure and connect through participation.

Our most popular programme packs a lot of punch in just 5 days! Delivered at either of our Centres – Aotea Great Barrier Island or Tongariro –  offering the best choice of marine or land-based learning environments. Groups typically arrive Sunday and depart Friday with sore muscles, smiles, and a new sense of self. For many schools this is a highlight on the school calendar and an integral part of student development.

Throughout this Programme students continuously learn through adventure and connect through participation, helping them to recognise their strengths and abilities, and develop their confidence. 

Each Hillary Outdoors programme is designed in consultation with schools and rangatahi and we can tailor programmes to fit specific school values and mission, as well as desired learning objectives and outcomes. We use experiential education, outdoor adventure, community immersion, and communal living to engage with students and develop learning experiences that include teamwork, problem-solving, and activities that are physically and mentally challenging.

Find out more about Focus Areas that we can tailor to your school’s programme in our Programme Overview.

For greatest impact we recommend booking for the full 5 day programme but we can accommodate shorter stays of 3 or 4 days to suit your school.

Don’t miss out! Register your interest today or contact us for more information.
  • We have been teaching outdoor skills and personal development since 1972, and we have an exceptional instructor team who are highly qualified, caring and committed
  • Hillary Outdoors is a New Zealand leader in outdoor risk management; safety is paramount and all risks clients are exposed to while at Hillary Outdoors are consistently and carefully analysed and managed
  • Two centres to choose from offering the best choice of marine and/ or land based learning environments
  • Tailor-made programmes defined in consultation with the Hillary Outdoors Team that can include specific adventures providing context to focus areas, key competencies, learning outcomes, and more…
  • As a registered educational establishment, Hillary Outdoors can also help deliver Unit Standards and Achievement Standards to Year 11 – 13 students during their time with us
  • This is a proven and impactful programme – in just 5 days students grow, develop, and learn new things about themselves, with numerous schools telling us of the positive change in their students on return to the classroom.

Find lots more information, including gear lists here: Tongariro Student BookletGreat Barrier Island Student BookletTongariro Accompanying Adult Booklet.

Our Hillary Step Scholarships (HSS) support the wellbeing of youth in Aotearoa to develop by learning through adventure.
Based on one of Hillary Outdoors’s founding principles of accessibility, since 1972, Hillary Outdoors has worked on the philosophy that all youth, regardless of their finances or ability, should have an equal opportunity to enhance their lives through outdoor education. The Hillary Step Scholarship programme helps make that happen for students and subsequently communities by awarding Scholarships to schools to help cover the cost of a Hillary Outdoors programme who otherwise might not be able to attend.

The Hillary Step Scholarship programme is funded by grants, partnerships, and donations from a wide variety of funders including community trusts, businesses, and individuals. The funds we receive for a HSS are passed directly on to schools who demonstrate the need. Currently, many funders are particularly interested in supporting rangatahi Māori, Pacific young people, Rainbow young people, young people with disabilities, young women, young people living in the regions, and young people from ethnic communities, in particular those from a refugee and migrant background.

For more information or to apply online click here