About us

Graeme Dingle (now Sir Graeme Dingle) established Hillary Outdoors (then OPC) in 1972, with Sir Edmund Hillary as the Patron.

Establishing Hillary Outdoors was a direct result of a conversation that young Dingle (then, 25) had with fellow climber Jill Tremain.

“Life is a cup to be filled, not a measure to be drained,” his climbing partner Jill Tremain told him on the traverse.

“I had it completely back to front,” said Dingle. “I thought I had a full cup. Jill explained that I was selfish, and even boring because I could talk about nothing but mountains. She said, ‘You won’t fill your cup until you do things that are good for other people’.”

Sir Edmund Hillary believed in Graeme’s innovative vision to combine the outdoors and education, giving his name to the trust, and becoming the Patron of Hillary Outdoors from 1973 until he died in 2008.

Sir Graeme Dingle remains a founder and a patron of Hillary Outdoors. Sir Edmund Hillary’s legacy and commitment to the trust continue with his grandson, Alexander Hillary, as a patron.

Since its inception, our schools programme has had a place in the hearts of generations of New Zealanders. Our tertiary programme provides the outdoor learning and adventure tourism sector with exceptional instructors and guides. Our corporate training and development courses deliver inspirational leadership training to some of the country’s most successful businesses and organisations.

Our goal is to sow the seeds of change and growth in everyone we work with, through outdoor adventures. We want to be part of a vibrant and sustainable future for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our Purpose

We empower people to do extraordinary things – by growing through adventure and connecting through participation.

“People do not decide to become extraordinary.
They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”

– Sir Edmund Hillary

Our Values

Whanaungatanga, Connections 

Establishing relationships and relating to others. 

Whakatipu, Growth 

Growth in a values-based learning environment.

Kaitiakitanga, Guardianship and protection of our environment

Guardianship, stewardship and protection of the environments we operate in.

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