Give rangatahi the opportunity to be extraordinary

One pivotal moment changed the course of Sir Ed’s life. At Hillary Outdoors, we want all young New Zealanders to have this opportunity.

Imagine a world where Sir Edmund Hillary didn’t conquer Mt. Everest.

Summiting the world’s highest peak could still be an undefeated challenge. Sir Ed may never have devoted himself to environmental and humanitarian efforts that made a profound difference to Aotearoa and to the world. 

Looking back, it all started with a school trip to Mt. Ruapehu. Sir Ed’s teacher was at a loss with what to do with a class of unruly teenage boys. After all his efforts in class failed, he decided to take them to the mountains, something that was unheard of at the time. It was on this trip that Sir Ed fell in love with the mountains and that catalysed a humble teenage New Zealander to do the impossible: make ground-breaking history and change the world for the better. 

PETER HILLARY SHARING SIR EDMUND HILLARY’S STORY OF HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Many rangatahi across Aotearoa don’t have access to that same opportunity Sir Ed had. It’s not that they lack the potential for greatness; it’s that they don’t have the chance to discover it.

1 in 8 children live in material hardship where their lives are often confined to a small radius around where they live. They feel isolated, are unfulfilled and don’t see a bright future ahead. Even if they are offered an opportunity to experience new things, financial barriers prohibit their participation and often the fear of trying something new is too daunting to face.

Without the fundamental building blocks of youth development, the possibility of becoming a school or community leader, let alone a global hero, is intangible.  

Liam, a young boy from Hamilton, was never picked for anything, noting he wouldn’t have picked himself. He described himself as a very shy, anxious person, too afraid to put himself forward for fear of being rejected or, worse, not being able to do a good job if he did somehow get selected.

He reflects on his time as Hillary Outdoors as being life-changing:   

“What changed for me as a result of going to Hillary Outdoors? If you asked my mother she’d tell you that for the first time in 15 years my room was clean. For me, it went a little deeper than that. I came back with self-belief, I had discovered that I could be a leader, and I believed it. I was confident in my decisions, I had gained the ability to stick with things which sometimes is the hardest part. I was no longer afraid of getting stuck in, in fact, I started actively searching for opportunities to help out. School became more fulfilling, my grades improved, I started to gain the respect of my peers. It felt like the miracle cure, from a shy, fearful year 9 to the person I’d wanted to be for so long.”   

Liam later became Head Boy of his school.   

LIAM SHARING HIS EXPERIENCE OF HOW HILLARY OUTDOORS CHANGED THE COURSE OF HIS LIFE

As Sir Edmund Hillary said, “It’s not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves.”   

Our programmes evoke pivotal moments for youth, inspiring them to overcome their fears and insecurities to become leaders who contribute positively to their community.    

With the incredible generosity of our supportive community, we provide scholarships to children living in hardship so they can have the same experience that Sir Ed and Liam had. Your invaluable donations give young New Zealanders the opportunity to grow and flourish through outdoor education and adventure, help them find the courage to ignite and pursue their ambitions and empower them to do extraordinary things.

Building brighter futures for young New Zealanders

We love that Hillary Outdoors, then OPC, has a place in the hearts of thousands of New Zealanders, like you. We know that you cherish the epic adventures and incredible friendships forged, and still love the outdoors to this day! But did you really love the ‘bunch of old buildings’ you stayed in, and having to put on wet, cold gear from the day before? 

Ray Button, Chief Instructor in the late 1970s and early ’80s, remembers the incredible team spirit and feeling of empowerment at the time. He also remembers walking out of his room, straight outdoors into the (literally) freezing cold, and putting on soaked gear from the day before; then having to work with equipment that was patchworked with repairs. Getting a locker for his own gear is still one of the highlights of his whole life!  

Fast-forward 50 years, and the sentiment remains. Our team loves the comradery but not so much the holey canoes, frayed green carpet, and lack of heating.

Thankfully, we’ve made a few improvements and are on a mission to upgrade our Tongariro Centre with the help of our superstar supporters. 

In the last 12 months, we’ve replaced our canoes – no more patched holes! Have a new fleet of white water boats, and even have two new, fit-for-purpose trailers to transport them. Grants have provided essential safety gear to complement this new equipment along with an ATV to launch our safety boat into the water.

We’ve also built a world-class climbing facility that elevates and expands our programme offerings to our school clients and tertiary students.

Behind the scenes, we’ve upgraded the fire safety systems in our student accommodation and carried out critical maintenance on our radio tower, ensuring the highest level of health and safety for our residential, adventure programmes. We’ve also installed an innovative drying system so students have warm, dry gear each day. Now that’ll be music to Ray’s ears! 

Speaking of warmth, we’re working through upgrading the heating and cooling systems for everyone on our site. We know that thermal comfort plays a critical role in health and safety, not only for physical wellness, but if people are too hot or cold, their ability to make decisions deteriorates. In order to mitigate those risks, we’ve installed heat pumps in our staff housing and classroom spaces, and are starting to raise funds for heating solutions in our student accommodation and Safety Operations Hub. You know our buildings are not hitting the mark when our team puts on their alpine gear to come inside each day for their Safety Briefing.

Another factor that contributes to keeping spaces thermally comfortable is insulation. We’re so pleased to see the last of the green carpet, which was older than most of our team! It didn’t disintegrate to nothing, which wouldn’t be a far stretch from the truth, but was replaced with a cosy and healthy upgrade. The new carpet provides a layer of insulation in our Safety Operations Hub and means our team and clients no longer have to live and breathe amongst green dust!

We have been truly humbled by the incredible support we’ve received from our Funders and amazing community of Donors, who have made these upgrades a reality.

Thank you: Four Winds Foundation, Grassroots Trust, Grassroots Trust Central, Marion Ross Memorial Trust, NZAC Tūpiki Trust, Pelorus Trust, and Trillian Trust. 

To date, with the support of these extraordinary charitable organisations, we have raised just under half a million dollars, funding exceptional facilities and equipment for Hillary Outdoors to deliver high-impact outdoor and adventure education programmes for the next 50 years.

We’ve hit the ground running but still need your help to build brighter futures for young New Zealanders.

If you’d like to be part of building Hillary Outdoors’ future, donate today or contact our Fundraising Manager, Dawn.

Hillary Outdoors Cultural Strategy: Our journey so far

In 2023, Hillary Outdoors was a recipient of the Tuia ki Tawhiti | Collaborative Futures Fund. This fund was managed and delivered by Education Outdoors New Zealand (EONZ) and enabled Hillary Outdoors to undertake a results-based accountability research project with a vision to improve the relevance and accessibility of outdoor education for rangatahi Māori. 

With the Tuia ki Tawhiti fund, Hillary Outdoors started our journey to conduct results-based accountability research with a vision to improve the relevance and accessibility of outdoor education for rangatahi Māori. This is our journey to date.

Before receiving the fund, we recognised that rangatahi Māori were under-represented in our outdoor education and adventure programmes. Schools with a high population of Māori students would attend Hillary Outdoors. However, the students who participated did not represent the school’s population. For example, a school with 75% of students identifying as Māori in their role would bring a group of 75% Pakeha students. 

This flowed through to our intake of tertiary students and staff. Currently, 10% of our tertiary students and 11% of our staff identify as Māori. 

Through Hillary Outdoors having long-standing relationships with iwi local to our Centres and drawing from our team’s network of connections, we were able to create an incredible team of Advisors, led by Dr. Ihirangi Heke. Our Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from Ngāti Hikairo and Tuwharetoa, mana whenua to our Tongariro Centre; Ngātiwai o Aotea, mana whenua to our Aotea Centre; Te Tonga o Tāmaki Makaurau, South Auckland; our Staff and Board members; and Māori Youth representatives. 

Together, we undertook a research-led approach to understand: 

  • The barriers for rangatahi Māori to participate in our programmes and 
  • How rangatahi Māori can successfully participate as Māori in Hillary Outdoors programmes. 

We developed research questions based on Sport New Zealand’s Te Whetū Rehua; a framework based on five key values important for Māori cultural and social development. The framework was adapted with our Cultural Advisors for outdoor education. The questions became: 

  1. Has your overall Hillary Outdoors experience included the integration of te reo and tikanga? 
  1. Has your overall Hillary Outdoors experience included integration with mana whenua and Māori practitioners in leadership, management, instruction and/or staff roles? 
  1. Has your overall Hillary Outdoors experience included whanaungatanga? 
  1. Has your overall Hillary Outdoors experience included working in Māori places of significance? 
  1. Are outdoor activities involving the maunga, wai and whenua integrated in your Hillary Outdoors experience? 

Initially, we had planned for a Māori Researcher to travel to schools throughout Aotearoa and ask students about their cultural experience with Hillary Outdoors. As we developed our research plan, Ihi made us aware that we had to create a safe space for rangatahi to take part in the surveys, and that they needed to be conducted by someone the rangatahi had built a trusting relationship. Through building a rapport on programmes with students, our Instructors were deemed the best people to facilitate the discussions safely and comfortably. 

We pivoted to onboard our Instructors and wider team to conduct surveys, including workshops on Hillary Outdoors values, how to survey, and Atua Matua. 

From the survey responses, we identified that our programmes met or exceeded expectations in the following areas: 

  • Immerse participants in Māori places of significance, 
  • Integrate maunga, wai and whenua, and 
  • Build whanaungatanga. 

To further enhance the experience and be more culturally responsive to Māori, we need to integrate the following in our programmes further: 

  • Te reo and tikanga in an appropriate place-based means, and 
  • Increase Māori leadership at Hillary Outdoors. 

We also found that financial constraints, the perceived view that outdoor education is not conducive to a high-level education, and family responsibilities and other commitments were barriers to rangatahi Māori participating in Hillary Outdoor programmes and Outdoor Education in general. 

In January, we hosted a wānanga at our Tongariro Centre with our Cultural Advisory Committee, facilitated by Katerina Kupenga from AraHina. Our wānanga began with a Powhiri at Otūkou Marae and with the purpose of creating a vision for our Cultural Strategy, developing 3 Pou | strategic objectives and defining success measures for each Pou.  

Whanaungatanga sits at the core of this kaupapa. With our extraordinary Advisory Board, we co-created a meaningful draft strategy to build a foundation for rangatahi Māori to successfully participate as Māori at Hillary Outdoors.  

Due to the many shifts and pivots we navigated throughout our research journey, we were able to deepen our connections with local Iwi, enable our staff to upskill and be part of the project, and enhance the cultural responsiveness of Hillary Outdoors. Our kaupapa transformed from being something that sat alongside Hillary Outdoors’ operation to becoming a huge, integrated part of our programme delivery and team culture. 

To build on the research and Cultural Strategy development we were able to undertake with the Tuia ki Tawhiti fund, we have received further funding from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). This strategic funding will support rangatahi Māori in our programmes, from student intake through to building pathways to support and develop more Māori leaders at Hillary Outdoors. It will allow us to identify and empower Youth Advisors and engage a part-time Cultural Advisor, to support the delivery of our Cultural Strategy. 

We extend a huge thank you to both EONZ and TEC for their incredible support and advocacy of our kaupapa. 

We are so excited to launch our Cultural Strategy later this year and continue our journey to improve the relevance and accessibility of outdoor education for rangatahi Māori. 

It’s official: our new Climbing Facility is open!

Excitement filled our Tongariro Centre on Friday 16 February, as Dave Bamford, Trustee of the NZAC Tūpiki Trust, cut the ribbon to open our new Climbing Facility.

Thanks to the incredible support from the Tūpiki Trust, we have a new technical climbing wall and classroom spaces. This state-of-the-art facility elevates what we can offer as a Category 1 Tertiary Provider and expands our outdoor and adventure education programmes for schools. 

We are thrilled to have this world-class facility to honour Nank’s legacy. John “Nank” Nankervis was an inspirational mountaineer, tramper, explorer and skier, who climbed peaks worldwide. Nank became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mountaineering and conservation, and sadly passed away in 2022. He dedicated his estate to creating the Tūpiki Trust with the purpose of fostering and supporting New Zealand climbing and conservation. The Tūpiki Trust granted over a quarter of a million dollars towards this project.

Nank believed that “youth are the future for a healthy Aotearoa”, and what better way to celebrate this than to have our next generation of climbers leading the way. Our Diploma students took charge, offering instruction, encouragement and belaying expertise to all our climbers on the day. We are so proud of Evelyn for undertaking the first official climb, and even navigating the tricky overhang! 

Our new climbing wall and classrooms provide a safe and controlled environment for students to build confidence, connections and leadership whilst learning new skills.

The wall offers an alternative climbing option in extreme weather and enables students to build competence before facing more challenging climbs. It also provides opportunities for school groups to build deeper connections by fostering trust and teamwork through climbing activities.

Rangatahi can study the theory behind new climbing skills in the classrooms before putting those skills into practice on the climbing wall.

It’s corny and true; teamwork makes the dream work! This project would not have been possible without the support of our amazing community. We acknowledge Trillian Trust who generously funded the new carpet in the classrooms, ensuring these spaces are comfortable and healthy for our students.

Our thanks also extend to Te Ngaehe Wanikau, tumaki for Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro for blessing the wall; our Trustees, Dave Tommas and Martin Hunter for joining us to celebrate; Apex Climbing, who built the wall; and our Hillary Outdoors team and Tertiary Crew who will continue to facilitate life-changing experiences for rangatahi from across Aotearoa.

Multi-year programmes create lasting impacts

With the incredible generosity of our community of Supporters, students from Alfriston College, South Auckland, piloted a Hillary Outdoors’ multi-year progressive programme.  

Hillary Outdoors’ multi-day, multi-week and now, multi-year programmes support positive youth development outcomes through outdoor education and adventure.  

Our unique point of difference is creating bespoke programmes for schools that are tailored specifically to their needs.  

Students undergo their Hillary Outdoors experience as part of a group they stay with throughout their multi-year journey. Through this approach, we see significant improvements in connection, teamwork and problem-solving. These are tools that empower them to overcome challenges while they’re at Hillary Outdoors and in their everyday lives, post-programme. These tools are also the foundation of supporting mental health.  

In 2023, 57% of students attending Hillary Outdoors required financial support to attend. Through the extraordinary support of our Funders and Donors, along with the Share My Super community, we distributed Hillary Step Scholarships to over 5,500 students, including 80% of students who embarked on their multi-year journey.  

Through surveys, we measured the following life skills increase in the students:

Our multi-year, progressive programmes amplify these youth development outcomes.  

We observed a significant change in the young people who returned in 2023. Some commented that they had started new hobbies or activities as a result of their Hillary Outdoors experience in 2022. One returning student from Alfriston College shared that: 

I’ve changed most of my ways in life. I’ve tried to be more of a leader through the camp and it’s taught me well. I’m showing more resilience and being more confident.” 

Over three years, our multi-year programme builds on the students’ learnings from the previous year. 

“Last year was more day to day. Whereas this year is more like building up to Thursday where we do the overnight expedition. We’re learning skills and how to read maps for when we go up into the mountains and stay out there for the night.”  

Not only do the activities in our programmes progress each year, but a common theme observed from students’ feedback was that they felt like their connection as a group had deepened. 

“We’re closer together, so we have an understanding of each other’s perspective of how we view the world, or how we view life, actually. Everyone’s been more interactive (compared to year 1) especially the ones who were quite quiet last year; including me, I was really quiet, but now I’m pretty out there. Because I see everyone in this camp as family, or as someone I can relate to.” 

They also felt they had grown in confidence and felt more comfortable in a leadership role. The students were also happy to share that they thought their peers had come out of their shells more, understood their own and each other’s weaknesses and strengths, and worked together to overcome challenges. 

This year is the first year that we will have students embarking on not only year one and year two but also the third and final year of their multi-year progressive programmes. We have moved from 30 students to 100 students participating over three years.  

The impact our incredible community of Supporters is helping Hillary Outdoors to create is invaluable! Your support makes these life-changing outcomes a reality for young New Zealanders, and we can’t wait to share their success in 2024! 

Thank you for continuing to empower rangatahi to do extraordinary things! 

Hillary Outdoors’ Tertiary Instructors: A Legacy of unmatched expertise

As the saying goes, you’re only as good as your team, and we are lucky to have some of the most highly skilled and experienced Tertiary instructors in New Zealand on our team at Hillary Outdoors.

With over a collective century of experience between them, our instructors bring an unparalleled level of expertise to every outdoor education programme they lead.

Our team of seven tertiary instructors embodies a diverse background and range of specialties – from alpine to rivers, bush to coastlines, abseiling to rock climbing and extensive teaching experience.

With invaluable experience across every type of outdoor environment, our instructors’ combined experience informs the delivery of our high-quality Tertiary programmes that inspire and challenge students.

One of the standout attributes of Hillary Outdoors’ tertiary instructors is their impressive collective experience of over 100 years, and this remarkable figure underscores their deep commitment to outdoor education and the breadth of their expertise.

And while technical skills are essential, our tertiary instructors go beyond just their experience in the field, they are also passionate educators dedicated to providing transformative learning experiences. With a strong focus on student-centred learning, they help create an inclusive and supportive environment that fosters personal growth, resilience, and teamwork.

Even in their spare time, they’re looking for unique opportunities to empower their students to succeed. Recently, under the stunning light of the Super Moon, our Tertiary Crew journeyed across the Tongariro Crossing. An unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you are considering a career in the outdoors, then you need to come and learn from the best.  We are the only outdoor tertiary provider in New Zealand to have 100% of our courses taught on-site, in a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site, and where nearly 100% of our graduates from the last few years have found employment.

If you follow your passion, and do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!

Will you join Sash, Prajot, Rich, Mel, Graeme, Ollie and Will in 2024?

Check out our Prospectus or visit our Tertiary page for more information and to apply for 2024.

Icebreaker NZ empowering youth through adventure

We are incredibly grateful to partner with Icebreaker NZ, which sponsors Rosehill College as part of our Kotahitanga (adopt-a-school) programme.

With their extraordinary support, students from Rosehill College have had the opportunity to grow through adventure, develop resilience, confidence and leadership skills, and strengthen their career pathways; without financial barriers holding them back.

Icebreaker NZ and Hillary Outdoors believe that all youth, no matter their abilities or finances should have access to nature. Nature is a great teacher and offers solutions to creating a healthy, sustainable future, for the planet and young people. Through outdoor education, rangatahi learn how to grow and adapt, connect and work symbiotically with each other and the environment, and practice kaitiakitanga to foster a more sustainable future.

In 2021, the first year of our three-year partnership with Icebreaker NZ, students from Rosehill College ventured to Hillary Outdoors’ Education Centre on Aotea, Great Barrier Island, during Matariki, for a 5-day programme. Amplified by this significant time of reflection, celebration and renewal, their experience was life-changing.

Upon returning from the 5-day programme, one girl who was intent on dropping out of school remained in school and graduated at the end of the year. For another two students, it was their first time leaving their home community in Papakura, South Auckland, and for another, who struggled with anxiety, she was able to overcome her challenges and connect with her peers.

For Evan, a student from Rosehill College, “having a full experience of no light pollution, and just looking up at the stars, and feeling really good” reflected that “Life is the best thing you can have, and this trip has taught me to keep going, and the reward will be worth it at the end of the tunnel.”

This short video showcases Evan’s and Rosehill College students’ journeys on Aotea.

Following on from this experience, with invaluable sponsorship from Icebreaker NZ, Rosehill College media students were the first to participate in our ‘Through My Lens’ programme at our Centre in Tongariro.

The immersive programme, developed by Hillary Outdoors, supports students in developing their visual storytelling skills through adventure and outdoor education.

Throughout the programme, students receive instruction and guidance from our adventure videographer, Charlie, from Runner Films.

Students are empowered to build skills and confidence while exploring the world around them and developing deep connections with themselves, others and the environment – for many students, this was their first time experiencing snow!

During the programme, students produce a video showcasing their adventures and learnings from their perspective. Check out the magic they captured.

For one student, the Through My Lens programme inspired her to pursue film-making as a career; “I am planning to study Screen Production down in Christchurch in the new year which is very exciting. I do think that seeing that I have the ability to be independent and pushed out of my comfort zone has given me more confidence in my everyday life and made me more comfortable with the idea of moving down to Christchurch. I also got to experience filming in a different environment than what we do at school which gave me a different outlook on the idea of film-making and the fact that I enjoyed every part of the experience pushed me to pursue it even more.”

With the incredible support from Icebreaker NZ, we have delivered 200 outdoor education days to students from Rosehill College, inspiring them to challenge themselves and build life-long connections and skills.

We are also truly grateful to Icebreaker NZ for keeping us, and Rosehill College students, warm in natural, high-performing gear.

“I have nothing but gratitude towards Hillary Outdoors and Icebreaker for allowing us the opportunity and freedom regarding adventure” – Rosehill College student.

Breathtaking views as Tertiary classroom & climbing wall take shape

Thanks to our incredible partners, NZAC Tūpiki Trust, our dreams of constructing a Tertiary classroom and high-spec indoor climbing wall are becoming a reality.

Studying doesn’t get much better than this! Who wouldn’t want to be learning technical climbing skills like; belaying, anchors, abseiling and multi-pitch systems in a stunning world-class training facility, with a view to impress, options for indoor and outdoor practical applications and a dedicated space to knuckle down on the bookwork.

As a leading provider of Tertiary Outdoor Education in Aotearoa, these facilities will further enhance our programmes by providing a dedicated space for the theory aspect of our courses to be delivered and enabling technical lessons in a safe and controlled environment without being disrupted by the weather.

With state-of-the-art facilities comes high-spec technical gear and equipment. Through the funding support from Tūpiki Trust, we have purchased over $12,500 worth of gear for students to apply their skills in reality. Enabling them to climb in confidence and peace of mind, knowing they are fully equipped with the latest safety equipment. 

For the past couple of weeks, our awesome Builders have been busy onsite getting construction well underway. We’re thrilled to be on track to complete the build of our Tertiary classroom by the end of the month and officially open our climbing wall by the end of the year, ready for our 2024 intake of students. We can’t think of a better Christmas present!

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Tūpiki Trust for their extraordinary support. With their contribution, we can diversify our Tertiary Climbing Programme to ensure that we continue to train and develop highly sought after instructors and guides in the outdoors industry.

Enrolment for our 2024 NZ Certificate (Level 4) and Diploma (Level 5) in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Multi-Skilled) are currently open. Visit our website for more information.

Surviving to thriving!

Imagine you’re fifteen again. You’re on your way to school. You walk past the shop that has the new Sting-Ray bike you’ve been saving up for in the window, the one with the high-rise handlebars. After countless weeks of braving the wind, the rain and Old Bob’s dog who chases you down the street, you have only a couple more weeks of doing the paper round, and you will have saved up enough to buy it. The finish line is so close! You visualise yourself riding to school every day. You get to school and tell your friends that you’ll be riding with them soon, unable to contain your excitement! 

The following week, you take the same trip to school, past that window, just one more round of papers, and it’s yours. Except you notice the new price tag in the window. A sinking feeling settles in your stomach as you realise the price has gone up, and all your hard work now seems like it was for nothing.  

Sadly, this is the reality for many youth in Aotearoa. At Hillary Outdoors, we hear numerous stories where a student is incredibly committed to attending one of our programmes with their school. They’re determined and motivated to raise enough funds so they can come to Hillary Outdoors. They have all their ducks in a row but all it takes is for one thing to change; the groceries have gone from costing $200 a week to $250, and now there’s not enough money to put aside, a weather bomb rips through their town and their family’s life gets turned upside down, or they’re let go from their after school job because the company can’t afford to operate any more, due to the ongoing strain from Covid and never-ending increase of the cost of living.  

For many rangatahi who attend our programmes, they’ve done the hard yards and only need a nominal amount of support to get them over the line. Thanks to the ongoing generosity from the Share My Super community, individual donors and Trusts, we can distribute funds directly to those students who may only need $25 – $100 to make up their programme fees and be able to experience real adventures, build stronger relationships with their peers, and unlock their full potential. 

Other students may need more significant support. Rimu was just 15 when her parents tragically passed away in a car accident. Rimu was booked in to attend a five-week Hillary Outdoors programme but due to the tragedy could no longer afford to attend.  

It’s at times like these when it often seems futile to engage in such activities, but ultimately a Hillary Outdoors programme can offer a safe space for youth to express themselves and work through their struggles. Generous funders stepped forward to support Rimu to attend the programme with her class, and during her Hillary Outdoors experience, she formed trusting bonds with her peers, teachers and instructors. Rimu realised her resilience and strength at a time when she most needed it.  

Once Rimu returned home, she started volunteering to support others in her community who had faced tragedy and became the Head Girl of her school.  

Rimu reflects on her five-week journey as “…what can only be described as a life-changing experience facilitated by Hillary Outdoors, going to Great Barrier Island was the best experience of my life, and I was fortunate enough to have received a full scholarship to go on the five-week programme. For me, Barrier is one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever been on. And it wasn’t just a trip. It was a period of time that I was allowed to grow in and to develop new talents and skills, without any outside pressures.” 

Your donations, no matter the amount, can make a huge difference to New Zealand youth, changing their world from simply surviving to thriving.  

Hillary Outdoors Changed the Course of My Life – YouTube

It is the generosity of philanthropists, like you, who help to make these experiences a reality. Hillary Outdoors provides 40,000 outdoor education days each year, with a goal to fundraise $1 million to support youth, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend due to hardship, to grow through adventure and connect through participation.  

For just $25 you can provide an outdoor education day*, changing a young person’s world and creating pathways for them to flourish into young leaders. With regular donations, together, we can amplify these opportunities for our youth and help to reduce the cycle of poverty.  

We are truly grateful to incredible people like you, who help to change the lives of extraordinary young people like Rimu. 

Donate today to make adventure happen tomorrow and grow our future leaders.

*An outdoor education day provides young people with an instructor who is highly trained in outdoor safety and in soft skills facilitation. It provides food, safety gear, equipment, transportation to adventures and accommodation.