Hillary Outdoors Tongariro

Welcome to our Alpine Centre


In 1972, Sir Graeme Dingle had a vision to create an Outdoor Education Centre where young New Zealanders would have the opportunity to learn while adventuring in the outdoors. This vision was supported by Sir Edmund Hillary, who became the Centre’s first patron in 1973.

For over 50 years, Hillary Outdoors (formerly OPC) has been fulfilling Dingle’s vision and helping thousands of young people learn through adventure.


Hillary Outdoors Tongariro is located adjacent to the Tongariro National Park. The park is located in a beautiful wilderness area of the Central North Island.

Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest national park and a UNESCO dual World Heritage area. This status recognises the park’s important Maori cultural and spiritual associations and outstanding volcanic features.

Tongariro National Park offers an infinite variety of natural environments providing life-changing experiences that are expertly managed for their safety.


The Centre can accommodate 120 overnight participants weekly.


Hillary Outdoors programmes are based around the pristine mountain, river and bush environments. Programmes are designed to meet focus learning areas and for participants to learn about themselves and others, developing lifelong relationships and skills. Individuals work together in teams to explore the alpine and bush environment and learn skills such as rock climbing, caving, bush skills and kayaking.

Due to the changeable nature of our environment, Hillary Outdoors does not provide a pre-set programme activity schedule. Activities are selected each morning to suit the programme focus area, the weather forecast, group interests, and learning styles.

Don’t miss out! Register your interest today or contact us for more information.
  • We have taught outdoor skills and personal development since 1972, and our instructors 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
  • 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.

You will find all required and optional gear to bring on your programme in our Student and Accompanying Adult Booklets: Tongariro Student BookletTongariro Accompanying Adult Booklet.

Missing some gear? You can shop our Gear Lists at Torpedo7. Every purchase made via this link means proceeds from your purchase will go to Hillary Outdoors and support getting more youth into the outdoors.

Since 1972, Hillary Outdoors has worked on the philosophy that all youth, regardless of their finances or ability, should have equal opportunity to enhance their lives through outdoor education.

The Hillary Step Scholarship (HSS) programme helps make that happen for rangatahi and subsequently whānau and hapori by awarding Scholarships to help cover the cost of Hillary Outdoors programmes.

Thanks to our incredible community of Funders, we have overcome financial inequities and empowered thousands of rangatahi from across Aotearoa to have life changing experiences through outdoor and adventure education.

For more information about the Hillary Step Scholarship programme and other funding opportunities, check out our Funding Information Pack for schools, groups, organisations and individuals.

Note: You must have a confirmed booking with Hillary Outdoors to be eligible for a HSS.