Holiday Programmes

Hillary Outdoors is an accredited outdoor provider for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award offered at both Tongariro and Aotea – Great Barrier Island centres during the school holidays.

Designed for 14 – 18 year old’s and offered at our Tongariro or Great Barrier Island Centres (depending on dates), our school holiday programmes offer fun, action-packed challenges in the great outdoors. Each programme has a different focus depending on student age and level of challenge required and will involve physical activity each day so a moderate fitness level will help you make the most of the programme. But you don’t need to be into sport or the outdoors, the main thing you need is a willingness to “have a go”. 

5-day Holiday Action Challenge

The Holiday Action Challenge is a 5-day programme with an emphasis on building interpersonal skills while having fun. It is for students aged between 14-18 years who are keen to meet new people and try new experiences. Our instructors will work with the students to select activities that meet group and personal goals and to push them to their level of challenge. The groups will progress from doing day trips at the start of the week to doing an overnight expedition at the end of the week as a final challenge.

7-day Hillary Leadership Programme

The Hillary Leadership Programme is a 7-day programme for 16-18 year olds. This programme is great for (but not limited to) student prefects, sports captains, school council members and students entering the workforce as the course uses the outdoors as a medium for exploring leadership theory, skills and related issues. The programme culminates with a double overnight expedition. 

These programmes meet the requirements for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award – Gold Residential! Find out more

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

Upon enrolling into your programme, our bookings team will communicate directly with you regarding your transport from Auckland Airport to our Aotea Great Barrier Island Centre.

Please note you need to arrange your transport from your current location to and from Auckland Airport.  Our team will handle the rest.