Adventure Education

an investment in the future

Adventure tourism in New Zealand is ‘booming’ and it has been booming for a while. Our adventure industry has become enormous, adventure tourism alone employs over 188,000 people that is about 7.5% of the New Zealand work force! That is people who are actively employed in adventure tourism not how many people participate.

It is estimated that we can expect 4.9 million visitors in 2023 that is a million more than 2016 with a spend of 15 billion dollars!

It has been estimated that by 2023 the annual visitor to New Zealand will be up by 32% with a dollar spend to match. There is now an overwhelming need to service that growth and that we have an obligation to nurture those ‘seedlings of service’ which will need to be in full bloom by 2023, that is just 6 years away and those ‘seedlings’ are currently being cultivated ……… in high schools and tertiary.

For several years now Adventure Magazine has been supporting education providers whether that be high school or tertiary. We have dedicated sections of the magazine and website; we have reported changes and developments, spoken to those who do the teaching, interviewed those who have been through the courses and reported back on those now in the work force. We have been assisting in schools where we can and offered editorial exposure, prize giving support, products and sponsorship.

In schools across New Zealand we are seeing outdoor education courses flourishing, traditional PE has more of an academic lean than a practical one, so we are seeing a movement of active students towards outdoor education – our local school Orewa College has 4 outdoor education class and 2 PE classes. NCEA credits can be gained in outdoor education for less academic effort and more focused on the practical. A common thread in most high school mandates is no about passing exams or getting excellence in learning; it’s about being part of a community, being the best you can be, giving back, being self-reliant and outdoor education provides those lifelong skills (plus easy NCEA credits).

As part of a growing initiative we had reached out to outdoor education in schools and offered to sponsors end of year prize giving creating a more prestigious appeal to the subject, we have provided magazines to students nationwide, encourage students and staff to send in material that will run in a dedicated section of the magazine and online. Next year we will look to link year 12 and 13 outdoor education students with adventure-based companies within their areas to set up work experience, create internship and work with established gateway programmes.

And why?

Clique as the statement is ‘children are our future’ is true and with the scheduled growth in the adventure industry and adventure tourism we want those students to be familiar with all aspect of what adventure can offer and have full access to our Adventure community for motivation, information, appreciation but most of all for support. It is our way of helping and investing in the future.


Here is some of this year winners

Cashmere high school Tom Pooley Year 13 top academic student

“The reason I chose Outdoor Education for one of my Year 13 subjects was because I wanted to be able to experience more places New Zealand has to offer and test my ability to cope in challenging situations.”


Orewa College

Erica Earnshaw and Daniel Van Dam

“thank you so much for the amazing opportunities, I would have never experienced these outdoor adventures unless I took this course”

“I can honestly say that the skills I learnt in Outdoor Ed were the most valuable in all my years of schooling”

– teachers comment ‘they were stoked!’

Upper Hutt High school

Claire McCrum

Taking Outdoor Education this year has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life! It challenges and motivates you to push beyond your comfort zone and to enjoy any and every moment that life throws at you. Looking back on the experiences I’ve gained and the friends I’ve made, it seems crazy to think I what I would have missed out on if i had chosen the courses other people wanted me to! Its a subject well worth taking and I can’t recommend it enough.


Teacher Quote: Seth Weakley


Challenge –  we hope students find challenges within the course, and develop skills to meet them.  Challenge could be heights, depths, distances covered; It is important students are moved outside their comfort zone into the ‘growth zone’. Environment – we student to connect with Papatūānuku, to experience and appreciate their local environment, recognise its significance, and understand how to preserve it for future generations.


Cambridge highschool

Ronnie Proebstel


‘Outdoor Education has been of great value to me, it has introduced and provided me with pathways to new experiences, such as whitewater kayaking , mountaineering, canoeing the Whanganui River, among many other trips and experiences that I may never have experienced without the pathway Outdoor Education provided. It also taught me great life skills such as leadership, teamwork, how to handle emergency situations and many more that benefit me in both the outdoors and in life.’


Hauraki Plains High School

Outdoor Ed prize recipient Erica Hansen (Year 13). Outdoor Education has given Erica many opportunities to experience and enjoy the outdoors with her classmates and next year she is studying towards a career in the outdoors.


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