A growing social enterprise founded four years ago by a young entrepreneur has been given a huge boost thanks to one of New Zealand’s top tourism companies.
Adventure tourism company Go Orange has gifted two buses to kiwi social enterprise Got To Get Out, which is on a mission to get people active and outdoors, on free hikes and bike trips organised by founder Rob Bruce.
The trips have become so popular that Rob now works full-time on Got To Get Out, driving the length and breadth of New Zealand transporting people to and from their events.
And now thanks to Go Orange it will have two South Island-based vehicles to help decrease transport costs and time, enabling Rob to increase the social impact of got To Get Out on the community.
Go Orange General Manager Luke Taylor was inspired to donate two former rafting buses to Got To Get Out after hearing Rob speak at a backpacker (BYATA) conference last year.
The 20-seater Nissan Civilian buses were officially handed over to Rob in Queenstown on June 21. The rafting buses were surplus to requirements as the company has invested in a fleet of purpose-built, all-wheel-drive Unimogs.
“I like the idea of there being a different tourism model in New Zealand,” says Luke. “There are lots of New Zealanders who don’t feel connected to the environment we live in, so there’s a bit of social good in us donating these vehicles to a good cause for the next part of their lives.
“We’re delighted to support Got To Get Out.”
Go Orange joins outdoor gear store Torpedo7 in supporting the drive to help people get outdoors and enjoy being in nature with new people. Torpedo7 last year commissioned Got To Get Out to deliver their Torpedo7 Club free experiences around the country.
Rob previously worked for a corporate marketing agency before developing the concept of Got To Get Out while on a hike to Mt Everest base camp.
After reading a quote by Sir Edmund Hillary which says “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”, he embraced the concept that different people have their own mountain to climb.
“I decided to use my professional skills to help other New Zealanders conquer their own Mt Everests, and now I’m on this incredible path where a social enterprise helps deliver health and wellbeing to people who may have been feeling lonely or depressed but feel so much better after coming walking, paddle boarding or mountain-biking with us,” says Rob.
“People are coming along more than once because they’ve made friends, they’ve got active and got outside, and it improves their mood and wellbeing. We’re building a genuine community in a sector of society that wasn’t being catered for.
“It was my dream to turn my passion into a full-time job, but that wasn’t quite financially viable until Torpedo7 came on board and we now have the support of Go Orange.
“When Luke called and offered the buses, I just about jumped out of my seat, I was so thrilled and just so grateful.
“Got To Get Out is arranging South Island-based hikes, ski trips, and later in the year mountain bike and paddle board outings in Nelson, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin, all departing from Torpedo7 stores thanks to this new partnership.
“Up until now I’ve been driving from Auckland to Dunedin, then making the grueling1500km return trip home before repeating. It’s a hectic schedule that involves huge miles, and significant cost in ferry crossings, petrol, road user charges and time.
“The Go Orange buses will decrease those costs and time, and therefore increase our social impact by helping me focus on getting more of the community outdoors, especially in the South Island.”
The Got To Get Out online community has now grown to 15,000 people. With volunteer help and additional vehicles Rob can now run simultaneous trips in both islands.