& Adventure Based Learning

Schools or corporate events: Learn to surf, sail, free dive or sea kayak


Water based outdoor Education

Northland Outdoor Adventures (NOA) is proud to offer a varied range of activities, learning events and courses for your school. Where possible, we will come to you and your area to deliver, removing the need and cost of long distance transport to access these types of services.

Our Education outside the classroom (EOTC) activities have a strong maritime focus as here in Tai Tokerau we are surrounded by the ocean, though our outdoor education offerings can take a variety of forms depending on your schools requirements. 

Education and experience in an aquatic environment is hugely beneficial for young Northlanders.

Plus, they absolutely love it.

We are the only multi-disciplined activity provider north of the Brynderwyns and a point of difference to operators in other areas of New Zealand is our environmental and field conservation project options. These field activities help to contextualise students learning through practical based activities. We access local marine areas and forest settings to build skills and knowledge, conduct surveys and provide unique learning opportunities which cover a range of contexts from natural history to marine and terrestrial ecology. NOA is happy to operate as a sole educator/provider or alongside your existing staff. We are also happy for feedback and alternative ideas on how we can best assist your schools educational delivery.

If you need activities to make a truly memorable school camp experience our instructor(s) can provide a range of outdoor pursuits in a single day or over multiple days and tailor them to suit the location. We can even provide camp location suggestions and activity options that will be easily accessible in the local area or on site.

A range of options are available, and packages can be specifically designed;
  • Education outside the classroom (EOTC) fun, experiential activity days
  • School camps, full camp activity provision and camp location recommendations
  • Short programs, fully practical or with optional facilitated classroom-based learning
  • Tailor made course options to encompass terms or yearlong delivery depending on the desired level of learning and competency
  • Regular specific outdoor activity delivery allowing schools to offer new outdoor adventure sport electives. E.g. sea kayaking, surfing
  • Unit standards and assessment can be attached to most short programmes and courses, the level and amount of credits can be designed around your students/schools needs and interests. Please enquire and we will design a package to suit



Education Outside The Classroom (EOTC) really does develop a broad skill set for participants. Students learn lifelong skills, a love of the ocean and a respect for their natural environments. Through this they may also realise the need to protect and manage threats to these fragile ecosystems. The learning is fun and challenging and demands attentiveness, concentration, physical activity and team work.

Depending on facilitation timeframes it is possible to deliver content from a “learn to do” level up to a “junior supervisory level”. Future employment, business (careers) and relevant tertiary course options can feature throughout all offerings. Despite the level, these activities, as well as the tactile/kinaesthetic skills, have content that will fit nicely into areas of existing curriculum delivery. For example the outdoor components fit into Physical Education and Health. Trip planning and health and safety/risk management aspects can fit into English and anything vocationally focused. Navigation and aspects comprising maximum number (instructor to guide) standards, weather interpretation, catering etc. will fit nicely with a math subject as applied learning. 



Adventure Based Learning (ABL)

Adventure based learning encompasses a range of tactile and problem-solving skills that demand team work and cooperation within a group.

ABL involves a range of activities and team events from raft building to stilt walking, challenging team relays and curriculum-based problem-solving challenges. The beauty of ABL is it can be delivered almost anywhere from the school field to the beach. It also has the advantage of being able to cater to larger groups unlike many outdoor adventure activities that are governed by max participant to instructor ratios.
A great addition to school camps, school activity days or corporate events.

Sea Kayaking experiences and guide training

Sea kayaking is a great way for students to experience the maritime environments of Northland, up close and personal. It is safe, fun but also challenging and relatively easy to master the basics. A broad scope of learning options and levels are available.


Practical components

  • Paddling skills and techniques
  • Equipment knowledge and use
  • Rescue skills (self and client)
  • Kayak surfing and shoreline entry and exit techniques
  • Water based competency/confidence
  • Group management, safety briefings, water safety


Theoretical components

  • Trip planning (day and multiday),navigation/chart plotting
  • Catering, hydration and nutrition
  • Risk management, legislation
  • Weather forecasting/interpretation
  • Ecological and low environmental impact considerations


Timing and delivery

  • EOTC experiences, single day trip(s), (practical components)
  • Regular outdoor activity delivery as a sport elective
  • Short courses, optional unit standards/assessment, (practical and theoretical components)
  • Extended courses (full term/year) comprehensive practical/theoretical aspects. Optional units and assessment
  • Multiday or overnight expeditions. Recommended after a course or a negotiated number of day trip trainings
  • Sea Kayak Leader award/qualification. (New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association) Minimum age 18 years. Extra NZOIA registration and assessment fees apply.

Sailing (dingy)

Dingy sailing is a fantastic first step to learning the art of sailing. Students will be in control of their own vessels right away and due to the nature of dinghies they will learn quickly the necessary skills to stay up-right and navigate around a set course.


Practical components

  • Rigging and set up
  • Dingy sailing skills (How to sail/points of sail/wind direction/tacking/gybing)
  • Racing skills and sailing a set course
  • Capsize and man over board drills
  • Keel boat sailing (after a full dingy sailing course only)
  • Industry trips on keel boats (big yachts) e.g. R Tucker Thompson sail trust


Theoretical components

  • Boat parts and functions
  • Wind a sailing physics
  • Weather forecasting/wind speed
  • safety and trip planning


Timing and delivery

  • EOTC experiences, single day trip(s), (practical components)
  • Regular outdoor activity delivery as a sport elective
  • Short courses, optional unit standards/assessment, (practical and theoretical components)
  • Extended courses (full term/year) comprehensive practical and theoretical aspects. Optional level 2 units and assessment
  • Yachting NZ Assistant learn to sail coach certificate. Minimum age 15 years old. Extra YNZ registration and assessment fees apply.

Free diving / snorkelling

Snorkelling / free dive skills will last a lifetime once learnt. Easy to master the basics and fun and enjoyable from the first dip. Students will discover the underwater world in the safe hands of a PADI dive master and depending on facilitation time frames will also discover the rich ecology of the temperate ocean biome.


Practical components

  • Water safety/ buddy systems
  • Breath hold/bottom time/depth
  • Equipment and use
  • Free diver skills


Theoretical components

  • Physics and physiology
  • Health and safety
  • A.D.I programs and careers
  • Marine biodiversity
  • Kaimoana and legal sizes/limits


Timing and delivery

  • EOTC experiences, single day trips, (practical components)
  • Short courses, optional unit standards/assessment, (practical and theoretical components)
  • PADI Basic Free diver certificate. PADI fees and registration applies. 12 years or older. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health.


Surfing is far more than just a sport, it becomes a healthy and engaging way of life. Just ask any surfer. Trade in the iPad for the ocean and experience a truly unique oneness with nature. It doesn’t take long to get to your feet, have fun and surf to shore but to master the sport does take time. As with many things in life the longer the journey to accomplish the more satisfying the result. Surfing is a fantastic sport elective and over time develops a high level of fitness and water competence.



Practical components

  • Equipment and use
  • Standing up and surfing to shore
  • Surfing a wave face
  • Gaining speed and turning
  • Wave positioning and reading a wave


Theoretical components

  • Surf etiquette/ other water users
  • Rips, currents, tides, swell, shoreline wave heights
  • Water safety
  • Surf and weather forecasting
  • Health and safety
  • Coaching, instruction and professional aspects


Timing and delivery

  • EOTC experiences, single day trip(s), (practical/theoretical components)
  • Regular outdoor activity delivery as a sport elective
  • Short courses, (practical and theoretical components)


Enquire with us how we can customise our our outdoor education packages and work in with your school or corporate event.

Haere mai, haere mai, haere mai Te Tai Tokerau.


Northland Outdoor Adventures offer quality surf, kayak, forest and archaeological coastal tours across the Bay of Islands, Whangaroa, and the Northland Peninsula, New Zealand. We also provide educational programmes for your school or corporate activity.

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