Latest News

Three hikers wave their hands at the head of a mountain valley

The benefits of phone-free outdoor experiences

By Lucy Carver | March 25, 2024

Nature is a powerful leveller and in an age of digital distractions we believe it is also an antidote to the addictive behaviour that devices bring out in our youth. Our preliminary research shows that most of our participants value the social and health benefits that being phone free in outdoor environments provide.

Ignite students rafting

Celebrating our Ignite Graduates!

By Lucy Carver | March 11, 2024

This year’s graduates of the three-year Ignite programme celebrate the journey with a week of adventures on the West Coast. Participants and instructors reflect on the boost in confidence this programme has provided. Congratulations to Alexander Lightfoot, Alexander Lock, Cyris Aldworth, George Emery, Jake Barnett, Jakib Hedges, Ken Takahashi, Lukas McEnroe, Sonny Campbell, Temaru Teaukura, […]

powelliphanta snail on the forest floor

Unexpected Powelliphanta Find Post Flooding

By Bree Arnott | June 14, 2023

A highlight for students on the Environmental Sustainability Trades Programme, was to discover a healthy Powelliphanta snail in a flood-damaged part of the Te Hoiere/Pelorus River Catchment, where it was thought they wouldn’t have survived. Students spent the first week of this programme in the Te Hoiere/Pelorus River area to build an understanding of kaitiakitanga […]

A tutor’s perspective on our Holiday Programme

By Lacey Rogers | June 2, 2023

Our trainee instructor Sophie, was pleasantly surprised by the scaffolded learning that happens on our holiday programmes – see what she has to say about her time on Kaitiaki Kids! Here at Whenua Iti Outdoors we have recently started training some new instructors! You will see these trainees out and about with our qualified instructors […]

student paddling a kayak

Our journey in creating inclusive outdoor experiences

By Bree Arnott | May 25, 2023

A partnership with Sport New Zealand | Ihi Aotearoa and the Halberg Foundation has helped us to remove barriers for disabled tamariki and rangatahi to experience outdoor recreation at Whenua Iti Outdoors. Hearing that tamariki and rangatahi in our rohe (region) are missing out on experiences with us always sparks a desire to find a […]

matua mike at the awards night

Matua Mike Takes Top Honours at Recreation Awards

By Bree Arnott | December 15, 2022

Mike Elkington (Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Toa Rangatira) was the recipient of the Supreme Te Tohu Manu Kura Outdoor Award at the 2022 Recreation Aotearoa Awards held in Nelson. The Award was in recognition of his mana in the outdoor sector, and for outstanding leadership in outdoor recreation. Known affectionately as ‘Matua Mike’ to […]

Kaimahi for Nature Connection Project reaches Te Tai Poutini tamariki

By Bree Arnott | May 31, 2022

Whenua Iti have recently run the first Tamariki Tiaki Nature Connection Programmes for Westport North, Westport South & St Canice’s Schools The programmes are designed to connect tamariki to environmental sites of local significance by focusing on nature connection experiences that are fun and engaging for the students, but also align with the school curriculum […]

Whenua Iti Take New Programmes to Te Tai Poutini

By Bree Arnott | May 18, 2022

Whenua Iti Outdoors (WIO) are expanding their range of programmes delivered on the West Coast to further support rangatahi, tamariki and the wider community of Te Tai Poutini.  “We have been working alongside other youth support organisations on the West Coast to look for opportunities to be involved where it’s needed most,” says Mark Bruce-Miller, […]

Ignite Students Hit the West Coast

By Bree Arnott | April 19, 2022

This year, students on the Ignite Programme graduated the 3-year programme following a final week of awesome adventures based at Te Tai Poutini (West Coast). This final trip helped to cement their learning and development and proved to the instructors just how much the boys have improved across the course of the programme. The 10 […]

Connecting with Nature this Summer

By Bree Arnott | December 23, 2021

Being in nature fills up my cup and I do it as much as I can, especially over the summer holidays!  Dana Carter works at Whenua Iti Outdoors as the Kaimaihi for Nature Connection Lead and shares a few insights as to how to make the most of our time in nature this summer: I […]

Whenua Iti Outdoors Celebrates 35th Year

By Bree Arnott | December 3, 2021

It was a magnificent occasion on site at Whenua Iti to celebrate our 35th Birthday. At the centre of all the celebrations, as she should be, was Hazel Nash, still as vibrant and dynamic as when she first sparked the idea of Whenua Iti in the mid-80s. The evening kicked off with a mihimihi, lead […]

Leadership Ignited in Youth thanks to a Generous Donor

By Bree Arnott | December 1, 2021

The first graduates of the MHS Ignite Youth Development Programme were recently celebrated when they arrived back at the Whenua Iti base from their final journey. Each year, a group of Year 9 students are selected to join this Programme, during which they will participate in a total of six weeks of wilderness-based and adventurous […]

Planting brings generations together at Waimeha/Waimea Inlet

By Bree Arnott | November 18, 2021

Young participants (aged 7-12yrs) who took part in Whenua Iti Outdoors (WIO) holiday programmes had a beautiful afternoon planting trees with Rotary Club members at Rough Island on the Waimeha /Waimea Inlet. The planting contributed to the work of the Waimea Inlet Restoration Group, who have been funded by Jobs for Nature to bring back […]

Nature Connection activities well received by schools & tamariki

By Bree Arnott | October 11, 2021

The nature connection programmes run so far this year at Whenua Iti have connected almost 1,000 tamariki with outdoor experiences to develop a love of nature that supports their learning, wellbeing & sense of belonging. A highlight for local primary schools has been the Mini Outdoor & Environmental Adventurers Programmes that are offered to the […]

Civil Defence Students Get Involved on the Flood-Hit Coast.

By Bree Arnott | August 6, 2021

Students on the Civil Defence Emergency Response (CDER) Programme with Whenua Iti Outdoors have just had an amazing experience on Te Tai Poutini/West Coast where they have spent the week connecting in with volunteers, LandSAR & Buller Civil Defence to learn first-hand about the huge coordinated response that is underway to the devastating flooding that […]

Nature Connection Seminar Well Attended

By Bree Arnott | August 2, 2021

It was great to see such a wonderful response to our Nature Connection seminar last week with over 60 people coming together to learn from Steve Porteous of Human Bushcraft and Wild Living about simple ways in which to establish nature connection with their students and in their own lives. Teachers, parents and local community organisations including Tasman […]

Inaugural Wānanga for Youth at WIO

By Bree Arnott | April 16, 2021

We had an amazing four days from 6 – 9th April for Te Kupenga Rangatahi Wānanga 2021, as rangatahi from our Manaaki Tāpoi programme were inspired to continue their journey in Te Ao Māori through workshops, inspiring speakers, collaborative art and collective performance. The idea for the wānanga was conceived, developed and then coordinated by […]

Adventure Holiday Programmes Sought After

By Bree Arnott | February 19, 2021

Whenua Iti Outdoors have just had the busiest summer holiday ever, with a total of 137 children through on 11 different holiday programmes that catered for ages from 7 right through to 18, all with a focus on adventure-based activities that provide positive learning experiences in the outdoors.  The same experienced staff who deliver our core education programmes throughout the school […]

Tasman Mission a Hit!

By Bree Arnott | November 30, 2020

Tamariki had a blast during the Tasman Mission event held on site at Whenua Iti Outdoors. Primary Schools from around the district arrived on a sunny Friday morning to take part in a fun event organised by the Tasman District Council that coordinated various ‘stations’ where teams faced fun environmentally-themed challenges to tackle together. This is the second time the […]

Win a prize with WIO during Get Outdoors Week!

By Bree Arnott | November 12, 2020

Get Outdoors Week runs from 14th – 22nd November, and to celebrate getting outdoors, Whenua Iti are giving away a Macpac pack for your next adventure. From the 14th of November we will be hiding 3 caches around some of our favourite outdoors spots in the Motueka area that can be accessed by families so […]

WIO Finalists in Sustainable Business Awards

By Bree Arnott | September 15, 2020

WIO are thrilled to be among the finalists in the NZ Sustainable Business Awards! Whenua Iti have been named as finalists in 2 categories. The Social Impactor Category, which recognises businesses that bring about positive change for their environment & communities; and a new award for Resilience in Crisis that acknowledges the ability for businesses to pivot in […]

New Obstacle Course at Whenua Iti!

By Bree Arnott | August 25, 2020

Next time you visit Whenua Iti there’s a new Obstacle Course to tackle! We are excited to have our new Obstacle Course open for action. With thanks to funding from the Tasman District Council and the generosity of locals who donated materials for construction, we now have a fantastic course for programme participants to tackle […]

Inspiring Future Leaders at WIO

By Bree Arnott | August 13, 2020

Our future leaders were brought together in the school holidays from across Nelson and Tasman to attend an Inspiring Leaders programme at Whenua Iti Outdoors.  This was the first time the programme has been run, thanks to the funding from Tasman District & Nelson Councils who gave Year 12 students from around the region the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. The students were identified by their schools as having the potential to […]

Biodiversity the Focus of New Programme at WIO

By Bree Arnott | May 26, 2020

Whenua Iti Outdoors has designed the new ‘Predator Control & Conservation’ programme for secondary students to teach the importance of biodiversity management in which students will get to participate in practical, field-based community conservation projects.  The first Predator Control & Conservation Programme is set to kick off in Term 3 as part of the funded Trades Academy […]

WIO Ways to Wellbeing

By Bree Arnott | April 10, 2020

During our time of lockdown, most of you will be finding it a bit harder to do the things you would normally do to take care of yourself. I know that for most of the team at Whenua Iti Outdoors (WIO), that is most certainly true, given our love of the outdoors! But there are still lots […]

GO WILD at home!

By Bree Arnott | April 10, 2020

> View all the Go Wild at Home Challenges Friday’s Challenge: Knot Skills Learn how to tie some knots for using in the outdoors, or around home too. Have fun with this – it’s your last challenge for the week!To register and send your photos please email [email protected]. We look forward to seeing the photos! […]

Keeping informed about Covid-19

By Bree Arnott | March 18, 2020

Our site is open, and programmes are running again with some changes to adapt to current restrictions. Trades Academy programmes will recommence on 25th May. Enrolments are open for our mid year Trades Academy programmes. We will continue to keep you informed about any changes to our programmes – see below. FOR HEALTH AND EDUCATION […]

Shantel Thilman - Tour Aotearoa 2020

The Ultimate Bike Ride to raise $ for WIO

By Bree Arnott | February 11, 2020

Shantel Thilman fell in love with New Zealand when she first came here 10 years ago. Now she has returned to ride the length of our country as part of Tour Aotearoa 2020 and avoid winter back home in Oregon! As part of her best winter-avoidance tactic yet, Shantel is aiming to raise money along […]

What’s this Award all about?

By Bree Arnott | February 7, 2020

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is not hugely spoken about in Te Tau Ihu (the top of the South Island), which is a little baffling given how well known the Award is further north, and around the world for that matter. This is something we are keen to change, given how many young people […]

Top 5 Things I’ve Learnt From My Students (v.2)

By Bree Arnott | December 6, 2019

Kia Ora Whānau Joni Here.  I’m back again with my yearly blog post! You may remember that I wrote a blog about ‘The things that I’ve learnt from students as an instructor’ where I reflected on the work of 2018. I wrote about how lucky I was to help facilitate growth in our amazing young […]

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