Latest News

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! The Awards, with winners to be announced in November, are run by the Sustainable Business Network who foster sustainable business practices across all sectors by connecting people and ideas so both people and nature can prosper. The Awards, which have been running for 18 […]

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 […]

WIO win Business Award

By Bree Arnott | November 26, 2019

It’s fair to say we were a little bit chuffed to be the recipients of the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Mediaworks NZ Medium Business Award for 2019. As a charitable trust in the field of education, we are not often perceived as a ‘business’, yet we need to run effectively as one to achieve positive change in […]

experiential learning activities

My Manaaki Tāpoi Journey – A Student’s Voice

By Bree Arnott | October 29, 2019

I have been privileged enough over the last three years to have graduated from the Manaaki Tāpoi Level 2, Level 3, and Level 3 Extension programmes. The Mānaaki Tāpoi programme is a 4-week block course run by Whenua Iti Outdoors for senior kura tuarua students from Te Tai o Poutini and Te Tau Ihu o […]

community involvement in motueka, nelson, richmond and tasman

Motueka Vocational Pathways is Launched

By Bree Arnott | October 17, 2019

As of November 2019, WIO will be running the first Motueka Vocational Pathways (MVP) Programme on behalf of Vision Motueka, as part of their initiative to create a more youth-friendly Motueka. MVP has been established in recognition of the challenges of transitioning into the workforce that face a number of young people once they leave […]

Tasman on a Mission!

By Nettie Stow | May 28, 2019

Fun day of learning on Moturoa For many years, our local councils have been running a fun day of learning on Moturoa (Rabbit Island) with a huge range of activities offered by inspiring Environmental Educators. This year, the event was organised by TDC, hosted at WIO and renamed the Tasman Mission. During the day, students […]

WIO WIT WIF ExpedNZ – confused? Let us explain!!

By Nettie Stow | April 19, 2019

Here at WIO, finding the funding we need for our programmes certainly keeps us on our toes – we try to be as adaptable and creative as possible looking for opportunities wherever we can and also looking for ways to make what we do sustainable in the longer term. Currently we apply for grants and […]

Measuring our Impact – what do we know?

By Nettie Stow | March 25, 2019

For many years Whenua Iti Outdoors has been held in high regard by the people who participate in our programmes or maybe their families and others in the community who for some reason come across our work. We have heard many tales of how “my son turned a corner doing a WIO programme” or “WIO […]

To the Scared Abseiler – a message from your tutor!

By Nettie Stow | February 26, 2019

If you come on a Whenua Iti Outdoors programmes you will find yourself facing all sorts of challenges and each person on the same programme faces a different set of challenges – some physical, some mental, some emotional – sometimes all 3! One of our tutors, Kathryn, has written a letter to everyone facing a […]

school kids kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park

It’s a WRAP

By Nettie Stow | December 21, 2018

Looking back, looking forward…. 2018 was a big year in the WIO story in so many different ways. We delivered 10,201 participant days of activities – we’re pretty sure that’s our first year over the 10,000 mark with 3,433 individuals on our various programmes. 3,139  credits were achieved by secondary students towards their NCEA and […]

Who’s Learning from Who? An Instructor’s Perspective

By Nettie Stow | November 28, 2018

I’m sure you’ve all heard us wax lyrical about all the wonderful things the students have learned in their programmes – but what if you flick that round and look at that from a different perspective? Our super woman instructor, Joni Tomsett, shows us it’s not all one way traffic on the learning front! The […]

WIO in the Shadows……

By Nettie Stow | October 8, 2018

Earlier this year two of our Whenua Iti staff (Pip Rees and Kieran McKay) spent 6 and 12 days underground on an expedition to try to extend the known length of the 76km long Bulmer Cavern, NZs longest cave. Kieran made a 36 minute movie about this expedition entitled ‘Once Again Beneath the Mountains’ It […]

Adventure Therapy – A Tutor’s View

By Nettie Stow | August 12, 2018

Adventure Therapy has been on our minds a lot lately – we were privileged to host the Adventure Therapy Aotearoa Forum 2018 earlier in the year and we have just started the ground work for our own Adventure Therapy programme with staff visiting potential partners and participants. Georgia, a WIO tutor, recently visited the USA […]

Adventure Therapy – a beginners guide

By Nettie Stow | July 3, 2018

Adventure Therapy is a relatively new field in New Zealand and one that is growing pretty quickly. So what does it do? Why is it getting so much attention? And how is Whenua Iti Outdoors involved? Adventure Therapy (AT) combines the outdoors (taiao), people (tangata), challenge (wero) and therapy (haumanu). It is an intensive, structured yet […]

Adventure Skills Development

By Nettie Stow | June 8, 2018

WIO is constantly evolving and trying new things – sometimes we think up great ideas but most often those ideas come from our community (and we are so very grateful!!). In response to enquiries asking for a programme that would extend both the skills of participants and the time spent in the outdoors, we came […]

Adventure Therapy Forum

By Nettie Stow | April 17, 2018

    Whenua Iti Outdoors are excited to be hosting the “Adventure Therapy Aotearoa (ATA) 2018 Forum”. Adventure Therapy is a growing field in New Zealand and around the world. Adventure Therapy is a research based approach where experiential is therapy coupled with adventurous activities. By creating a safe, supportive environment and opportunity for calculated […]

Walking the talk… Instructor Training

By Nettie Stow | March 23, 2018

Here at WIO our highest priority is safety including programme planning, checking of equipment and possibly most importantly, having highly skilled staff. To work towards this we run training sessions that focus on different areas of the tutors’ skill set and this time it was bush and rescue skills. Here’s Joni Tomsett with a tutor’s […]

Whenua Iti Outdoors Education Centre

An Experience of a Lifetime with WIO

By Nettie Stow | February 9, 2018

In a recent staff meeting, we realised just how many staff and volunteers at Whenua Iti Outdoors had arrived on our door step as students or interns, then decided to return,  since they liked what they saw. This includes admin and tutor staff, contractors and trustees. The WIO slogan “Journey’s of Discovery” applies to so […]

WIO presents… An Evening with Nathan Mikaere Wallis

By Nettie Stow | November 20, 2017

    Not many people can make a subject like neuroscience burst into life. Nathan Mikaere Wallis does this with ease whilst also giving a 1000 useful ways to put this knowledge into practice in our daily lives. We have engaged Nathan to deliver staff training at the WIO base and we rate him so […]

kayaking in nelson lakes national park on a secondary programme

The Perfect Kick Start to 2018!

By Nettie Stow | October 6, 2017

New year, new adventure, new skills… Adventure Skills Academy is a multi-activity, residential, adventure training programme for January 2018 featuring 9 days and 8 nights of awesome adventures. The skills based programme provides the perfect platform to build your outdoors expertise and even, for those who are keen, a sound foundation for adventure racing skills. […]


By Amy Dalton | March 24, 2017

This week we were very excited to invite the first students ever on the Whenua Iti Outdoors Uniformed Services Programme. Aimed at Year 12 & 13 students, the Uniformed Services programme is a taster of a career in Search & Rescue, the Coastguard, Emergency Services such as Ambulance, Fire or Police, Civil Defence or Armed […]

tower abseiling at whenua iti outdoors

Safety Issues: who is to blame?

By Amy Dalton | May 15, 2016

A few weeks ago we posted on Facebook a Nelson Mail article about a driftwood beach hut being fenced off by the Nelson City Council because of perceived safety issues.  It caused a huge furore, not only from our supporters but all around the country.   Comments such as “Definitely red tape gone too far” and […]

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