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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 […]

harakeke and abel tasman at sunrise

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 […]

native bush and adventure therapy

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 […]

community impact through educational programmes

New Courses:  Trades Academy

By Amy Dalton | April 27, 2016

In response to requests from Schools we have just opened two new NCEA Level 3 Trades Academy Courses in Manaaki Tāpoi and Adventure Tourism Leadership. Open to Year 12 and 13 there is opportunity for students to complete up to 20 credits on each course. These programmes lead on from the Level 2 Programmes and […]

Everything – yet nothing has changed

By Amy Dalton | April 20, 2016

The AGM held last Monday the 11th of April was a bittersweet affair with two long standing trustees Penny Molnar and Dee Cresswell standing down from the Board after 20 and 16 years of service respectively. Here from the beginning, Penny, in particular, has a strong connection to, and memories of, the origins and mission […]

whenua iti community relationships

Ideas for the School Holidays: A family Picnic

By Amy Dalton | April 18, 2016

If you are short of ideas for the school holidays take advantage of the many great outdoor spots within close driving distance.   There is a lot to be said for switching off from work for a day, packing a picnic, gathering up the kids and spending the day at the beach or river, just hanging […]

Annual General Meeting and Yearly Catch-up

By Amy Dalton | April 8, 2016

Join us on Monday 11th April 5:30pm for our Annual General Meeting. Held onsite in the Whenua Iti Hall, this will be an opportunity for you to hear about our busy year, find out who we are and what we are trying to achieve and to meet the people who steer Whenua Iti Outdoors – […]

first whenua iti outdoors rafting trip

Welcome to our new website

By Ruth Buchanan | March 21, 2016

We are delighted to share our new website with you. We’ve been working hard to get it ready and we are pretty excited to launch it. From a visual point of view it still looks the same as our old site with the familiar logos and banners.  But from an information point of view, this […]

Trades Academy: Adventure Tourism Leadership

By Amy Dalton | March 4, 2016

It was the first Trades Academy Adventure Tourism Leadership course for 2016.  For the students from Nayland College, Queen Charlotte College, Marlborough Boys College, Kaikoura High School, Motueka High School and Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu. It was a packed Rock Climbing week, with a range of activities including high ropes course, eel feeding, camping, […]

Manaaki Tāpoi with Marlborough Students

By Amy Dalton | March 3, 2016

Trades Academy 2016 has kicked off with the first Manaaki Tāpoi Block for the year.  Students participating come from Marlborough Boys College, Kaikoura High School and Queen Charlotte College. This is week one of a four week programme and it included; weaving with Harakeke, staying at Te Awhina Marae, lots of Te Reo and Waiata.  

Land of Clouds – Seisen University Japan

By Amy Dalton | February 1, 2016

2016 kicked off with a group of senior students from Senior Seisen University, Osaka, Japan.  They were with us for a week and enjoyed learning about our region and the natural beauty of the Abel Tasman National Park.   The average age of the participants was 65, but our instructors were inspired by their enthusiasm and […]

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