“Being outdoors brought inner peace” (and other quotes)

Rangatahi Backyard Adventures!

A group of young women from Middle School West, trying out a variety of different outdoor activities in their local area, one day a week over eight weeks.


The whole programme was funded by Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa, through Sport Waitākere, with the purpose of giving students (especially minority groups) the opportunity to try physical activities that they might not normally get to experience, and to encourage them to continue to be active afterwards.

Here is some feedback from the students:
“Everything was new and fun and I want to do everything again.”
“When I first tried surfing, I really enjoyed it and am definitely going to do it again another time.”
“Inspired me to give kayaking a go because I love being in the water.”


Kayaking around Lake Pupuke, surfing at Orewa, coasteering at Tawharanui, treasure hunting in the Northhead Tunnels, indoor rock climbing (wet weather option), a day hike from Mt Donald McLean to Whaitpu with spectacular 360 degree views of the Manukau Harbour, Whatipu beach and the Waitākere Ranges.

Our activities were all based in Auckland, within driving distance from their homes in West Auckland, which will encourage the students to head back to these amazing places with their friends and whānau.


“Went in Shakespear Regional Park to walk the TiriTiri trail, then went back to the van for lunch and played some ultimate frisbee. Had the group reflect on gratitude and share about things that they were grateful for and worries that were occupying their minds at the moment and making them forget to be grateful. Group stayed together while walking, guessed riddles, and took some time to be mindful of their surroundings. Good mood, lots of laughter.”

– Instructors Louis and Reuben


“I found that I love being outside with nature.”
“I’ve learnt that other opinions are necessary […] and working together will always win.”
“When we did rock climbing, it helped me rely and work as a team when climbing the wall.”
“We went out a lot and had some awesome views. This made me appreciate my surroundings.”

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