Our Story

Our Story starts in the glam-rock 1980’s with two kiwi legends Lyndsay and Glenda Simpkin, who had a passion for people and the wild spaces of Aotearoa. Both youth workers and keen adventurers they knew the life changing power of taking participants into nature.

They looked high and low to find a youth agency that shared their vision but when none could be found they did what any kiwi with a great idea would do, they erected a shed and Adventure Specialties Trust (AST) was born.

Fast forward a little over 30 years and AST is New Zealand’s leading outdoor education and adventure therapy programme provider. We have over 25 full time staff, 2 centres and have won numerous industry awards. So if you are ready for a life changing adventure, jump in, join our team.

35 YEARS +

Leaders in Outdoor education and Adventure Therapy programmes.


Experts in their fields


Winning a number of industry awards.


Why choose Adventure Specialties Trust?

We invite you and your team to step into the wilderness with our passionate and capable crew of outdoor and “life” adventurers. We will take you or your group on adventures that will unearth the potential of each and every participant.

Helping people conquer obstacles that may appear too hard, too immense or too overwhelming for mere humans such as ourselves is what we’re all about.

Our job is to get along side and provide the motivation, leg up or shoulder required to cultivate character and extend horizons. Because there are few more transformative powers than experiential learning in the great outdoors.

Whether you’re with our Christchurch team, filling your lungs with crisp South Island air, or submerging yourself into the gushing central North Island streams with our Auckland team, each of our programmes provide the experiences and mental tools people need to feel empowered, emblazoned with courage to take control of their lives and relationships. We know they’ve got it in them.

How do we know this?

Heck, we’ve been providing adventure and wilderness experiences across New Zealand’s rocks, rivers, mountains, caves and coasts for more than 30 years.

We are leading the way in Adventure Therapy, with an untarnished safety record, you can be assured that your group is facing each challenge in very capable hands.

Through our relational, down to earth approach, we aim to meet each individual wherever they are at. Taking the time to understand each person’s needs so that we can tailor a programme that will unearth and maximise both the individual and group’s collective potential.

So what are you waiting for?

Our Vision

Using outdoor adventure to grow great communities

Our Mission

To respond to the needs in our community by providing outdoor adventure programmes that facilitate the holistic development of individuals, families and communities

Our Values

We are guided and motivated by our Christian faith which shapes how we work alongside people.

We believe that there is hope for all people and that positive life choices can bring about change.

We collaborate with community partners to enhance their good work and to achieve shared outcomes.

We strive to deliver high quality, exciting and safe programmes.

We believe healthy and positive learning can come out of well facilitated adventurous activities.

Our Outcomes

As a result of participating in our programmes people have an increased sense of wellbeing. This may have physical, mental, emotional, social or spiritual components.

As a result of participating in our programmes people are able to work better with others. They will have increased social skills to develop strong relationships in their every-day lives.

As a result of participating in our programmes people develop, and have a better sense of, their inbuilt character strengths – the qualities and skills that help them through life.

As a result of being on our programmes people have the motivation and ability to recreate some form of outdoor experience in their own lives, independently of programme support.

As a result of participating in our programmes people have more kindness, empathy, respect, generosity and a desire to uplift others.

2019 social impact report 

We are proud to have produced our inaugural Social Impact Report in 2019. Evaluating our outcomes is an integral part of providing successful programmes and ensuring they make a difference in the lives of our participants. We ask participants to complete an evaluation of their experience. This feedback is the data we have drawn on in terms of understanding our social impact.

The inaugural Social Impact Report is a culmination of input, support and advice from many fabulous colleagues world-wide, especially The Collaborative Trust, Youth Health and Research team in Christchurch who acted as consultants. Our data indicates that we are achieving positive results in our intended outcomes and given a greater understanding of how well we are doing so we can celebrate our successes, consider changes to improve our service, and better articulate what it is that we do on our programmes. Looking ahead, we plan to tell our story even better. We will do this by revising our intended outcomes and developing more comprehensive data collection tools.

Click on the link to download our 2019 Social Impact Report.




Growing Great Communities and Creating Everyday Heroes



Physical: 1/4 Winston Place, Henderson, Auckland 0610 

Postal:  PO Box 104183, Lincoln North, Auckland 0610

Phone: 09 837 6033 


Physical:  71 Bamford Street, Woolston, Christchurch 8023

(Previous location: 23 Leeds Street, Phillipstown, Christchurch 8011)

Postal:  71 Bamford Street, Woolston, Christchurch 8023 

Phone: 03 348 4547