Our Story

Our story starts in the glam-rock 1980s with two kiwi legends, Lyndsay and Glenda Simpkin, who had a passion for people and for the wild spaces of Aotearoa. Both of them were youth workers and keen adventurers so they knew the life-changing power of taking young people into the great outdoors.

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 voila, Adventure Specialties Trust was born.

Fast forward 40 years and Adventure Specialties Trust is one of New Zealand’s leading outdoor education and adventure therapy programme providers. We have over 20 full time staff, 2 centres and have won numerous industry awards. So if you are ready for a life changing adventure, jump in, join us on an adventure!

35 YEARS +

Leaders in Outdoor education and Adventure Therapy programmes.


Experts in their fields


In Auckland and Christchurch. 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

Lives Inspired By Adventure!

Our Mission

To respond to community needs by providing purposeful adventure, which facilitates therapeutic outcomes and personal growth

Our Values

We are guided by our Christian faith, which places the love of God at the centre of all that we do.

This is expressed by the following values:



Change is possible for everyone. We are optimistic, we are confident and we use a holistic, strengths-based approach which supports hauora, “the winds of wellness.”


We practice mahi tahi. We encourage each other and our participants. We grow community partnerships and collaborate to achieve shared goals.


Outdoor adventure will transform lives. We use healthy adventure and a connection with te taiao, the natural world, to nurture growth and learning.


Everyone is welcome. We honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We practice equity, respect and manaakitanga.


We embrace physical, emotional, social and cultural safety. We continually invest in our team and our resources to ensure that all we do is high quality.


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.

Social Impact Report 2019


We are proud to have produced our inaugural Social Impact Report. 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.


Annual Review 2021


Our Annual Review 2021 is available for viewing!

What is in this year’s Review?

Check out photos of our adventures. Browse graphics showing the number of programmes we completed, the number of participants we worked with and the distances we cover over New Zealand. Hear from our CEO, Tim, about how resilient Adventure Specialties Trust has been. Update yourself on staff news plus more photos of staff adventures. And read stories and quotes from a variety of programmes across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Where can you read it?

Click on this link to open the digital PDF.

If you would like a printed copy, please contact the office (office@adventurespecialties.co.nz).

“Always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”