Adventure Therapy

A therapeutic framework combined with the power of adventurous programmes designed to change lives

We are New Zealand’s leading provider of Adventure Therapy programmes. Adventure Therapy is the specific combination of specialised outdoor experiences, working in a group, being outside in nature whilst utilising a therapeutic framework. These experiences engage young people in a therapeutic intervention that is both fun and effective.

To an outsider, a group of Adventure Therapy participants would appear to simply be experiencing the fun and challenge that comes with activities like sea kayaking, caving, abseiling, rock climbing or mountain biking. In reality, these activities are secondary to the therapeutic outcomes the participants are receiving through our programme.

The combination of the facilitated adventure experience, being outside in nature, and working together as a group has been proven to produce outcomes such as:

  • Improved sense of wellbeing
  • Developing positive relationships
  • Learning social and emotional skills
  • Discovering and developing strengths
  • Increasing resilience
  • Being equipped with skills to achieve life goals

Ultimately, the goal of Adventure Therapy is to help participants be in a better place to make wiser life decisions.

Partnership Programmes

Our partnership programmes are designed to enhance the work of schools, community agencies and government funded services who have an on-going relationship with clients.  Where they do not have the capacity to provide adventure experiences, we do. We work together to design and implement adventure therapy programmes that meet the needs of the group and therapeutic goals of that service.

For examples of our programmes check out our youth development and strengthening family programmes.  All of our programmes are adjusted, tailored or custom made to meet the specific needs of our partnership organisation.

Open Enrolment Programmes

Our Christchurch branch is delivering open enrolment wellbeing programmes for individuals to sign up for.  We have an Inspire programme for young people, a Connect to Adventure weekend for couples and a Classic Kiwi Adventure weekend for a caregiver/child pair. A person may come supported by an agency or by themselves.  

Let’s get you started, click here to explore up-coming trips

In addition we also offer our counselling service called ‘Taking Therapy Outside’.  We have the options of ‘sit’n’talk’, ‘walk’n’talk’ and ‘paddle’n’talk’ where we use a solution focussed counselling modality in the outdoors, in one location or on the go!  We also have a ‘let nature do the talking’ option.  In this session we intentionally spend more time connecting with nature – through art, mindfulness or reflection.

Our approach

Our approach to this work is underpinned by theories and frameworks from education, psychology, youth development, health and wellbeing, counselling and social work. The key factors are captured in our theory of change and include a focus on connection with nature and each other, along with experiential learning.

Our conversations and facilitated discussion in this programme are guided by a strengths based approach and the solution focussed model. These approaches are forward focussed, looking ahead to where you want to go and the skills and strengths you have to get there...

and the best bit is it really works!

If you want to find out more details check out our Social Impact Report.

Adventure Therapy

Open enrolments

Information for individuals who would like to join one of our upcoming Adventure therapy programmes.

Strengthening Families

Building relationships in all types of families, understanding your family values, refocus and refresh.

Youth Development

Learn about our 10-day life-changing expedition called The Journey and our single-day adventures through Inspire.

“We work with the most vulnerable families in the community.

… We work alongside low income families, families with historical and current abuse issues, families with on-going earthquake trauma and health issues… All our dealings with Adventure Specialties team in Christchurch has been positive and they have provided programmes which sit well alongside ours.”

Methodist Mission


“Kia kaha, Kia māia, Kia manawanui (Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.).”