Ignite Youth Camp (South Island) 

Adventure Therapy Youth Camp (For Girls)


Do you want to build the confidence to try new things? Do you want to feel more comfortable with other people in a group setting? Want to learn better ways to cope with stress and anxiety? Are you wanting to feel better about yourself and more hopeful about your future?

Our IGNITE Camp might be for you!

Join a group of 6-8 other young women (plus 2 facilitators) as we head off for six days and five nights of adventure in the stunning native bush of Marlborough Sounds. We will combine outdoor adventure activities (like bush walking, sea kayaking and mountain biking) with facilitated group discussions, one-on-one sessions, space for personal reflection, throughout a week of having fun, laughter and some good deep chats about life.

Here’s some feedback from a parent:

I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you so much for organising the girls journey that [my daughter] joined you for in the holidays. Her school holiday time spent discovering the world outside of a teenagers darkened bedroom was exactly what she (and her parents) needed. We can see the benefit of the experiences and challenges of the trip in her, now she is back and, despite being apprehensive about going without knowing anyone else, she tells us she thoroughly enjoyed the week.”



Who?  For young women (15-18 years old)

Where?  An adventure camp in Queen Charlotte Sound

When?  During the school holidays (see specific dates below)

Apply:  By emailing Amy (office@adventurespecialties.co.nz attention: Amy)

More info:  Keep reading!



TERM 1 HOLIDAYS: Sunday 21st – Saturday 27th April 2024







Adventure programmes are fun, but we take all the good times and the learning to a deeper level. We look at the things that are truly meaningful in life. The things that create a life filled with purpose. We try to facilitate this programme as an opportunity for you to improve your wellbeing. And we try to tailor it as much as we can to meet your individual goals.


Our general goals are working towards:

  • Increased self-worth
  • A better toolkit for maintaining your personal hauora (health and wellbeing)
  • Stronger connections with others
  • A greater hope for a future with purpose
  • A stronger connection with who you are, your values and your taha wairua (spiritual side)


(See the section ‘What is Adventure Therapy’ below for more details about these goals/outcomes)




This programme is open to any young woman (aged 15-18 years old) who is wanting to get outdoors and feel a bit better about life!

Maybe you are struggling with anxiety or depression, or feeling overwhelmed or uncertain. Maybe a bit stressed about school or other things, or just generally wanting to improve your wellbeing.

Our Adventure Therapy programmes focus on building health, wellbeing, confidence and connection.



Each school holiday

(See specific dates in the blue box up the page a bit)



Day 1: Meet at our office in Christchurch, travel to Marlborough Sounds, get to know the rest of the group

Day 2: Sea kayaking to Ratimera Bay

Day 3: Sea kayaking to Kumutoto Bay

Day 4: Sea kayaking to Torea Bay, then a tramp

Day 5: Tramping from Torea Bay to Mistletoe Bay

Day 6: Biking from Misteltoe Bay to Momorangi

Day 7: Pack up and drive back to Christchurch. Reflection and goodbyes.



If any of those activities sound intimidating, please don’t worry.

Everything is beginner-friendly. And it is really important to us that you choose your level of challenge. For some, this will mean not going very high on a climb, or very hard on the surf kayaking. Prehaps you would rather enjoy the nature. That is ok, and we will make practicable efforts to allow as much choice in this as possible. We always try to make choices available and make it really clear where choices are not practically possible.

Read more about this under “Our Approach” below.



We will be departing from our office at 71 Bamford Street, Woolston, Christchurch and heading to Queen Charlotte Sound for the week! (You are welcome to meet us there, if that is more convenient).



Camping in tents at different campsites along the route.



Usually, the programme costs $2,100 per person. BUT, GREAT NEWS! We have received funding to subsidize this programme, so the cost to you is significantly reduced. It will only cost you $200.

This cost covers the following items:

  • 7 days and 6 nights of adventure!
  • Our caring, highly experienced staff
  • Transport from Christchurch to Queen Charlotte Sound (or you can meet us there)
  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Any outdoor adventure equipment that is required (technical clothing, tents, cooking equipment, mountain bikes and helmets, kayaks and life jackets, etc.)




Below is a list of all the gear you need to bring. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything, as we should be able to provide anything you don’t have. Please ask if you’re not sure.

Bring all your clothes and gear in a sports bag, duffle bag, suitcase or tramping pack (whatever you have available). We will check everyone’s gear on the first morning, before we leave.

We will provide all the equipment you will need for each activity (kayaks, life jackets, bikes, bike helmets, spray jackets, tents, cooking gear, etc.). We can also provide clothing that will help you stay warm (thermals, fleece, waterproof pants, etc.), as it can get very while cold kayaking, if it’s raining and at night at the campsites. If you have all your own stuff, that’s great. Otherwise, anything marked with an * we can provide.

For the first part of the journey, we will be sea kayaking, so we will pack all the gear for that leg of the trip into dry bags inside the kayak hatches. Feel free to bring your own dry bags, if you have any. But, if you don’t, we will provide them, but you may wish to bring some spare rubbish/waterproof bags as well, as extra protection. After packing our sea kayaks, any gear that we don’t need for that part of the trip will remain in your bag and locked in the trailer. So you will have your spare clothes/gear available there, when we finish the sea kayak leg.



1x Sport shoes (with good grip for biking
and day tramping)
1x Shoes (or wetsuit booties) for sea kayaking
(they will get wet)

2x shorts
2x tshirts (polyester or merino are best)
1x jumper/hoodie for campsite
1x long pants (jeans, trackpants, etc.)
2x cotton socks
Underwear (for 7 days)

1x warm jumper (wool or fleece)*
2x thermal tops*
1x fleece pants*
2x thermal pants/bottoms*
1x good quality rain jacket with good hood*
1x woollen/merino beanie*
2x long woollen socks (for warmth)

Padded bike shorts (optional)

2x towels
Sunhat and sunglasses (VERY IMPORTANT!
Please let us know if you don’t have these)


In addition to the toiletries you would normally
pack (tooth brush, hair brush, etc.), please also bring:
Insect repellent
Santiary items
Personal medication



Sleeping bag*
Sleeping mat*
Pillow (we will only take these in the kayaks if there is room)

Knife, fork, spoon
Mug (unbreakable e.g. metal or plastic)
Bowl (unbreakable e.g. metal or plastic)
2x drink bottles (at least 1.5L volume in total)

Batteries for torch (plus spares)*
Small day pack (e.g. school bag) for tramping

Dry bags/extra rubbish bags*



All personal medication needs to be declared in the Medical/Consent form.

Please give your medication to the instructors for them to look after during the journey.



Participants are NOT allowed to bring:
Cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, vapes.



Cell phones are permitted, but please note that they are your responsibility.

There will not always be reception and there will be restrictions on when they can be used.




You will be in safe hands with our wonderful crew of caring, highly experienced staff.


The programme will be staffed by:

  • A highly qualified, experienced outdoor instructor
  • A mental health professional


We offer a maximum staffing ratio of 1:4




Our conversations and facilitated discussion in our Adventure Therapy programmes are guided by the ‘Solution Focussed’ and ‘Strengths Based’ model of therapy. Contrary to what the name suggests, this is not about the facilitators offering ‘solutions’. It is more about a model of thinking that is more forward focussed – on where you want to go and the skills and strengths you have to get you there.

We don’t go delving into people’s deep personal past or analysing problems. We focus on movement towards your goals, whatever those might be.

It is important for us to acknowledge that any person knows their self, their situations and their challenges the better than anyone else. We honour that and so we facilitate (or guide) conversations and opportunities, rather than telling people what to do. We do not presume to be experts or have the answers to any problems. We are not there to assess, diagnose or prescribe solutions. We are simply there to facilitate an experience where you can connect with nature, with yourself and others, reflect on your life and experiences with the goals of moving towards your own goals.



Challenge is definitely a part of our programme, and each activity or environment will challenge everyone in a different way. Challenge can be good for us! Though the same challenge is not for everyone, at all times.

It is really important to us that you choose your level of challenge. For some, this will mean not going very high on a climb, or very hard on the surf kayaking and would rather enjoy the nature. That is ok, and we will make practicable efforts to allow as much choice in this as possible. We always try to make choices available and make it really clear where choices are not practically possible.


This programme is an opportunity to take more time in the day to connect with nature rather than just move through it. Every day, we will go to a different environment and do an activity there. Most of the time this will be an adventurous activity (sea kayaking, bush walking, mountain biking, etc.). However we may also do some activities specifically to connect with nature – maybe a mindfulness walk, or doing some art pieces/ sculptures with nature, or any other ways of connecting in a relationship with nature.


First and foremost, it is a priority that that this group is a safe and supportive environment for everyone.

Obviously in outdoor activities the physical safety is important! We have qualified instructors and a rigorous safety management system that is audited and registered with Worksafe NZ. It is crucial that everyone in the group follows our safety rules.

‘Safe’ also means emotional safety – this means we take time to build a culture where sharing is ok and encouraged by others. Where respect is really important and intentionally built upon on the group. It is also safety to be yourself no matter which culture, gender, sexuality, profession, age or personality you have. We aim to build a group environment where everyone is safe and supported on their journey of wellbeing.



If you have any questions about any part of our approach, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Amy, the programme co-ordinator (office@adventurespecialties.co.nz, attention: Amy)




If you are having a hard time, or finding life is a struggle at the moment, then Adventure Therapy can help you feel better and also find ways to deal with the hard stuff in your life.

Plus, it is a ton of fun!!!

We use the stunning, wild places of Aotearoa New Zealand, along with therapy ‘tools’ like challenging outdoor adventure activities, team-building exercises, group discussions, one-on-one chats, time for personal reflection, and simply being outdoors in nature.

We use these tools to help you work towards positive outcomes, like increased self-worth, a better toolkit for building hauora (health or wellbeing), stronger whanaungatanga (kinship or community belonging), a greater hope for a future with purpose, and stronger taha wairua (spiritual wellness).

We base our Adventure Therapy programmes around the following five outcomes:


You are worthy. Develop better familiarity of your inbuilt character strengths and a knowledge of your inherent worth.

Build a toolkit for practicing self-acceptance and self-compassion, and the ability to recognise the value that you add to your whanau, your friends and your community.


Develop better strategies to navigate through difficult times and better resilience (the ability to bounce back after a setback).

Develop more confidence in asking for help and support.


Develop a greater sense of manaakitanga (a Maori concept that means kindness, empathy, generosity and a desire to uplift others).

Improve your social skills and your relationships, so you can feel a greater sense of belonging and connection.


Develop a greater hope for your future. Things will improve and you have a central role in making this happen.

Discover the energy and motivation to work towards your personal goals and find a way around obstacles.


Develop a better understanding of your own cultural identity as well as an appreciation of the diversity and bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Reflect on your own spiritual identity (wairuatanga) and how this adds to your health and wellbeing.

Develop a stronger connection to your own place (turangawaewae), to the land, to nature, to the environment. 

Read more about Adventure Therapy here



If you are interested in coming along on the IGNITE Adventure Therapy Youth Camp (South Island), please get in touch with Amy, our Adventure Therapy co-ordinator in Christchurch. She can chat with you to answer any questions that you might have, and then give you information about how to apply:



office@adventurespecialties.co.nz (attention: Amy)

(03) 348 4547



Every week, we share stories and photos and videos from our recent Adventure Therapy programmes.

Check them out on our Latest News blog or our social pages:

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

—Fydor Dostoyevsky