If you’re a fun-loving, adventurous, “good sort,” you’ve found your peeps!

We are always looking for other like-minded, outdoor adventure-loving people to join our whānau.

If you are passionate about the outdoors, living life to its fullest and helping other people realise their full potential, we would love to hear from you. 

Read about the benefits of working with us at Adventure Specialties Trust, then find our current vacancies listed below.


We asked our staff what they love about working at Adventure Specialties Trust, and here are their replies …

Stunning wilderness locations


The pristine white sand beaches in Northland, peaceful native bush on Coromandel Peninsula, the rugged mountains and plateau of the Central North Island, the windswept Canterbury plains, the crisp mountain passes of the Southern Alps. Our programmes cover a wide range of stunning locations within Aotearoa New Zealand

Our offices are based in Auckland and Christchurch, but instructors will quickly tell you that they spend a lot of time travelling outside these urban centres into the Great Outdoors!


A variety of pursuits


Sea kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling, alpine, hiking, camping and bush skills, caving, coasteering, surfing, mountain biking, canyoning.

Do you have a favourite?

Our instructors get the opportunity to build skills in lots of different disciplines, and there is lots of room for instructors to structure programmes based around their strengths and favourite pursuits. There is also lots of opportunity to learn and improve in those disciplines where they are less experienced.

Dave (instructor) says, “I love the freedom to create and facilitate with my own style, or teach a skill a certain way, plus meeting people from all walks of life.”


A team that feels like family


Here are some quotes from staff who work at Adventure Specialties Trust:

“[Adventure Specialties Trust] Treats their staff really well, there is a whānau/community feel, and you get to take students on epic adventures!”

“Great people to work with that are full of love for the outdoors which means you can only but be inspired to get out more and have lots of your own fun adventures – with the added bonus of having a wider network of people to adventure with.”

“I really love the supportive workplace environment and the effort that is put into developing staff – through staff training, PD, observations etc.”

“I have heaps of respect for Tim, the CEO, he is a genuinely nice guy who cares about his staff.”

“Community. Going away overnight, all the time, your colleagues become like family. The friendly office staff are always keen to hear your stories and support you (in all areas of life not just when you’re instructing).”

“That it’s a community of like-minded people.”

“Work variety! Experiencing lots of different parts of NZ. Staff culture.”

“Family vibes, array of different pursuits, working with a variety of different clients.”

“One thing I love about working at Adventure Specialties is the commitment to being together for training events. It helps us get on the same page and understand our why.”

“Definitely working with a great bunch of people. It’s a fun job and no day is the same. Great family atmosphere where we all look after one another.”

Staff benefits


All instructors are offered the following benefits (as of August 2022):

  • 8 weeks annual leave!
  • Competitive salary based on your experience
  • A specialised gear allowance for purchasing any clothing and gear necessary for work (for example a pack, head torch, helmet, tent, PFD, gas cooker, personal locator beacon, etc.)
  • Payment of your professional organisation fees e.g. New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA)
  • A ‘long day’ and ‘overnight’ allowance for programmes requiring you to work long days or overnight.
  • Phone allowance (and a wickedly cheap phone plan!)
  • Up to 10 days per year Personal Development (PD), for example gaining new qualifications or attending workshops
  • Up to 10 days per year national in-house training (see annual staff holiday training below)


During the first six months of employment, instructors are also supported towards gaining the following competencies:

  • Low ropes and Adventure-Based Learning initiatives
  • General bush skills
  • General rock climbing and abseiling skills
  • Flat water kayaking and sea kayaking skills
  • Coasteering skills
  • High ropes and flying kiwi (Christchurch-specific)
  • General cave skills (Auckland-specific)


Annual Staff Retreat and Staff Training


Each year, we all meet up for Staff Retreat (a week) in January, then again later in the year for Staff Training.

Staff Retreat is a chance for everyone to catch up, to reconnect with each other, and to refresh our Vision, Mission and Values.

Staff Training is more aimed at the instructing team, and there are normally a couple of days of theory-based learning or admin or practical catch-up jobs. Then a few days of adventure, refreshing skills, sharing learnings, etc.

Previous staff training weeks have included caving, rock climbing, sea kayaking, zipline, canyoning, alpine, hiking, coasteering, and even a week-long raft trip where all the gear and food and accommodation were carried downstream by raft for the whole week!


We’re not perfect


Let’s be honest, no job or workplace is perfect. We are a bunch of people with different personalities and different ideas, trying to work together in a team, which naturally leads to “opportunities for growth” from time to time! Instructors can sometimes get sick of being away from home so often. The clients and participants can sometimes be challenging.

But these negatives are far outweighed by the positives: the fun-loving and helpful attitude of the whole team, the genuine thoughtfulness and kindness of the management team, the exciting places that we visit, and the real impact that we have in the lives of the youth and adults that we work with on a daily basis. Read their feedback below …


We make positive change in people’s lives


We work with a range of clients, from upcoming student leaders to youth offenders, to people with disabilities, to adults that struggling with mental health problems, to people keen to feel closer to nature. And we work with all of them to create positive change in their lives.

Here are some quotes from participants who have been on our programmes:

“I saw that people have strengths and weaknesses in different areas. This programme helped increase my patience and understanding.”

“I love getting out in nature. It makes me feel calm.”

“This programme has helped me come out of my comfort zone.”

“I’ve learnt that I can work with others and I don’t need to be alone.”

“I never realised that I could be a leader.”

“I want to spend more time outdoors in all weather and encourage my family to spend more time outdoors in nature.”

“I’ve been more respectful to my family.”

“When I see others having a hard time, I feel more empathy towards them.”


Please note: We are always looking for experienced outdoor instructors for casual/short-term contracts. Please get in touch if you might be interested!

If you are interested in applying for short-term contract work (or any other position), please email office@adventurespecialties.co.nz with your name, contact details, CV and cover letter, and we can contact you if/when a position opens.



The Basics

Part time (16 hr/week).

Either part-time employee or self-employed contractor.

Initially for a 1-year contract to cover parental leave. However, we intend this role to become a permanent agreement as our Adventure Therapy programmes increase.

Starting 24th June 2024 (or as soon as possible after this date).

Applications close Friday 31st May 2024.


About the Role

Are you a trained therapist, social worker, counsellor, occupational therapist or psychologist?

Do you also love the outdoors and believe in the therapeutic power of nature?

We have an exciting part-time opportunity for someone trained in therapy to join our Adventure Therapy team in Auckland, where you get to use nature + therapy + outdoor adventure to create positive change in people’s lives!


What is Adventure Therapy?

Adventure Therapy is a growing industry that aims to combine three powerful tools:

  • the healing power of nature,
  • fun and gentle outdoor adventure activities, and
  • a solid foundation of a therapeutic framework
Is Adventure Therapy effective?

The feedback that we regularly receive from our participants is overwhelmingly positive.

Here are some quotes from recent participants:


From a youth camp: “I came home more open to talking with my mum and my nan.  I was more open to telling them how I felt about things that were going on with me.  I have never been able to do that before.  I am more mindful of what my behaviour feels like for my mum and my nan.   I have more self-control, I have dreams now.”


From an adult participant struggling with mental health: “Thank you for sending me to Inspire [an Adventure Therapy programme] and Adventure Specialties, it has changed my life. I feel confident, able to go out in public, and am now safely housed in my own home that I love, and I have employment with a service I love. It would not have happened without this course and your help.”

What happens on our Adventure Therapy programmes?

What happens on our Adventure Therapy programmes?

Our Adventure Therapy team includes both qualified outdoor instructors and qualified therapists (two  currently in Christchurch and this role for one in Auckland), so that every programme has the necessary balance of physical and psychological safety.


Some of our programmes are single day programmes, or a series of single day programmes (e.g. 8 days over a school term), or a multi-day camp or journey.  It does involve some overnight / camp-based work in the school holidays and occasional weekends.

The outdoor activities include hiking, sea kayaking, cycling, coasteering, caving, rock climbing, surfing, and occasionally more relaxing activities like frisbee golf or fishing.


The “therapy” part of the programmes comes from the different therapeutic activities that get incorporated into the whole day. For example, facilitated group discussions, one-on-one sessions, community building and group activities, time and space for individual reflection, etc.


Our programmes are created in partnership with the client, to make sure their needs and goals are being met. For example, if the participants are a group of young students, then something high energy like surfing or caving with a theme of taking hold of opportunities might be suitable, but if the participants are adults struggling with mental health, then something gentler, like a walk or an easy bike ride with a theme around managing energy, might be more suitable. The themes are woven throughout the activities and focus on our Adventure Therapy outcomes (below).


Our current Auckland partnership programmes include government agencies and community groups that work with a range of youth and adults. Plus day programmes for adults struggling with mental health, and youth camps for teens with mental health challenges (anxiety, depression, etc.).

The outcomes of our Adventure Therapy programmes

All of our Adventure Therapy programmes focus on one or more of the following five outcomes (copied from our prospectus):


>>> SELF WORTH. You are worthy. Develop a 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 whānau, friends and community.


>>> TOOLS FOR HAUORA [HEALTH AND WELLNESS]. Develop greater resilience, better strategies to navigate through difficult times to achieve hauora, and more confidence in asking for help and support.


>>> WOVEN INTO COMMUNITY [WANAUNGATANGA]. Develop a greater sense of manaakitanga (kindness, empathy, generosity and a desire to uplift others). Improve your social skills and relationships, so you feel a stronger feeling of belonging and connection.


>>> HOPE FOR A FUTURE WITH PURPOSE. Develop a greater sense of hope for your own 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.


>>> TAHA WAIRUA [SPIRITUAL WELLNESS]. 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 (tūrangawaewae), to the land, to nature, to the environment.

How does a therapist fit in?

How does this therapist role fit into our Auckland Adventure Therapy programmes?

This “Adventure Therapy Clinician” role is a newly developed role within the team in Auckland. We currently have a clinician working in our Christchurch office, which has opened up opportunities to run a range of amazing Adventure Therapy programmes down there. So, we are excited to expand our Auckland Adventure Therapy team to include a clinician, so that we can increase our Adventure Therapy services in Auckland as well.

This clinician will work closely with:

  • Amy, our Adventure Therapy National Manager (based in Christchurch),
  • Brenda, our Adventure Therapy Co-ordinator in Auckland
  • Emily, our Adventure Therapy clinician (going on parental leave)
  • Our Adventure Therapy facilitators/outdoor instructors

The Adventure Therapy team will work collaboratively to create and implement Adventure Therapy programmes for the Auckland office.

What does this role look like?

This role will mainly focus on the delivery of day-based programmes (one day a week over 8 weeks) which are currently group services in trauma recovery and adult mental health. 

One day per week will be delivering our ‘Revive’ programme – a Trauma-responsive Adventure Therapy programme for people with an ACC Sensitive claim. In this role, you would work in co-facilitation with a qualified outdoor instructor. Please see our Revive webpage for more information on Revive. 

The other hours can be flexible and will be doing the administrative side of the programmes, individual wrap-around support, planning and contributing to other parts of Adventure Therapy within Adventure Specialties Trust.  

The role is advertised at 16 hours per week, however may be able to increase to 30 hours if the right applicant is willing to take on another group programme more  focused on general adult wellbeing. 

Ideally, this role will commence in June 2024, but please talk to us if you have any pre-existing commitments that you need to work around.

Who are we looking for?

Applicants must have:


  • A therapeutic qualification either in Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Social Work or Counselling.
  • A willingness to make a commitment to work for us for three years, due to the training and investment involved in the role


The following experience is preferred, but (as with any job) a willingness to learn will go a long way to filling in any gaps:


  • Registered to work with ACC Sensitive claims (or meets all criteria and willing to register, ask us if you’re not sure)
  • Experience delivering one-on-one therapeutic services
  • Experience delivering group-based therapeutic services
  • Experience working with young people and adults
  • Excellent communication and written skills.
  • A good understanding of ‘Adventure Therapy’ or nature-based therapy, outdoor therapies, or outdoor experiential learning.
  • Skills and knowledge to be able to develop new service delivery in alignment with strategic focus areas one-on-one therapeutic services.
  • Experience related to outdoor instruction (or a willingness to learn)
  • Confidence working with new clients, building and maintaining relationships.
  • Good personal alignment with Adventure Specialties Trust philosophy, purposes and objectives (check out our website AdventureSpecialties.co.nz).
  • Time management skills and time management tools.
  • MS Word, Excel and general computer skills.
What are the benefits of working at Adventure Specialties Trust?

What are the benefits of working with Adventure Specialties Trust?

  • Explore stunning wilderness locations around the North Island, including the beautiful white sand beaches of Northland, the stunning coastline of Auckland, the peaceful native bush of Coromandel Peninsula, and more.
  • Try your hand at a variety of pursuits, including sea kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, surfing, and more.
  • Become part of a team that feels like family. We get to know each other reeeeeally well, and we’re not perfect, but we are part of an organisation that focuses on people and relationships, and that shows in the positive way we interact with each other.
  • Adventure Specialties Trust is committed to the on-going training and development of its staff, including a professional development budget for each staff member, plus two annual events where all staff (from Auckland and Christchurch) meet up to touch base, brush up on skills, and go on adventures together!
  • Our Adventure Therapy staff are supported towards developing skills in both outdoor leadership and therapeutic roles.
  • The annual leave package is generous. There’s a ridiculously cheap phone package available. Plus gear allowance, payment of professional organisation fees, and lots more perks!


Adventure Specialties Trust is a leading provider of Adventure Therapy, youth development and outdoor education services in New Zealand. As part of our mahi, we partner with a range of community agencies to deliver outdoor activity programmes as part of therapeutic interventions. We also provide individual and group-based programmes to people who are seeking therapeutic services in the outdoors. This area of our service is rapidly growing and we need someone to be part of this exciting area of workWe are looking for applicants who will be compatible with the Trust’s Vision, Mission and Values. 

Get in touch!

We would love to hear from you. If you’re interested in the job, or have any questions, or maybe you’re interested but not sure whether you fit the description, please get in touch!

For questions about the role, please contact Amy Horn on 027 424 6596 or office@adventurespecialties.co.nz (attention: Amy)

If you would like to apply for the position, please email your CV (with contact details for two referees) to office@adventurespecialties.co.nz.  Please include a cover letter, and mention how you see yourself aligning with the mission and values of Adventure Specialties Trust.

Find out more about Adventure Specialities Trust at www.adventurespecialties.co.nz.

We look forward to hearing from you!


To apply for the above positions please forward a covering letter and CV with contact details for two referees to  office@adventurespecialties.co.nz

Please clearly state which role you are applying for.

If you wish to speak to somebody about this position, please contact the Auckland office (09 837 6033) or Christchurch office (03 348 4547).

Who is Adventure Specialties Trust?

Watch the video below to get a quick glimpse into our outdoor adventure programmes …

Our Vision, Mission and Values



Our Vision

Lives Inspired by Adventure.


Our Mission

To respond to community needs by providing purposeful adventure to facilitate therapeutic outcomes and positive growth.


Our Values

We are guided by our Christian faith which places the love of God at the centre of all we do. This is expressed by the following:


We are Hopeful – Change is possible for everyone. We are optimistic, confident and use a holistic, strength-based approach that supports hauora, “the winds of wellness”.

We are Stronger Together – We practice mahi tahi. We encourage each other and our participants, grow community partnerships and collaborate to achieve shared goals.

We are Adventurous – Outdoor adventure will transform lives. We use healthy adventure and a connection with Te Taiao, “the natural world”, to nurture growth and learning.

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

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



Find out more about us on the Our Story page, or learn more about our two programme categories: Adventure Therapy or Adventure With Purpose.

Check out photos, videos and stories from recent programmes on the Latest News blog or on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube)

If you have any questions about anything at all, do hestitate to get in touch, or pop in for a cuppa tea and a chat!