Join Aoraki Bound

“Nei rā te reo rāhiri, te karaka e rere atu ana ki a koutou te huka wairua hīkaka”
Calling those of the adventurous spirit…

Our Aoraki Bound hīkoi was created in 2006 to nurture and develop future tribal leaders, and to foster a strong sense of what it means to be Ngāi Tahu. The course also shares Ngāi Tahu knowledge and values with all New Zealanders, as we build a nation and a sense of what it is to be a citizen of this land. Nau mai, haere mai, tauti mai!

This 20-day self-development course is run in partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Outward Bound. It includes the physical/task-orientated/intense group focus of Outward Bound, as well as the cultural components of Ngāi Tahu reo, haka, waiata, kōrero, pōwhiri, wāhi tapu/tohu whenua. Over 20days you can extend your knowledge of Ngāi Tahu history and landscapes, while fine tuning your goals, time management and leadership abilities.

A world of new knowledge, friendships, challenges, beauty, pressure, stories, physicality, revelation, and intense group experience awaits.

Come along and discover your full potential.

Aoraki Bound Course Dates

Our 2018 courses are now full

How to take part in Aoraki Bound

Here is the enrolment process for Aoraki Bound:

1. Express your interest

The first step to taking part is to express your interest in Aoraki Bound.

2. Quick kōrero

Our team will call you to ask a few questions, and chat about the Aoraki Bound course content, key enrolment dates, funding options, and more.

3. Paper work

In November, we will begin sending out an application and medical form to all those who have expressed interest. These forms are due back before mid-December.

4. Phone interview & confirmation

In December we will call be in touch to confirm your application and have a good kōrero about the course content, logistics, gear list, funding, and your medical history. Any questions can be sorted here as we prepare you for the great adventure ahead!

Following this kōrero, we can confirm your course placement and will send your Aoraki Bound welcome pack (approx. December or January each year).

Please note that final acceptance on to a course is subject to Outward Bound receiving and approving the medical declaration form and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu receiving full payment of the course fee six weeks prior to course commencement.

Criteria for Aoraki Bound

We welcome applications from those who …

  • Have a genuine desire to learn more about Ngāi Tahutanga
  • Have a medium to high level of fitness (able to comfortably run 3km in under 25 minutes and walk a full day, on inclined terrain, with a pack)
  • Are open to being challenged physically and mentally
  • Are able to correctly pronounce Māori vowels
  • Are able to pass a medical which has been approved by a doctor
  • Can be Smokefree for the entire course, and be confident in the water
  • Are over 20 years of age

Course Fees & Funding

Full course fees for Aoraki Bound are $4950.00 per person, plus a course deposit fee which secures your place on the course.

We do not want cost to prevent any person from participating, and thanks to the generosity of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, BNZ and Genesis Energy, there may be funding available to support you with these course fees.

Funding is offered on a case-by-case basis, with criteria, for those who have made reasonable efforts to raise as much as possible (via professional development, personal savings/contribution, talking with your rūnanga, fundraising, etc).

The trick is to start planning now, so that you can show you have made reasonable efforts to raise funding. If fees are a barrier, please see this Outward Bound page, which has a really effective three-step guide to fundraising for your course.

Karawhiua – give it heaps!

What other things do I need for Aoraki Bound?


Outward Bound supplies a pack, sleeping bag, and bag liners, and also offers a range of gear which you can rent for free (thermals, running shoes, mid-layer tops, hiking shoes, etc).

A full gear list will be sent to those confirmed on the course, however if you’d like to be sent a copy sooner please email: and request a gear list.

Course start and finish

The course begins at the Picton Ferry Terminal (at 12pm on the first day), and finishes with a celebration at the feet of Aoraki (12pm – 3pm on the final day).

Please do not confirm any travel arrangements until your enrolment in the course has been confirmed by Outward Bound and the Aoraki Bound team at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.