Outward Bound was founded by Kurt Hahn in Wales in 1941. He had the support of Mr LD Holt of Messrs Alfred Holt & Co, Liverpool shipowners. Hahn was an educator and his philosophy in his own words was:
"The aim of education is to impel people into value-forming experiences... to ensure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity; an undefeatable spirit; tenacity in pursuit; readiness in sensible self denial and above all, compassion." - Kurt Hahn
On Saturday 1 September 1962, a RNZAF Sunderland brought the then Governor General, Viscount Cobham, to Anakiwa. Accompanied by the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition party, Lord Cobham was arriving to open the Outward Bound School. The opening was the culmination of years of hard work by dedicated individuals and groups to establish Outward Bound in New Zealand.
Several individuals and groups were working toward the creation of the school through promotion, fundraising and management. In February 1961 a successful trial course with 30 males was run at Motutapu Island near Auckland. Hamish Thomas of Christchurch wrote a report defining his ideal site, the requirements of which included access to hill country, at least one good white-water river, a safe sea area for sailing, rock climbing potential, and good access to the whole area. A sub committee looked at 48 sites all around the country and originally considered an area near Ruapehu National Park, but rejected this due to the weather.
Attention turned to the Marlborough Sounds and a run-down guest house at Anakiwa which was about to go on the market. The area proved to be suitable and the site was purchased in April 1962. Hamish Thomas was appointed as the first warden and intense months of work followed to restore and upgrade the guest house in time for the September school opening. Groups and individuals around the country worked to raise over £100,000.
The first course at Anakiwa started on Saturday 20 October 1962. Course 1 had 36 males from all over the country. This group was mostly the pick of workers from sponsoring firms and the course was very successful.
The first course for women started on 13 October 1973 (Course 111), a little late by international standards (women had been attending courses in the UK since 1961). The course was an outstanding success, and despite the pressure the group endured as the first womens' watch, they paved the way for future womens' courses. At this stage watches were single sex and it wasn't until later that watches of mixed gender became the norm.
1971 saw the first course for people with a disability. Twelve watch members with a physical disability were supported by CCS to attend this customised programme.
We've come a long way, and although some things have changed since 1962 a lot hasn't, our courses retain the same basic formula. Our founding principles guide us and we remember the determination and foresight of the many people who have worked to make the Outward Bound Trust of New Zealand all that it is today. A large number of people and organisations have been involved in the success of Outward Bound along the way.
In 1770, when Captain Cook sailed into Queen Charlotte Sound, he found large Maori settlements in Waitohi (Picton), Ngakutu, Anakiwa, Mahakipawa and Orua Puputa.
At the time there were Maori settlements built away from the coast in cave-like pits for protection, Anakiwa (meaning Cave of Kiwa) may refer to one of these settlements.
In 1840, Joseph Toms was granted 400 acres in the area of Anakiwa, Linkwater and the Grove. In 1864 Craddock Beauchamp and his wife were granted land by the Crown for farming at Anakiwa. The land stayed within the family and a guesthouse was completed on the site in 1928.
The guest house continued to operate until 1962 when it was purchased by the Outward Bound Trust. Hamish Thomas was charged with converting the building to make it suitable for use as an Outward Bound school.
The first course of 36 young men entered at Cobham Outward Bound School on 20 October 1962. The first women's intake was in October 1973. The Outward Bound School continues to operate on its original site and throughout the Marlborough Sounds.
with your help we can continue to be that turning point in many young New Zealanders lives. More