Nick Williamson


Nick Williamson did an OB course when he was a teenager and loved it so much he came back to join our team of instructors 10 years later! He came from a background in Primary School teaching and Adventure Racing, and is currently training to take on the massive GODZone Adventure Race next year.

How did you get into outdoor instructing?

One of my first experiences of outdoor education was back in 2005 when I attended an Outward Bound course a couple of weeks after finishing high school. I really enjoyed the course, but the thing which stuck with me the most was the vibe I felt among the staff at OB. I had never experienced a workplace, or any other group of people for that matter, with so much energy and as much sense of fun and support for one another. The seed was planted!


After high school I went to university and studied psychology, before training to be a primary school teacher. I also started spending a lot more time in the outdoors. Following my graduation I started work as a primary school teacher in Dunedin. Around the same time my sister and her husband both started as instructors at OB. As a devoted younger brother, I visited them on a number of occasions during their time in Anakiwa. During these visits I experienced the same amazing culture that I remembered from back in 2005 and decided then and there that I wanted to join. I had a chat with Jon (Outward Bound Training Manager) and realized that through my personal missions I had acquired enough of a base of hard skills so I applied for selection and lo and behold here I am!

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I attended an Outward Bound course after finishing high school. I really enjoyed the course, but the thing which stuck with me the most was the vibe I felt among the staff at OB.

Any advice for aspiring Outward Bound instructors?

If you haven’t been here before, organise to come on an observe. You can’t truly know what it’s like to live and work in this place without actually being here in person.
Get in touch! Either you’ll already have enough hard skills or Jon will be keen to support you with where to go next.

How do you spend your precious time off?

We’ve entered an OB team in GODZone next year so a lot of my time off is spent going on missions in preparation for that or lounging at home feeling guilty that I’m not out training.

What has been your greatest personal adventure to date?

Hmm… probably trying to lie low across Milford Sound after running/walking over Door Pass and along the Milford track. It sounded like a good idea until we arrived at the end of the track and I saw the quality of the lie lows. Had I not been so out of it due to running out of food I would never had attempted it. Luckily we were saved by some sea kayakers.

What are your ambitions for the years ahead?

Short-term I’m keen to give GODZone our all and hopefully complete the long course. Longer term I’d like to get a few NZOIAs to my name to make myself more marketable if I manage to find somewhere more appealing to work than here.