Activate - Outward Bound


For Ages 18+ Duration 8 days

Activate is an adapted course to enable those aged 18+ with a physical disability to experience the challenge and adventure of an Outward Bound course. It is an opportunity to show yourself what you are truly capable of achieving. Break your preconceptions of your physical limitations and test your boundaries.

I have taken away a stronger belief in my abilities and greater determination to achieve in my chosen career.

Samuel Tate

Bookings & Fees

Tuesday 4 – Tuesday 11 February 2025

Funding is available - email


About the course

Activate is an adapted course to enable those aged 18+ with a physical disability to experience the challenge and adventure of an Outward Bound course. Past participants have included those with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis and amputees. Please refer to our FAQs below for the conditions of course participation.

During your 8 day course you’ll build the confidence to challenge yourself, a philosophy you can then transfer into everyday life. Return home with the courage and determination to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself.


Participant Requirements

All participants must be:

  • 18+ years of age
  • Independent in personal care and taking medication
  • Able to communicate clearly and have no intellectual disability
  • Able to attend without a carer and travel to and from the course independently
  • Experienced spending time away from home overnight
  • Able to participate in a full day of physical activity with rest breaks
  • Comfortable in and around the water, including having head under – lifejackets available
  • Able to meet general Outward Bound screening guidelines
  • Willing to give things a go
  • Have had at least a 1-year adaptation period since acquiring a disability.

Wheelchair users must:

  • Use a manual wheelchair (electric wheelchairs are not suitable for a course)
  • Be able to transfer from the ground to their wheelchair
  • Be under 85kg.

NB: Due to technical equipment requirements, the course can take a maximum of two wheelchair users, two participants using crutches/frames and one participant who is blind or visually impaired.
Participants could include those with both congenital and acquired physical disabilities e.g. muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, amputations, arthritis.


What you'll need

When you come to Outward Bound, there are items that you will need to bring with you and items that we will supply. As for the things that you need to bring - we encourage you to borrow as many items as you can, or buy second hand!

Check out our course gear list for a full run down and some hot tips on what to bring and what not to.

Gear List


Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award

Are you completing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award? Select Outward Bound courses can be used to complete your Adventurous Journey section and/or Residential section. 

Find more information here.


Meet our adapted team

Leonie King (she/her) -  Hoa Kanorau | Diversity & Inclusion Partner 

Kia ora, I have spent my adult life providing opportunities for people to discover their potential through sharing experiences in the outdoors. After study in New Zealand, some overseas adventures and raising three children, I was lucky enough to join the team at Outward Bound New Zealand. 

To me Outward Bound is all about empowering people, allowing individuals to find their own voice, connect with our beautiful environment and connect with others. I love that I can be the starting point for someone’s Outward Bound journey.


Stef Waldon-Gibbons (she/her) - Kaimātai Whakauru | Enrolments Specialist

Kia ora, Being outside in nature is my happy place and have spent most of my life tramping, kayaking, rock climbing and teaching others in the outdoor environment.  I attended an Outward Bound course as a young person and I found the experience defining for me in my direction in life. I was inspired to study and work in various outdoor instructing roles before beginning my role as Kaiako – Outward Bound Instructor in Anakiwa where I worked for over 5 years.

Now in my role as an enrolment specialist for adapted courses, I have the privilege of supporting and empowering people in their journey to attending their own Outward Bound course. Having experienced all sides of the Outward Bound journey, I hope to help individuals feel ready and supported to take up the amazing experience and challenge their course will bring.

Contact Leonie and Stef via

Leonie King


Stef Waldon-Gibbons


Trax Seal of Approval

Outward Bound New Zealand is proud to display the Trax Seal of Approval - New Zealand’s benchmark of Adaptive Adventure Travel & Inclusive Tourism.

As an approved inclusive operator, we are committed to working with our students to tailor adventures to their abilities. To find out more about the inclusive tourism movement in New Zealand, head to

Trax Seal Green web



Some of our commonly asked questions answered...

Activate can cater for a range of physical disabilities. It’s best to call us so we can make sure Activate is right for you.

All participants should be able to independently manage their personal care, transfers and medication. You should be able to communicate verbally and have no intellectual disability. Activate participants must be able to attend without a carer and have experience of spending time away from home.

The course will be run by 3 of our expert Outward Bound instructors who are there to make sure the environment is as safe and supportive as possible. There will also be 3 support workers who have completed their own Outward Bound course in the past who are there to help you out.
The other members in your group will become like your family at Outward Bound, you will all be there to support each other through the ups and downs of the course.

There is full funding available for Work and Income clients and others eligible for MSD funding - including travel to and from the course.

Funding may be available for those not eligible for MSD or WINZ funding. Get in touch with us to see if you are eligible.

View all our Frequently Asked Questions

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