Discovery Low Impact - Outward Bound NZ - Outward Bound

Discovery Low Impact

For ages 20+ with a mild physical condition Duration 8 days

Discovery Low Impact is a more physically moderate version of our standard Discovery course. It is suitable for people aged 20+ who have a mild physical condition, are motivated to be active, and want opportunities to be challenged.

Bookings & Fees

Scholarship funding is available - see link above

17 Nov 2024 – 24 Nov 2024

$3,650 (incl. GST)

Limited places left

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Just like any other Outward Bound course, you will experience activities like sailing, rock climbing, kayaking, high ropes, and camping out. The key difference is that Discovery Low Impact excludes carrying a heavy tramping pack, and running will be adapted to individual students’ abilities.

Nonetheless, the course is balanced for those looking for physical challenges as an individual and as part of team, and seeking a reflective experience. Like all our courses, Discovery Low Impact will challenge any self-imposed limitations of your capabilities through shared adventure involving outdoor and personal reflection challenges. Over the eight-day programme, you'll take on bush, water and height activities, utilising the bush, mountains and waterways of the Marlborough Sounds.


Who is this course for?

The course is designed for individuals with a mild physical condition or physical ‘niggles’ that prevent them from running, but not from doing most other activities. That might include but is not limited to arthritis, early-onset multiple sclerosis, joint replacements, back and knee injuries and amputations.

You are best suited to Discovery Low Impact if you:

  • are motivated to push yourself physically and lean into all challenges
  • want to contribute to a team, and be supportive of others
  • can participate in a full day of varied activities, without physical support
  • want to participate fully in an Outward Bound course but are unable to meet the usual minimum fitness requirements due to your physical impairment

Physical requirements/capabilities:

  • are comfortable walking at least 5km, over rough, uneven terrain
  • can comfortably climb a minimum of 5 flights of stairs
  • can sit without back support, for example in a waka
  • are able to sit on the ground, and get yourself up to standing unassisted
  • are comfortable in water and getting your head underwater (wearing a life jacket if necessary)
  • can climb at least 6 rungs up a vertical ladder, for example, to climb from water up onto a jetty
  • can do at least 10 press ups or regularly use upper body strength
  • able to sleep on a thin mattress on the ground (when camping)

Please note: Outward Bound courses are designed to stretch your existing self-confidence. We aim to facilitate growth within a supportive team environment where you’ll support each other to thrive. We do not provide therapy or counselling. 


What you will 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



  • Revitalize and re-energize in the great outdoors
  • Reconnect with and grow your physical capabilities
  • Take time away from the pressures of work, family and technology to de-stress and refresh
  • Shared adventure with new friends
  • Gain empowerment through success in challenging your self imposed limitations and pushing yourself beyond what you thought possible
  • Reflect on your values and identify how you can be authentic to them in your everyday life.



Some of our commonly asked questions answered...

You will need to be able to take part in a full day of activities, be able to walk for at least 2km over uneven terrain and be able to get up and down at least 5 flights of stairs comfortably.

The days can be quite busy at Outward Bound as there is a lot to fit in. You will start early each morning with some sort of exercise and a dip in the water before heading off for the day's activities. There will be regular rest breaks on this course. Life jackets are available at all times if you want one.

If your condition means you are unable to run, you will not be required to do so. We run PT sessions in the mornings on the days that you are staying at the school. These sessions involve a 3.2km fast walk for our Discovery Low Impact students. If you are able to run or want to try, you will be supportively challenged.

There will be minimal lifting involved on this course. You will need to work alongside your watch with packing and loading gear for the relevant activities e.g. for sailing, waka ama, height activities.

Yes - poles are provided for students if they want to use them, or you can bring your own. 

Ministry of Social Development may provide funding for eligible participants to attend our 'Discovery Low Impact' course. To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an NZ citizen or resident
  • Have a disability recognised by MSD
  • Not be in full-time employment (30+ hours per week)
  • Not be a full-time student

If you think you may qualify for MSD funding please call us to discuss.

Due to the need for a more supportive course delivery model to enable successful student outcomes, more staffing hours are required from our Kaiako/Instructors and Anakiwa support team to deliver Discovery Low Impact compared to our Discovery course.

Outward Bound is your opportunity to simply be yourself, without the expectations of people who know you. For this reason, we don't allow you to attend a course with friends or people you know.

You can attend at the same time as someone you know, however, we will put you in different groups (where available).

Our Leaps & Bounds and Custom Design courses are the exception to this rule.

View all our Frequently Asked Questions

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