Parkinsons - UPBEAT - Outward Bound

Parkinsons - UPBEAT

For Ages 18-64 Duration 7 days

UPBEAT is a seven day course for people who have early-onset Parkinson's. This is your opportunity to get outdoors and have your own Outward Bound experience in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds and renew your zest for life!

This course is suitable for people who have early-onset Parkinsons who are under 65 years of age. To safely and fully participate in the course you must be able to participate in a full day’s activities (with rest breaks), comfortable in water and getting your head underwater (wearing a life jacket), independent in all personal cares and finally able to work well with others in a team environment.

UPBEAT is subsidised by Outward Bound's generous donors. Participants pay a contribution towards the course cost.

I found the course life changing. Everyone in life has troubles and I now think I am doing OK. I am not disabled and I am still living and able to enjoy myself. On the Outward Bound course I had fun, and with or without Parkinsons having fun is what is important in life.



Bookings & Fees

26 March - 1 April 2025

Email for more information


About the course

Just like any other Outward Bound course, you will experience activities like sailing, rock climbing, kayaking, and high ropes utilising the bush, mountains and waterways of the Marlborough Sounds. Activities will be adapted to individual student’s abilities. 

Like all our courses, UPBEAT will challenge any self-imposed limitations of your capabilities through shared adventure involving outdoor and personal reflection challenges

You will be supported by two Outward Bound Kaiako/Instructors and two support workers.


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


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



Some of our commonly asked questions answered...

Two Outward Bound instructors will be with your group for the entire course through all activities. Two Parkinson's New Zealand staff members will also be in attendance as support workers.

You don't need to be a flash swimmer, but you need to be comfortable in water.

That means getting your head underwater. We have lifejackets available at all times.

View all our Frequently Asked Questions

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