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Peel Forest Outdoor Centre (PFOC) is a registered charitable trust (CC23343) that runs outdoor skills training, outdoor recreation and education programmes and provides education for sustainability.

Our team of qualified instructors are highly trained with NZRA and NZOIA qualifications and are dedicated to ensuring you have a quality outdoor experience, high on adventure, fun, education and truly memorable. We have many years experience and are proven leaders in our field. We have a passion for the environment in which we work and and are committed to providing outdoor environmental programmes that challenge and inspire people.

Programmes are developed in consultation with you, the client. We can discuss with you outcomes, activities and the length of programme. We also have a classroom with white boards and facilities are available at our office base.

We have unique Eco-friendly accommodation in Peel Forest - see our section on accommodation.

As a Charitable Trust, Peel Forest Outdoor Centre is governed by our trustees.  With a wide range of skills, from outdoor education to environmental building practices, they set the theme for the Centre and are in charge of our long term goals and aspirations.  Current trustees are:

  • Drew Brown, Chairman
  • Blue Forsyth
  • Bruce Allan
  • Mike Stephens

We employ a range of staff with a variety of outdoor and environmental education skills. If you are interested in employment, you will need current first aid certificate, a full drivers license (P and class 2 preferred) and relevant industry qualifications.  We prefer New Zealand Outdoor Instructor and Rafting Association qualificaions, but are open to other awards. The first step in gaining employment with us is to forward a covering letter and CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Whether for a day or for a whole season, Peel Forest Outdoor Centre frequently has opportunities for volunteers to assist us. Volunteer opportunities vary and often depend upon they skills and interests you have. They include:

  • Assisting with instructional programmes
  • Pest and weed control
  • Maintenance
  • General duties, such as marketing assistance and cleaning

If you are interested in volunteering, contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How old do you have to be to go on the activities?
Is it safe?
Do you have selection standards for the staff you employ?
Do you employ staff who are in training?
Can I come as an individual?
What if the weather is bad?
What sort of gear do I need?
Is there a shop?
Is there a telephone/cell phone reception?
How many people can you deal with?

Do your activities cover areas of the school curriculum?
Why should we come to PFOC rather than anywhere else?
Do we have to do everything?
Can we choose our own groups?
Can we choose what we do?
Can our students be assessed against Unit Standards?
Do we have to use PFOC to run all the activities?
Can I see your safety plans?

Jeff is our Centre Manager and keeps things ticking over behind the scenes. He is a former banker and keeps all the staff in line by controlling their pay! Jeff is often the first point of contact for anyone ringing the Centre and as a local Peel Forest resident is often helping out with accommodation bookings and enquries.

jules pic

Julie is our Operations Manager, she is in charge of the day to day field operations of the Centre. Originally from Dunedin, Julie came back to join our team in November 2016. She has spent around 15 years working in the outdoor industry both in New Zealand and overseas including working at Outward Bound both in New Zealand and Malaysia and as a tutor at Otago Polytechnic. She holds NZOIA Bush 2, Rock 1 with Sport Endorsement, Kayak 1, Alpine 1, Avalanche 1 and currently holds her grade 2 NZRA rafting qualification.


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Ben is our Programme and Safety Manager who has just recently come onboard as part of our team. He brings with him a vast experience of co-ordinating and developing programmes and safety management plans with Scripture Union. Ben has been working in the outdoor industry for 10 years after completing a diploma in outdoor education and a diploma in teaching. He has always been passionate about seeing young people develop through outdoor education. Ben holds NZOIA Bush 2, Rock 1, Alpine 1 and NZRA Grade 2 Raft guide qualifications.


Robyn is our Funding Officer.  With a great knowledge of funding agencies and the worlds best filing system, Robyn is our go to person for all sorts of information!

Sophie is one of our senior instructors who has spent the last 3 seasons as part of our team. She brings a huge amount of skills, organisation and experience, particularly in rafting and river safety. After completing her two year Diploma at Tai Poutini, Sophie worked both in New Zealand and overseas and holds her NZRA Grade 4/5 Senior guide award. She loves being out there and sharing her knowledge with others.

Gill is a local mum who works for us as one of our senior instructors. Gill initially worked as a glacier guide and has brought these skills to being our guru in low/high challenge ropes, abseil and ABL programmes. Gill has completed her Horizons high ropes and facilitation training course and holds former glacier guiding qualifcations.

Shannon divides his year between working for us during the summer and running the ski patrol at Dobson over the winter periods. He has completed the PANZ high ropes training course as well as having a huge amount of experience with first aid and search and rescue. Shannon works mostly on our ABL and low/high challenge ropes programmes.


A graduate of Tai Poutini Polytech, on the West Coast, Nathan is a dedicated rafter and kayaker. He has been involved with the Centre for 10+ years and now a days operates his own rafting company out of Reefton. Nathan's experience and understanding of the Peel Forest area makes him the perfect person for us to be able to call upon when we require an additional senior instructor. He has spent time working at exotic spots such Canmore (Canada), Northern Queensland (Australia) and Hong Kong. Nathan holds Grade 4/5 raft guide qualification.

Outdoor Activities

Live the challenge, discover new strengths, take time out. Outdoor activities that stimulate and open the door on the natural environment MORE...


The more you know, the more you will see and enjoy. Expand your horizon, engage and immerse in our unique natural environment  MORE...

Our Accommodation

On a 20-hectare area of native forest, the EcoLodge is a working example of alternative building and waste technologies... MORE...

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