Wednesday 11th December

Coming out to do water activities with us soon ?

Check out the new Pro Dive Atlantis wetsuits kindly funded by Mazda Foundation (https://mazdafoundation.org.nz) and new Hiko Buckaroo Helmets kindly funded by A D Hally Hally Trust administered by Perpetual Guardian !!(https://www.timaru.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/community-funding/ad-hally-trust)

With our increased multiday & river programs, these wetsuits and helmets allow us to run more courses for everyone in comfortable & safe equipment.

The wetsuits were supplied by Outdoor Sports NZ & the helmets from Kayaker NZ https://www.kayaker.co.nz/index.php

Looks like Paddy – one of our awesome instructors – is happy with his new wetsuit & helmet 😁 All the team at Peel Forest Outdoors Centre are extremely grateful to our wonderful funders – without them, we couldn’t continue to provide outdoors experiences for all

Wednesday 4th December 2019

We are extremely grateful for the continued support from The Community Trust of Mid & South Canterbury @comtrust.org.nz . They have generously funded our second phase of our renovation project at the Eco Lodge. This funding enables us to update the bedrooms with new bunks, curtains and mattresses which will provide better and more comfortable living experience for the schools and community groups using the accommodation alongside their outdoor activities.

We’re looking forward to starting this next phase in the new year when occupancy allows – will post updates and photos as we progress !

Exciting times !

Wednesday 20th November

Peel Forest Outdoor Centre is proud to have passed our 3 year Outdoors Mark safety audit conducted by Oualworx Ltd.

The safety audit established that our Safety Management System and delivery of the listed adventure activities complies with the Safety Audit Standard for Adventure Activities:

Rock Climbing & Abseiling – Varies Canterbury locations
Kayaking – Various South Island rivers, up to and including grade 3
Cliff-jumping – Rangitata River & Andrews Stream
High Ropes – Geraldine High School
Alpine Activities – Mt Dobson ski fields
Rafting – Various South Island rivers, up to and including grade 3
Water Safety Activities – Various South Island rivers, up to and including grade 3

Be confident you are safe with us.

Wednesday 9th October

We’re out and about with our holiday program over the next three days! Today we’re raft building, tomorrow abseiling & Friday going bush…. going to be fun!

We’ve just confirmed our January holiday program – events have been added but here’s a summary of what’s going on!

Wednesday 22nd January

Lake Opuha Kayak adventure (Students 8 years and above) Cost: $50

We will travel to Lake Opuha to have some fun on the water. Learn to paddle a sit-on/inflatable kayak, self-rescue skills, play some games on the water and increase your confidence in a kayak. Students will be geared up in 5mm wetsuits, along with helmets/lifejackets and splash jackets – but you will need to bring thermals and shoes that can get wet and a change of clothes.

Minimum numbers: 8 students, Maximum: 16 students
Transport for this day will leave and return from Geraldine at Kennedy Park gate by Geraldine High school. The bus will leave at 8.30am and arrive back at 4pm daily. Transport is included in the price.

Thursday 23rd January
Rock climbing/Abseiling at Spur Road – Timaru (Students 10 years and above) Cost: $50

Keen to have a go at climbing – this is your chance to learn how to belay and develop your confidence on the rock.

Minimum numbers: 9 students, Maximum 18 students
Transport for this day will leave and return from Geraldine at Kennedy Park gate by Geraldine High school. The bus will leave at 8.30am and arrive back at 4pm daily. Transport is included in the price.

Friday 24th January
River Adventure – Orari river (Students 8 years and above) Cost: $40
We will spend the day at the Orari river swimming hole learning about river safety skills. This includes river crossing, features, strainer swimming, throw-bagging, swimming in the river and generally having fun on the water. Students will be geared up in 5mm wetsuits, along with helmets/lifejackets and splash jackets – but you will need to bring thermals and shoes that can get wet and a change of clothes.

Minimum numbers: 10 students, Maximum: 20 students
Meeting point – Peel Forest Outdoor centre at 9am, Pick up at 3.30pm

Transport will be made available from Geraldine meeting at Kennedy park gate by Geraldine High school. The bus will leave at 8.30am and arrive back at 4pm daily. It will be an additional charge of $5 per day for transportation per student.

Saturday 25th January
Kayak Water confidence/Rolling Clinic Cost: $40

Keen to develop your confidence in a white-water kayak. Learn how to wet-exit, some kayak rescues or learn to roll a kakak.

Meeting us at Geraldine High School pool
Timeframes: 2pm-4pm
Minimum numbers: 3 people, Maximum: 8 people

Wednesday 18th September

Apart from some finishing touches to be completed, the deck, kitchen and water supply are ready for our first multiday course which started Monday. We are so grateful to all those that funded & volunteered time to make this stage of the renovation project happen! We couldn’t have done it without your help 🙂

The Eco lodge is busy now with schools & community groups as spring arrives and we gear back up in to running outdoor courses. Pupils from local Timaru school are on a five day outdoor adventure and left this morning for a overnight rafting trip down Wamiakariri – lucky them! Hopefully they bring back some photos of their awesome adventure to share

We do hope to have a open day soon and share our vision for the next renovation phases and our environmental education plan for the future…. keep watching for updates.

Good things can come in small packages ! These small yellow bags are throw bags and are used as a rescue device with a length of rope stuffed loosely into a bag so it can pay out through the top when the bag is thrown to a swimmer. A throw bag is standard rescue equipment for kayaking, rafting and other outdoor river recreational activities.

These yellow bags are a very important part of our river safety equipment and used to teach river safety as part of our education & holiday programs.

With many, many thanks from FreshChoice Geraldine @freshchoicegeraldine for funding new bags for the Centre. These bags were purchased from local Geraldine Company Lynn River @LynnRiverNZ

Monday 2nd September

Whoa – the new consistent water supply is completed and running !! Water filters & UV treatment in place to ensure clean drinking water. With many thanks to Alterno Foundation for their kind donation to upgrade the water supply.


Kitchen cabinets are taking place & the gas fitter has connected the new gas oven & extractor in place…. we’re almost ready to go ! Just in time for our first outdoor courses for the new season which are about to kick off at the end of next week 👍😃

Monday 26th August

Check out the new the Primus Express Spider II stoves & cooking sets ! We are extremely grateful to The Ashburton Trust for their kind funding of these essential pieces of equipment for our multi-day programmes. One of our initiatives for this coming season was to be able to provide the cooking equipment for these programmes for students that do not have access to their own. Our first multi-day adventure gets underway next month & we’re sure that some participants will be grateful for the use of these !

These cooking sets were purchase through Packgeargo Nelson – with thanks.

Another crisp cold start to the week here in Peel Forest, but the team at the centre are feeling the warmth from the very generous funding from Trust Aoraki towards our full Safety Audit award due this spring.

With the Adventure Activities Regulation 2011, the WorkSafe NZ Audit 2014 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2016, our auditing costs for outdoor activities have been crippling, especially for not-for-profit organisations such as Peel Forest Outdoors Centre. Despite this being the case, we continue to be in a great position as a highly regarded leader in the industry and this generous funding mean we dont pass on to our clients going forward.

Thank You Trust Aoraki

Wednesday 14th August

Little bit quieter on the renovations over past week, Ben took a well deserved break with his young family. The plumber has been and fitted the new pipes, the cooker has arrived and the stainless steel splash back fitted.
The water tank arrived and will be moved into place tomorrow. So it’ll be a busy time with the kitchen refit and water supply ready to be installed.
The Eco Lodge site is closed for tree felling & maintenance today.
All this happening at the lodge and at base, we are gearing up for the coming spring season with lots of activities planned and courses booked up
Fun times !

Monday 29th July

Eco lodge update – the new deck is taking shape under Ben’s workmanship. Thanks to volunteers from the Peel Forest community for helping out last week.

Many,many thanks to our friends at The Green Man at Peel Forest for their generous donation of tableware, cutlery & glasses for the new kitchen that’s about to be installed. Make sure you call in to see them, grab yourself a coffee & treat yourselves to some of their scrumptious food on your way out to the Outdoors Centre and the Eco Lodge.

Monday 15th July

Week 2 of Eco Lodge renovation, the weather remains good and dismantling the old deck started today, this will be a big task given the size! …. thanks to local Peel Forest resident and volunteer Tom for helping out today. If you’d like to help, please contact Ben at the centre.

Kitchen area is getting ready for the new gas stove and oven which is due week – exciting stuff !

Keep a eye on our page for weekly updates

Monday 8th July

Phase 1 renovation work in progress

We have now started the kitchen renovations at the Eco Lodge with the old kitchen been removed.

The new layout and kitchen is due to be fitted by the end of July and will include a gas oven & hob and a low energy large fridge.

The water pipes have been laid through the native QEII block from the new water tank site to the Lodge and cabins. We are waiting on delivery of the new water tanks before connecting the new system up.

New timber to replace the decking has been purchased & delivered and we are hoping that the settled weather will continue for our volunteers to build the new deck this month.

We are so grateful for all the generous donations that have been received!

Old kitchen removed

Wednesday 15th May

Greetings from Peel Forest Outdoor Centre Team

Wow – where did summer go … what a amazing season we have had this year with such enthusiastic young people joining us on so many different adventures!

  • In April, our Gold & Silver Duke of Edinburgh students enjoyed good weather n their multiday activities. Gold students tramped from Mesopotamia to Lake Tekapo & Silver students camped and completed their activities in the Lake Heron area.  The Duke of Edinburgh awards are gaining popularity along with Hillary Outdoors Courses.  We will be running Bronze, Silver & Gold trips again in Spring/summer 2019/2020.

For those who are wondering what the Duke of Edinburgh International award is all about, check out their website:

 www. dofehillary.org.nz/

  • Peel Forest Holiday Programs- Again we ran the very popular holiday programs through the Easter break. Our first three days were based around Orari river & Peel Forest scenic reserve and enjoyed great weather and fun times. Pictures can be found on our Facebook page. Unfortunately our last trip – 2 day Waimakariri rafting weekend – had to be postponed due to  marginal weather forecast through Arthurs Pass. We are looking to run this weekend in October if you are interested in joining us. The Holiday programs will run again in the spring holidays,  please contact the centre on info@peelforestoutdoors.org.nz or 03 696 3832 to be added to mail out list.
  • Winter 2019 – This coming winter we have developed winter activities based out at Raincliff Camp. Options include alpine skills, snow caving, skiing at Mt Dobson, flat water kayak at Lake Opuha  and abseil & rock climbing.  We can also offer transport to and from the Centre.   Please get in contact with us to find out more details, course dates and how book. We would also be happy to tailor a program to suit your needs.
Emily Falls Abseiling
Going Bush Day
  • 5 & 10 adventure journeys – Thanks to very generous funding from Pub Charities & Rangitata Diversion Race Management Limited, we are excited to be expanding our multiday adventures in Spring, these journeys are aimed at youth development.
  • Spring timetable – our timetable for Spring & Summer 19/20 is getting full. Please get in touch as possible to ensure that we can accommodate your requirements both in the field and at the Eco Lodge if needed. Don’t forget we now offer catering to groups staying at the Eco Lodge.
  • Eco Lodge upgrades

After 15 years of providing accommodation to schools, community groups and the public, the lodge is in need of a upgrade. In 2000, the Peel Forest Outdoors Pursuits Trust bought the 22 hectares of land at the EcoLodge site and set up a QEII Covenant to protect the significant native bush and the on-going regeneration of this. The EcoLodge building was donated in 2003, originally for the Conservation Corps programme that was running onsite. Since then the Trust and staff at Peel Forest Outdoors Pursuit Centre have continued to develop the Eco-based accommodation that can be used alongside the outdoor centre programmes.

The focus area of the Lodge renovation are :

1. Water Supply

2. New Kitchen facilities including cooker & fridge

3. Alternative Energy update

4. New decking and bunk beds

Through givealittle & private donations, we are well over half way to raising the total money needed. Exciting times as we started working on the renovations with digger work along with 300 metres of laid last week.  We are so grateful to the Proutings of Village Landscapes for the generous digger support and Alterno Foundation for their donation. We will post updates as we progress during the winter on Facbook & Instagram.  

If you would like to help with donation or time, please contact us at the centre. We truly appreciate it !

  • Our Grade 2 Kayakers & Godzone competitors set out on their events over summer and this week we are running our Grade 2 kayak course for next year event. We will be running Coast to Coast & Godzone coaching in spring, including our new multiday course:

Coast to Coast Intensive course – NEW THIS YEAR

9th – 16th December.

This 8 day course is aimed at International, out of towners & local competitors alike. Complete your grade 2 kayak qualification then transfer to multisport boats for some Waimakariri river experience,  then a trip through Goat Pass (subject to weather) with further rock hopping & river crossing instruction to install confidence. Additionally there will be opportunity to be transported to & from the last bike section. The aim of this course is to provide as much exposure to the different sections Coast to Coast course ahead of race day in a intensive block of time.  This course includes accommodation & transport to and from activities. Please contact us for more information and price.

  • As always, we are indebted to our wonderful funders & sponsors who continue to support the centre:

    Air Rescue Services Limited,  Alterno Foundation, Estate S A Hensley Charitable  Trust, Pub Charity,          Sargood Trust, The Southern Trust, Trust Aoraki, W Toomey Charitable Trust,          Community Trust Mid & South Canterbury, North End Motors Geraldine, Kumho Tyres, Woodleys Transport & Contracting, Ashley Electronics.

We’ve are social ! Keep up to date with us on Instagram @peelforestoutdoors or facebook/peelforestoutdoorscentre

Friday 22nd March

Busy day last Friday here at the Eco Lodge with Adventure Junkies & ourselves teaming to run a corporate challenge. Activities included paint ball & helicopter rides !

Thank you to Pub Charity for their generous funding towards Hillary Outdoor courses for next season. With this wonderful support, more young adults will be able to experience of these fabulous adventures

From all the team at Peel Forest Outdoors Centre thank you again to Pub Charity

April 13th – working bee at the lodge – more details to follow


Officially now Autumn, the beginning of March remain warm and sunny here at Peel Forest & we are very busy running our outdoor programs. However Easter holidays are just round the corner & we’ve put together our Peel Forest Holiday Program – April 15th – 28th April. Details can be found under Schools header : http://peelforestoutdoors.org.nz/peel-forest-holiday-program-2

Be in quick as these days activities are limited spaces. Contact Julie on 03 696 3832 or 027 262 6049 or info@peelforestoutdoors.org.nz for a registration form .

15th February

Summers finally here and we at the centre are gearing up for one of our biggest summer yet! Looking forward to meeting everyone booked on a course or activity in the next couple of months.

We hosted another Duke of Edinburgh course in January – more courses are scheduled for March & April. Check out our calendar or give us a call if you’d like to join in

We also hosted Recreate NZ camp last month – check out the rafting photos. The team had a great time staying at the Eco Lodge and a talent evening was held…we’re still waiting for the YouTube of one of our instructors Paddy singing Britney Spears…watch this space !

Recreate NZ camp

As a charitable trust, we relie on very generous funders & sponsors to assist us in running our courses and activities. The Southern Trust very kindly help fund our Program and Safety Manager role and from all of us here at the centre – Thank you !

Eco Lodge update – thanks to everyone who has kindly donated towards the upgrades via Givealittle, in person or privately. We are very humbled by everyone generosity. We would like to thank in particular the Alterno Foundation for the amazing donation for the water supply. We are so excited to be able to beginning the work shortly on the water upgrade – thank you again.


29th January

A huge THANK YOU to Air Rescue and Community Services for their very generous funding of two Garmin Inreach explorers!

These vital pieces of equipment can send and receive messages, navigate a route, track and share the journey, great for our teams out on adventures and our HQ team

Many, many thanks again to Air Rescue & Community services for the funding.

Thery were purchased from Kathmandu Ashburton



21st January – Eco Lodge upgrades

We hope you all had a wonderful break over the Christmas and New Year holidays with family & friends and feel refreshed for the new year.

After 25 years of providing accommodation for schools, community groups & public in our QEII covenant site, our awesome Eco Lodge is in need of some upgrades:

Water Supply Upgrade:

With more erratic weather systems our historic water supply has been become unusable. We are looking to install a rainwater harvesting system with upgraded storage capacity and filtration systems.

Kitchen Facility Upgrade

The Eco Lodge kitchen was originally intended for a small group of students living on site for conservation courses. With an increase in school groups and larger numbers we are needing to adapt our kitchen to suit. This would include a gas oven, large low energy refrigeration unit and upgraded wetback system.

Alternative Energy Backup:

A generator with auto starting capacity to allow future protection of our battery bank by avoiding battery storage being run too low.

These projects take a lot of money so we have set up a give-a-little page to help us raise the funds so we can start the projects as soon as possible and continue to provide low cost accommodation to support our outdoor courses :


Any donation is truly appreciated from all of us here at the outdoor centre 👍👍

A reminder that we are running Peel Forest Holiday Programs- Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th January 2019. There will be 4 activity days aimed at students & families. These are sure to be a great day out for all & proving popular already. Don’t miss out, please see the holiday program information under the Schools tab on the main menu flyer and registration forms or contact Julie at the centre on info@peelforestoutdoors.org.nz, 03 696 3832 or 027 262 6049

As always, we are indebted to our wonderful funders & sponsors who continue to support the centre:

Air Rescue Services Limited,  Estate S A Hensley Charitable  Trust, Pub Charity, Sargood Trust, The Southern Trust, Trust Aoraki, W Toomey Charitable Trust, Community Trust Mid &South Canterbury, North End Motors Geraldine, Kumho Tyres, Woodleys Transport& Contracting, Ashley Electronics.