Our Story

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.

Peel Forest Outdoor Centre was founded by Wayne Keenan. Wayne was passionate about education for youth in the outdoors as he saw the benefits this could have to self and social development, and environmental awareness. While working at Rangitata rafts, he started running school camps on the lower Rangitata River section with great success and in 1994 he split from Rangitata Rafts to form the Charitable Trust, under the governance of the Trustees at the time, to run a wide range of outdoor pursuit based programmes.

In the late 90s, when DOC moved out, PFOC moved in to the Peel Forest office base. In 2000, the 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 PFOC have continued to develop the Eco-based accommodation that can be used alongside our outdoor programmes. Since 2017 Peel Forest Outdoor Centre have also been running 5 and 7 day journey or leadership developmental programmes for youth.