School Trips

Outdoor education can play a huge role in a child's growth and development. It is essentially about changing behaviors by giving students new ways to cope with problematic experiences. In this way outdoor education enhances confidence and can improve a students ability to cope with issues in the school environment. Along the way students experience new activities, learn new skills, participate in physical challenge and have fun. Vertical Ventures can provide for your school a number of formats. From activity days which focus on physical challenge to team building programmes that will test your students initiative and ability to work together. Programmes can be run from your school site, specific activity venues or from your school camp locations.

Over 20 years of experience

Rob Connolly is the qualified person behind the company who has been working for over 20 years in outdoor education.  Qualified as a secondary teacher and armed with National professional climbing qualifications (UK – Mountain Instructors Award, NZ – NZOIA Rock 2).  Outdoor education work history includes:

  • Remote overseas school expeditions
  • 2 on 1 lead climbing adventures
  • Polytechnic instruction and assessment
  • Multiday school camp adventures
  • EOTC program development
  • Audit and development of Safety Management Plans


Work safe and the Adventure Activities Register

This is a public list of registered adventure activity operators. The Adventure Activities Regulations came into effect on 10 October 2010. It is an offence for an adventure activity operator not to be registered (unless exempt).

Registered operators have passed a safety audit and are authorised to provide the stated activities for the stated period.

To check out the status of Vertical Ventures please press the link below and find us under V near the bottom of the page.

Example of Outdoor Education school trips

Camp Iona Gorge Adventure

This gorge adventure is suitable for 11 year olds and up.  The journey provides progressive skill building to finale on an abseil down a cliff to the river bank and tyrolean across the river.  Main focus areas are: working together, support, sure footedness, operating out of comfort zones and applying new learnt skills.

The adventure takes approximately 3 hours to complete.  It is possible to run 3 rotations during the day.

Cost from $450 +gst for 2 rotations and from $600 +gst for 3 rotations.  Max group size 12.

Abseil day

Abseiling is one of the most popular EOTC experiences and available for all ages.  We use a number of venues in the District to suit the location of the school and the age of the group.  Venues such as: Devils Bridge Road, Elephant Rocks and Mt Horrible are available.  We provide professional training before the main objective is undertaken to allow for high success rates.  Be aware during abseiling we allow only one person to abseil so there will be some waiting time for the other group members.

Cost from $200+gst per group depending on location and total group numbers.  Please inquire.

Devils Bridge Cave day

This adventure takes your through some bush and small active caves near the wetlands.  The caves follow the stream and are made up of 4 small cave sections that open out into the main gully.  Each section is different and allows progression for the group.  The ‘first’ section has a large entrance and allows you to see some small calcite formations and glowworms if you are lucky.  In the other sections there are examples of solution holes, tight passages and a shell bed layer.

The adventure takes between 2 and 3 hours and has a maximum size of 12 in the group.

Cost from $200+gst per rotation/group.  It is possible to do 3 rotations per day.

Biking day

With the development of the riding tracks around Oamaru we now offer schools ‘learning to mountain bike’ sessions.  These sessions take your group and explore the tracks in the Reservoir biking park, sections of the Alps 2 Ocean or riding the single track in Herbert forest.  Ascertaining the ability level of your group is paramount for bike riding so we use activities to figure out the level and design the rest of the session from there.  The riding includes teaching how to operate brakes, steering, riding position, use of speed to control the rider and bike.

Having a bike fit for use is really important and in the past we have visited the school to check out the bikes before the activity.  We do not want to spend the session time adjusting personal bikes so they are safe to ride!

We do have a number of bikes that we can hire for these sessions.  We can do this at a reduced rate from our normal hire charges at the time of booking.

Cost from $150+gst per group (based on 2 hours and using your own bikes) depending on location and total group numbers.  Bike hire extra.