Hillcrest High School is proud to have created the first long term outdoor education course by a state school in New Zealand for Year 10 students.

Year 9 Tauwhare Marae Noho

Hillcrest High School has a strong relationship with local Iwi, Ngāti Hauā, and this is further strengthened every year through the Year 9 Tauwhare Marae Noho. Form class groups get to experience life on a marae through an overnight noho which begins with a Pōwhiri on the morning of the first day.

Over the course of the two days, Year 12 student leaders and teachers lead the Year 9 students through a variety of activities, including a shared hāngī lunch. Attendance of the noho is an important part of the introduction of life at Hillcrest High School and how the school links to the wider community. All students are encouraged to attend the noho as it gives them an opportunity to immerse themselves in high school life and bond with students from their form class.


Year 10 Camps

The real kiwi outdoor experience!

The Year 10 Camp programme is based at Ngatuhoa Lodge in the Kaimai ranges. The students are involved in hiking, abseiling, swimming, kayaking, flying fox, tubing, conquering commando courses together with a multitude of other exciting team building activities. Students get a first-hand nature experience and learn about NZ culture.

Students attend in their form groups and develop relationship and interpersonal skills. They are guided by the Year 13 Outdoor Education student leaders, who have undertaken training to support the younger students. This is a valuable experience that all Year 10 students should take part in. We are so privileged to live in such a beautiful country that has a strong emphasis on Education Outside the Classroom and allows students to experience trips such as this. It enables students to take safe risks and be open to new, exciting activities. All students should aim to take part in this amazing programme. It encompasses the true essence of being a student in NZ.

Year 10 Great Barrier Island Experience

Hillcrest High School is proud to have created the first long term outdoor education course by a state school in New Zealand for Year 10 students.

In collaboration with the Hillary Outdoors Education Centre on Great Barrier Island we have shaped a five weeks course that melds a combination of outdoor activities, community action and studies revolving around the principles of sustainability.

Parent Manual

In 2012 we ran two inaugural five week courses, one for girls and the other for boys. After 8 years the programme is still surging ahead with strong support from parents, students and the local community. The course requires students to live independently in double berth cabins with students responsible for their cooking, washing, personal and group requirements. There is no cellphone coverage at the camp and contact is made home once a week.

Students are supervised by a mixture of Hillcrest High School staff and Hillary Outdoors instructors. Under their expert guidance the students undertake 2-3 day expeditions and a range of outdoor activities including coasteering, high ropes course, sailing, sea kayaking, tramping, steep creeking, fishing, snorkelling, gardening and adventure based learning.

They undertake a cross-curricular study of cultural, economic, environmental and social sustainability, interacting during the process with local tangata whenua, business owners, primary school, Glenfern Sanctuary, DOC and the Orama community.

At the end of each course a celebration evening is held during which the students deliver a presentation of their experiences and studies to their parents, along with taking the time to acknowledge their accomplishments and present awards.


International Trips

International trips have increasingly become part of extending the learning opportunities for students. During 2016 students travelled to Spain on an International Languages trip while the 1st XV rugby toured Samoa and the 1st XI cricket team participated in the World Schools Cricket Challenge in Melbourne. Over the past few years trips to Gold Coast, Noumea, Great Barrier Reef, Botswana and Zambia have occurred. In 2017 co-curricular trips were organised to New Caledonia as part of Language studies, Silicon Valley as part of Business Studies, Vietnam as part of Social Studies and trekking the ancient Inca trails in Peru as part of Outdoor Education. In 2018 a Languages/Music trip took place to mainland China. In 2019 during the term 1 holidays, a Social Science trip was taken to Vietnam. Term 2 Science students embarked on a trip to NASA. During term 2 holidays a group of Spanish students toured Argentina.