Our mission at AdventureWorks is to offer opportunities for raising personal and environmental awareness, by people Learning and Leading in the Outdoors, whilst fostering their desire to care for and give back to their fellow people, and the natural world.
We are passionate about the value of learning in the outdoors through the outdoors and for the outdoors
Across all of our training and programs we use experiential learning. Experiential learning puts the learner at the centre of the learning and values the learners experience as a significant part of the learning process. The process of the learning experience is as important as the acquisition of skills and knowledge. Interpersonal skills, communication skills, and the experience of being a member of a group contribute to the learner gaining greater self awarteness an new understanding. Through this process we are committed to creating positive change in groups, individuals and our environment
What is adventure centered learning?
Adventure centered learning can include a wide variety of activities due to the different ways people experience adventure. Outdoor sports, challenge courses, races and even indoor activities can be used in adventure education. Adventure education is related to adventure programming, adventure therapy and outdoor education. It is an active process rather than a passive process of learning that requires active engagement from the learners as well as the instructors. Often adventure education is linked to an incorporation of all five senses within the experiences which can heighten the opportunities for learning and retaining information. The learning experiences within adventure education programs are structured for a potential increase in self awareness, personal and social effectiveness as well as human performance and capacity. It’s more about the physical, mental and emotional journey than the destination.
At AdventureWorks we specialise in delivering high quality and valuable Experiential and Adventure Education programs within Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty. We choose to use the outdoors as a medium to inspire personal and social development within the students who engage in our courses. We currently provide support within the New Zealand secondary schools curriculum, youth development, in risk and at risk youth and the New Zealand Employ-Ability framework. With an OutdoorsMark Safety Certification and a great team of staff and instructors, your safety is our number one priority.
AdventureWorks operates an extensive and effective safety management system designed to meet the Adventure Activity Regulations. Our safety system has been audited by OutdoorsMark and we have achieved certification to operate rock climbing abseiling and challenge course activities throughout the North Island. To view our status on the Register of Adventure Activities click here.
OutdoorsMark Safety Certification
Mark Mandeno – Owner and Director
In 2015 while teaching my kids to surf I fell off a surfboard into shallow water and received a spinal cord injury. My experience of facing and overcoming obstacles, letting go of attachments to ideas of who I thought I needed to be to be loved and appreciated by others. Letting go of goals and re-creating a whole new sense of meaning and purpose in my life is now part of the story of AdventureWorks. I’ve always found the most meaning and purpose and satisfaction in my life when helping other people connect with themselves in more healthy and fulfilling ways. This business, as well as being an example of overcoming obstacles, is my mechanism for living this purpose. Before the injury I was an active adventurer including alpine climbing, yayaking, adventure racing and of multi day hikes, I have been teacher in charge of an outdoor education programme in a secondary school and trained and worked as a counsellor. It has been a steep but satisfying learning curve going from a teacher of 9 years to a small business owner to learning how to live as a quadriplegic. But there is no such thing as an easy life. Either we are actively working at ourselves and continually and intentionally act towards meaningful and purposeful living or we are going backwards.
What I believe: everybody has a next step. The next steps that will leverage the greatest changes in our lives are when we step out of what is familiar and predictable. This applies to any context of our lives – with our loved ones, with our careers and with ourselves. The next step for each of us is personal and unique. The next steps that will create the best changes in our lives are always the hardest to take. We know we can be different, we know we need to be different but doing it is hard. I have become familiar with the power of group processes and well planned adventurous experiences in this change process. People are able to connect with their courage and fears and experience themselves with personal vision belief and responsibility. Groups can create the mirror you need to see aspects of yourself that were previously unknown and experiential learning with facilitation creates the opportunity for people to see themselves differently and for all of us to live better lives. Kia Kaha
Rachel Hill – General Manager
Rachel started with AdventureWorks in 2012 in a part time capacity and is now full time as General Manager. She has a background in Business Change Management and Training, Design and Development, both in the private sector and in tertiary education, and enjoys working with AdventureWorks’ client base of schools and private clients.
Rachel grew up in small town NZ and was tramping, camping, boating, kayaking and spending pretty much all her time in the outdoors as a child and gets a lot of satisfaction out of seeing students and clients learning so much about themselves and their capabilities during our outdoor programs. She is passionate about the process of change and is always on the go!
Karen Everett – Duke of Edinburgh and Operations Coordinator
Karen joined the team in 2014 as the Duke of Edinburgh and Operations Coordinator. She manages the Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award Adventurous Journey operations and EOTC programmes.
Karen is enthusiastic about the Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey programmes and is really passionate about working in a job that involves scheduling and people. She loves the arts and the outdoors!
Akari Imafuku – Project K Manager and Head Instructor
Akari has been working with AdventureWorks since 2016 and is part of our core group. She works predominantly on the challenge courses, but also manages our Project K programme. Akari has a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership and a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation (majoring in Outdoor Education).
Akari’s passion is working with students and supporting them with their personal development and goals. She loves sea kayaking, being in the bush, learning about plants and crafting and has a growing interest in rock climbing.
Brendan McCarthy - Senior Outdoor Instructor
Brendan started with Adventure works in 2014 and does a bit of everything from the Challenge Course programs, project K and the occasional Duke of Ed Hike. Graduating with a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership in 2012 he has been working in the outdoors ever since.
Brendan's passion is adventure, both big and small, whether its checking out the Northern lights in Svalbard, Dog sledding in Sweden or trying a different ingredient on a pizza there is always something explore.
'AdventureWworks plays a big role in allowing me to share that sense of exploration and adventure with others. Discovering new things about themselves and achieving things they may not have thought possible, having fun along the way and having a story to tell at the end of the day'.
Alex Dean - Outdoor Instructor
Alex started with AdventureWorks in November 2018. She works on the high ropes course,
with Duke of Edinburgh tramps, Project K, school camps & teaches cycle skills. In her spare
time she enjoys a good book and spending time with her guinea pigs. Alex has a Bachelor of
Sport & Recreation (majoring in Outdoor Education). Her passion is tramping and she would live in the bush if it were feasible, though she does enjoy a bit of sea kayaking and rock
climbing on the side.
AdventureWorks calls on a deep pool of contract staff to facilitate programmes using a variety of adventure mediums. They hold qualifications ranging from teaching to sport and recreation, including ropes course facilitation, risk management, rock climbing, kayaking, bush and first aid. However, it is not only the paperwork that is important to us – AdventureWorks facilitators are held in high-regard and consistently receive positive feedback from clients. They bring a range of life experiences to the team and are passionate, enthusiastic and empowering leaders.
Challenge Course Specialists
AdventureWorks specialises in the development and delivery of challenge course programs for personal and social development. We exclusively operate our own challenge course in Mount Albert Auckland, the Mighty River Domain challenge course located at Lake Karapiro and the Waharau challenge course in the Hunua Ranges. We have thorough training and development processes for our staff who are all working towards or have achieved the highest level of certification in New Zealand. Click here to find out more about the AdventureWorks, Mighty River Domain and Waharau challenge courses.
Tramping and camping
Rock climb and abseil