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Fresh Pesto for the Field

Riley's have been busy in the kitchen making fresh pesto which is being sent into the field for students and instructors.
Ingredients are mostly from intown staff vegtable gardens and local producers. 
Pesto seems to be a welcome nutritional addition to the field ration, as does the freshly baked bread and locally grown fruit.









Camine with some of the pesto ingredients 

Image_2Riley produce for salsa

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Mar 25, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZS 1 & 3 Transition





IMG_1648 Cool start to a busy day at NOLS NZ

New Zealand Semester One transitioned today from Sea Kayaking to Hiking. They successfully completed their exposed Sea Kayak route from Picton to Waimaru in the Marlborough Sounds. 

They spent the day at the NOLS NZ base and are about to head out Hiking in the Kahurangi National Park for the third and final section of their semester.

IMG_1663Students pondering how it is all going to fit into their backpacks 

Instructor Pete checking gear


New Zealand Semester Three transitioned from Hiking to Sea Kayak today.
They spent the first section of their semester hiking in the Kahurangi National Park.
They are off Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds, then go straight into their Sailing section.  


NZS-3 students will not return to NOLS NZ between their Sea Kayak and Sailing section.


Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) students studying Adventure Tourism, came out to the NOLS NZ base during the transition to observe and get a taste of what NOLS is about. 

IMG_1660    Christian explaining what we do at NOLS NZ 

NMIT students getting a taste of the NOLS Leadership curriculum. 
Hopefully we will see more of them in the future.


Good luck out there everyone! 

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Mar 13, 2014 in the following categories: Leadership, New Zealand

NZS-2 Sea Kayak to Hike

The second New Zealand semester had a great time in the sea kayaking section.
They did an amazing job circumnavigating D’Urville Island in the Marlborough sounds, this group is the first Sea Kayak group ever in the NOLS New Zealand history to accomplish this nautical challenge, well done team!

At the NOLS New Zealand base they left sea kayaks behind and got ready their hiking boots and backpack to adventure in a mission in the New Zealand bush (like the locals will say).

IMG_1279Last opportunity to relax 


IMG_1296Hiking gaiters and boots

The group got their gear ready and hiked out of the branch to the Richmond forest park mountain range. At this moment the group is in the Nelson Lakes national park hiking through Beech forest and Alpine terrain. 

IMG_1299Heading for the hills

We wish them luck in their new course section, kia kaha!



Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Mar 10, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZB Graduation 1 & 2

New Zealand Backpacking One and Two returned to NOLS NZ over the weekend and graduated.
They are now on their way home, are already at home, or off on their next exciting adventure.

Both groups successfully completed a mutli night independent student group expedition where they were able to put their newly learned skills to the test. A highlight from the course was camping and traveling through snow in the alpine environment.

One student commented that "it was an amazing opportunity to share this experience with a group of people my own age'. When asked if they would ever go hiking again thay all eagerly said that they intended to.  

Students enjoyed the fresh produce the Nelson region has to offer especially the fruit and home made pesto, it made a welcome change to the NOLS ration. 

P3070007NZB 1 & 2 Students all packed up 

NOLS NZ Intown staff and instructors
waving students off on their next adventure

Good luck out there NZB students, make good decisions 
All the best with your next adventures from the
NOLS NZ community



Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Mar 9, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZS-1 Transition

NZS-1 Transition

New Zealand Semester one came through the NOLS NZ base and are now Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds.

They started their canoe expedition in the high country near Molesworth Station. They paddled all the way to the Pacific Ocean just North of Kaikoura.
While on the Clarence River the group encounted low water levels and hot clear days.

Students commented that highlights from the canoe section included hiking up Dillon Cone, NZ backcountry, first aid curriculum, the length and duration of the river section. 

The group stayed near Muzzel Station where they helped the Nimmo's clear brush from a paddock, watched sheep dogs in action, learned about and tasted organic honey produced on the station.   

P2190006Evening spent at the base where they swapped Canoes for Sea Kayaks

Grooming before heading back out 

NZS-1 Students, Canoe & Sea Kayak Instructors, NZ Intown staff


The Group is now Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds which is located at North end of the South Island. The Marlborough Sounds are an extensive area of sea drowned valleys that makes an interesting coastline to explore. The Sounds make up approximatelly one fifth of the New Zealand coastline. 

IMG_1200Unloading the Sea Kayak trailer near Picton

They started their Sea Kayak expedition in Picton and are attempting to paddle to Waimaru. So far they have had perfect calm conditions and the weather forecast is looking promising for the next week.

Some of the Sea Kayak Fleet  


haere rā


Send Mail to 

(Student Name and Course Code)
4 Serpentine River Road
Aniseed Valley RD 1 
Richmond 7081
New Zealand 




Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Feb 24, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZS-3 Course Starts

NOLS New Zealand Semester Three has started their Aotearoa adventure.

The first day at the NOLS NZ base they prepared their rations and gear for the Hiking section of the semester; The group is going to explore the Kahuarangi Mountain Range for 28 days traveling form South to North with the plan on summiting Mnt. Owen, Mnt. Arthur and other significant peaks of the area. 

After packing their gear, the semester started their cultural section in Motueka where they met a local Maori iwi. At the Marae the group did the traditional Mihi and hongi



Whakataka te hau ki te uru
Whakataka te hau ki te tonga
Kia mākinakina ki uta
Kia mākinakina ki tai
E hi ake ana
He tio, he huka, he hauhu
Tihei Mauri Ora

 He honore he korōria ki te Atua
He Moungarongo ki te whenua
He wakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa
E ngā mate huhua o tātou,
haere, haere, haere
whakangaro atu ki te ao o te pō.

 Ko Pukeone, ko Tuao Wharepapa ngā Maunga
Ko Motueka te awa
Ko Ngāti Rārua, Ko Te Ātiawa ngā iwi
Ko Te Āwhina te marae
Ko Turangāpeke te wharetupuna
Ka tuku ngā reo whakatau ki a koe
e tae mai ana ki te ipurangi o
Te Āwhina nau mai, haere mai.
Piki mai i runga i te aroha o tātou
te hau kainga.

 Āpiti hono, tatai hono rātou ki a rātou,
tātou ki a tātou Tēnā tātou katoa.

The students learned traditional Maori customs and had the opportunity to appreciate Maori legends by spending a night in the Marae.

Students learning how to make sinkers from rocks and flax fibers


Students weaving flax fibers


Traditional Maori Marae


NZS#3 2-2-14
Sea kayak

Feb 3 –Feb 5 NOLZ NZ Course Prep and Cultural Section (Mail)
Feb 6 Depart for Hiking Section
35 Days Hiking

13 March Hiking Pick up stay at NOLS NZ (Mail)
14 March Depart for Sea Kayaking section
25 Days Sea Kayaking

April 8 Field switch to Sail (Will not return to NOLS NZ, Mail)
April 9 Start Sailing Section
10 Days Sailing

April 19 Sail pick up and return to NOLS NZ (Mail)
April 20 Course ends drop students off in Nelson


Send Mail to 

(Students Name and Course Code)
4 Serpentine River Road
Aniseed Valley RD 1 
Richmond 7081
New Zealand 




Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Feb 17, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZB 1 & 2


Everyone on New Zealand Backpacking One (NZB-1)and New Zealand Backpacking Two (NZB-2) all arrived at NOLS New Zealand on Friday. They are now hiking in the New Zealand wilderness. 

Both groups arrived on Friday and spent the day organizing for their 30-day adventure. They bagged  their entire ration, packed their packs, learned how to set up tents, began the first aid curriculum and  started getting to know each other.

During their 24 hours at the NOLS NZ base it rained just under an inch. Students weren't as excited as the locals for the rain that was well needed in the Aniseed Valley.
We are now back to clear hot days Nelson Weather.

P2070003NZB-1 Instructors and Students 

New Zealand Backpacking One is Hiking in the Nelson Lakes National Park. They got dropped off yesterday morning at the St James Track on the Lewis pass. They are hiking North and will get picked up at Lake Rotoiti.  


NZB-1 02/07/2014 Course Schedule 

In town: 7 & 8 April

Hiking: 8 April – 7 March

In town: 7 March

Course ends: 8 March



NZB-1 Laying around before the hiking begins


NZB-2 Instructors and Students

New Zealand Backpacking Two is hiking in the Nelson Lakes National Park. They got dropped off at the North end of the National Park on Saturday. They are doing a loop route that ends at Lake Rotoroa 

NZB-2 02/07/2014 Course Schedule 

In town: 7 & 8 April

Hiking: 8 April – 7 March

In town: 7 March

Course ends: 8 March


NOLS NZ postal address (Students will only get mail at the end of the course)

(Course Code NZB 1 or 2 & Students Name)
4 Serpentine River Road
Aniseed Valley RD 1
Richmond 7081
New Zealand 







Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Feb 9, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZS 1 & 2 Courses Start

New Zealand Semester One and Two have started their semesters and are now out in the field. 

Both courses started off with a day in town organizing gear, packing all the food for their semester and enjoying the New Zealand sun. Nelson NZ Weather
The groups then went down to Kaikoura for a two day cultural section where they immersed themselves in Maori Culture. They were shown sites of cultural signficance such as a Pa site (maori village site) and harvested cockles (sea shells) from the ocean then cooked them in an earth oven. 

The groups then returned to the NOLS NZ base where they finished preparing for the field and departed on their separate adventures.

NZS-1 is now Canoeing on the Clarence River for 21 days. They are attempting to get to the Pacific Ocean.

NZS-2 is out Sea Kayaking for 29 days in the Marlborough sounds. They are attempting a NOLS first to circumnavigate D'Urville Island. 

NZS#1 1-23-14
Sea kayak

 Jan 24 –Jan 27 NOLZ NZ Course Prep and Cultural Section
Jan-28 Drive to Clarence River
21 days Canoeing 

Feb-19 Canoe pick up and return to NOLS NZ (Mail)
Feb-20 Depart for Sea kayaking
21 days Sea Kayaking 

March-13 Sea Kayak pick up and stay at NOLS NZ (Mail)
Mar-14 Depart for Hiking
26 days Hiking

 April-9 Hiking pick up stay at NOLS NZ (Mail)
April-10 Course ends drop students off in Nelson


NZS#2 1-23-14
Sea Kayak

Jan 24 –Jan 27 NOLZ NZ Course Prep and Cultural Section
Jan-28 Depart for Sea Kayaking
29 days Sea Kayak

Feb-26 Sea kayak pick up and stay at NOLS NZ (Mail)
Feb-27 Depart for Hiking
30 days hiking 

March-29 Hiking pick up and stay at NOLS NZ (Mail)
Mar-30 Depart for Sailing
10 days sailing 

April-9 Sail pick up stay at NOLS NZ (Mail)
April-10 Course ends drop students off in Nelson

First NZ Cultural Lesson "Touch Rugby"


When students stay at the NOLS NZ base they enjoy cooked meals by our intown staff



Field rations divided into the various sections 


NZS-1 at the Clarence River

NZS-2 Loading up the Sea Kayaks


Send Mail to 

(Students Name and Course Code)
4 Serpentine River Road
Aniseed Valley RD 1 
Richmond 7081
New Zealand 





Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Jan 29, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

Imagine your 2014 summer

Summer is here!

Well, at least the 2014 summer NOLS course catalog is here, and that's even better, because you still have time to plan the perfect summer with NOLS.


We have boxes and boxes and boxes of the summer catalog here at NOLS Headquarters, so request one here. If you'd prefer a paperless version, we've got you covered, too. Download the iPad version of the 2014 summer catalog here.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Jan 16, 2014 in the following categories: Alaska, Alumni, Amazon, Australia, Curriculum, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, India, Instructor News, Leadership, Mexico, New Zealand, Northeast, On The Net, Pacific Northwest, Patagonia, Professional Training, Rocky Mountain, Scandinavia, Southwest, Teton Valley, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus, Yukon

NZSF 4 concludes semester with canoeing and graduation

Single DSCN0362

New Zealand Semester in the Fall section 4 has just spent the last 20 days canoeing on the Clarence River. They travelled approximately 200km and experienced class two canoeing in technical, low water. They were able to negotiate a range of white water features and hazards by paddling, lining, stage lining and portaging. Moreover, they built on the paddling skills they developed in the sea kayak section, including the skills required to roll a boat in moving water.

Thank you to student Leopold Ledman for these photos from the field.

Image 02


Single DSCN0490

As well as learning technical whitewater skills, the curriculum focused on environmental studies, LNT and leadership skills. All students had the opportunity to serve as the Leader of the Day (twice or three times) and to try their hand paddling a solo canoe. Stopping out Muzzle Station, a remote sheep farm along the river, they completed a half-day service project and got to experience high country station life. They also interacted with the various animals living at the farm: lambs, horses, chickens and roosters, honeybees and more.



After the canoe section, the group came back to the branch for de-issue and graduation.


We ask students to complete an online survey when they are finished. Here are a few comments from this group:

Regarding the most rewarding aspect of the course:

"I definitely feel that I gained a lot of confidence during this semester. I feel more certain of myself as a person and a leader."

"I loved going to bed every night feeling accomplished and realizing that I learned new things everyday. Also when leaving for the solo, I realized that I am 100% comfortable in the outdoors and the idea of being alone in the backcountry for a night wasn't at all daunting, but exciting."

"I became way more confident in myself and learned how to lead others in an effective way. I did things that I never thought I would, or could do and I succeeded."

Other highlights:

"I really like having specific mentors for each student. We grew just as close with each instructor team as with each other on the course."

"I learned that I was a strong person who can face physical, mental and emotional challenges. I learned the importance of a supportive group, and learned to trust and be comfortable with the team."


Single DSCN0389


And with this semster's graduation, that's the end of the Fall season for us in New Zealand. We'll be back after the holidays with more news about our new branch, updates about our Spring semester groups, information about our standalone 28-day backpacking courses and maybe a review of the second Hobbit movie. Cheers!

Permalink | Posted by Amy Davidson on Dec 12, 2013 in the following categories: New Zealand

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