The first half of the Venture will be Phase 1, also known as the 'Expeditions'. For this you will be split into Units of 9 Venturers and 1 Leader, with a mix of genders, ages and nationalities to ensure you meet as many different people as possible. There are 30 different expeditions throughout the North Island to choose from, with a wide variety of choice and prices. You will spend the 5 days together completing the various activities, as well as cooking, camping and socializing with your Unit and those on your expedition.
We hope you will be burning with excitement as you read through the options - selecting your favourite (from 30 Expeditions!) may be difficult. Debate your choices with your friends, or toss a coin. Either way, light your fire for an experience you will never, ever forget.
|Expedition||Type||Fitness Required||Price AU$|
|Survival Extreme||Physical / Mental||High||$300|
|Salty Sea Dogs||Physical / Mental||Medium||$600|
|Walk Waikaremoana||Physical / Hiking||Medium to High||$350|
|Boots and Grit||Physical / Hiking||High||$300|
|Molten Mountain Biking||Physical / Biking||High||$950|
|Kayak Waimarino||Physical / Kayaking||High||$950|
|Sun, Surf and Sand||Relaxed||Low to Medium||$400|
|Masterchef||Skill / Cooking||Low||$750|
|The Underground||Physical / Mental||Medium||$600|
|Canoe Whanganui||Physical / Canoeing||Medium to High||$800|
|Dive In - Sandy Bay||Physical / Diving||High||$900|
|Boots and Lakes||Physical / Hiking||Medium to High||$350|
|Tongariro Circuit||Physical / Hiking||High||$400|
|Photography Exposed||Skills / Photography||Low||$500|
|Volcanic Overload||Physical / Exploration||Medium||$650|
|Coromandel Loop||Physical / Exploration||Low to Medium||$700|
|Coromandel Canyon||Physical / Exploration||High||$850|
|Guns and Rods||Skill / Shooting, Fishing||Medium||$750|
|Rotorua Immersion||Scenic / Exploration||Medium||$750|
|Modor Stonefields||Physical / Alpine||High||$650|
|Dive In - Whitianga||Physical / Diving||High||$950|
|Boots and Bush||Physical / Hiking||Medium||$300|
|Get Set...Go!||Physical / Mental||Medium to High||$700|
|Boots to Nowhere||Physical / Hiking||Medium to High||$500|
|Mariner's Odyssey||Physical / Sailing, Hiking||Medium to High||$400|
|Start Your Engine||Skill / Motoring||Medium||$950|
|Mount Doom's Shadow||Physical / Hiking +||High||$650|
|Bilbo's Quest||Scenic / Exploration||Low to Medium||$750|
|Dive In - Tutakaka||Physical / Diving||High||$950|
|Adrenalin Veins||Physical / Hiking +||High||$950|
Think you're tough enough? Ready for a challenge that will push you physically and mentally? If you are extremely fit and want to come 'play' in the beautifully rugged Kaimai Ranges, be prepared for a hard workout, living rough and sleeping in bivvies (no matter the weather). Rations will be supplemented by what plants and grubs you can forage - unless your Unit wins a Food Challenge. Learn different ways to purify water. How many ways can you light a fire? Hot tips for survival should you get lost...Will you be brave enough to spend a night SOLO in the bush after hearing the legends of the Moehau Monsters of the Kaimai's? You may get wet. You may get cold. But will you survive? There is only one way to find out.
Cast off! Set course for open water on Lion New Zealand (winner of the 1984 Sydney to Hobart Race) and/or Steinlager 2 (iconic winner of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race). During this multi-day voyage exploring Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, you will get first-hand experience of the different aspects of sailing. What role will you be allocated first? Helmsman, meteorologist, navigator, communications officer, engineer, safety manager, switch board operator, sail trimmer, tactician? Work and communicate together to sail the vessel to your destination. Experience what life on board a Round the World Yacht is like by cooking and eating in the same way as our famous New Zealand sailors. Even sail through the night with a watch system in place.
This remote Expedition is one of New Zealand's Great Walks, and traces the shoreline of Lake Waikaremoana - the 'sea of rippling waters'. As you trek deep into Urewera National Park, you will pass giant podocarp trees and silent beaches, and enjoy breath-taking views from Panekire Bluff. The 46km trail is well formed and well marked, although in many places it is more rugged that other Great Walks. All rivers and major streams are bridged. How will you fare with a navigation contest? Will the weather be smiling to let you sleep under the stars? Your reward at the end will be to explore Onepoto caves before a soak in Waikite thermal valley's hot pools.
Not afraid of walking uphill? Enjoy big views? Been hiking before? Feeling fit? This trek takes you along the ridgelines of the Kaimai mountains - the backbone between the lush Waikato diary region and the pristine Tauranga harbour. You won’t know which way to look, the views will be so plentiful! Explore historic kauri mill sites, along with - in their day - the world’s richest gold mining sites. Nothing as luxurious as a hut for you - tents are essential, plus you'll be finding your own campsite. Perhaps it will be on the track?
Rotorua is the mountain biking capital of the world! Start by spending time with the professionals, honing your biking skills. Learn how to get the best from your bike – you will soon be able to ride places you never dreamed of going. With easily accessible trails as good as you'll find anywhere, the well-contoured tracks are graded with varying degrees of jumps and bail out options. With track names like 'Be Rude Not To', 'Chop Suey' and 'Billy T' you are going to want to ride them all. You may bring your own bike (at your own risk) but it must be serviced by an approved cycle shop before Venture. To give your body a breather, another activity (could even be rafting!) will be thrown in to the mix too. Get ready to crank!
Whether you've always wanted to learn to Eskimo Roll, or the thought of paddling in a multisport race appeals, this Kayak Expedition is for you! Build your water confidence and complete your Grade 2 Whitewater Certification as you learn about your gear (all provided) and its use, plus river environment safety, paddling skills, rescue skills, white water swimming, rolling - with safety top of mind. This is no classroom-based week - run the Rangitaiki River! The only prerequisite? You must be able to swim 50 metres fully clothed.
Nothing says "summer relaxation" like spending a few days with friends at 'The Mount'! Stay right in the heart of Mt Maunganui, just a short walk from the beach, shops, and saltwater hot pools. Providing a mixture of free time and set activities (including kayaking), this Expedition is always a Venture favourite, perfect for those who prefer a slower-paced, low-adrenalin option with socialising and selfies galore.
Food, glorious food! You will start with the question 'Where does food come from?'' and head off to the fish market, butcher and market garden. Then into the kitchen to learn knife skills, cooking techniques and plating concepts. Understand seasoning, make pasta and discover when to use which cut of meat (and how to cook it well). Will you beat the mystery taste test? Will you win the cook off? Take home culinary skills to dazzle your family at dinner-time, plus a few more failsafe recipes. Will you stand the heat in the kitchen?
The only Expedition where 'whack on a hat' means 'helmet with head torch'! Don't just explore the surface of the Waikao region, get under it within the Waitomo cave network. Learn the skills necessary for water-caving, way-finding and rock-climbing. Navigate your way through underground passages which branch off at crazy angles. Hike to cave entrances. Abseil 25 metres into a cave. Spend a day black-water rafting. Certainly not for the faint-hearted!
Think you know about wilderness? This Expedition could well redefine your understanding of 'back country'! Canoeing the Whanganui River means no road access for four days and certainly no cell phone coverage. Experience the untouched scenery, the depth of silence and the steeped history. Visit the Bridge to Nowhere, listen to kiwi calling outside your tent at night, maybe see some native bats. No previous canoeing experience is necessary to navigate the 145 kilometres (which includes 197 rapids!) but you must be able to swim 100 metres confidently in full gear, including life jacket. Ready to get wild?
Take the plunge! Earn your internationally recognised open water dive ticket! Learn from qualified and experienced dive instructors in Hamilton’s purpose-built pool facility, then head to the remote tip of the pristine Coromandel Peninsula for your first ever sea dive. Open to anyone over 16 years old, the Expedition provides all the necessary dive equipment. There’s no extra charge for the picture-postcard crimson pohutukawa trees and crystal clear water! As exciting as this sounds, you will need to be prepared: there’s a medical assessment required to confirm you are fit to dive, plus pre-course ‘homework’. Are you ready for an underwater adventure?
The 1886 volcanic eruption, which killed 153 people and raised the Lake Tarawera surface by 12 metres, dramatically shaped the surrounding landscape. Hike the Tarawera Trail, Northern Tarawera Track, and the Western and Eastern Okataina Walkways, seeing first-hand the Buried Village and learning of the area’s devastating history. Bathe in natural hot springs. Marvel at the waterfall gushing from a sheer rock face. Pause and reflect at pristine lakes. Whilst hike tents are necessary, two nights are in lodges with - wait for it - showers! Plus, on the toughest walking day you’ll only need to carry a daypack. How dignified!
Winding its way around the active volcanoes Tongariro and Ngauruhoe, the Tongariro Northern Circuit is one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Covering 43km it is a well formed and well-marked track inside this Dual World Heritage Area. From alpine herb fields to forests, from tranquil lakes to desert-like plateau, this walk showcases the spectacular volcanic terrain of the central North Island. See active volcanic craters, brilliant blue lakes, and glacial valleys, plus panoramic views. Imagine being able to say you’ve walked around Mount Doom!
Want to create photographs with a WOW factor? Complete a series of tutorials to improve your photographic skills: camera controls, composition secrets, people, action and night shots. Under the expert guidance of the National Scout Photography School’s director you will be challenged to photograph boiling mud, towering redwoods, historic buildings, cute kiwis and night graffiti. You might even visit other expeditions to record their experiences as part of our press corps! Bring your own camera(s) and storage media to save your precious images.
What better way to heat up your Inferno experience than to fill it with volcanic activity? Visit the Buried Village, hike the Tarawera Trail to Hot Water beach, visit Wai-o-tapu geothermal park and see the Lady Knox geyser. Walk around Lake Taupo’s Crater Lakes and see Huka Falls. Traverse the Tongariro Crossing. Hike through the Waimangu Thermal Valley. Visit Lake Rotiti hot pools (accessible only by boat!). Tour White Island. Phew! Some walking. Some sight-seeing. All fun.
Of the two Coromandel Expeditions, this is the ‘scenic tourist’ option. Kick off by exploring a famous gold mining town. Walk tunnels carved out of the hillside for spectacular views of one of NZ’s most beautiful rivers. Take your photo with the ‘world famous’ L&P bottle. Marvel at the construction of the Driving Creek Railway, NZ’s only narrow-gauge mountain railway (chugging through replanted native kauri forest it includes 2 spirals, 3 short tunnels, 5 reversing points and several large viaducts as it climbs up to the mountain-top terminus). Don’t forget the Hot Water Beach!
Of the two Coromandel Expeditions, this is the ‘extreme adrenalin’ option. Kick off by exploring a famous gold mining town. Walk tunnels carved out of the hillside for spectacular views of one of NZ’s most beautiful rivers. Take your photo with the ‘world famous’ L&P bottle. Hike up to The Pinnacles and complete the Sleeping God Tour – a full day canyoning! Unwind in the Hot Water Beach!
Clay birds, air pistols, .22 rifles, large calibre – if you have ever wanted to shoot, then this expedition is bang on. Learn about gun safety and do components towards your Firearms Licence. Spend time at an outdoor range, shooting! Then go fishing on a commercial fishing trip. Will you catch the big one?
You are a traveller who wants to fully explore a destination, leaving no stone unturned as you immerse yourself in the culture, activities and natural wonder on offer. Marvel at the Wai-o-tapu thermal wonderland, the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and Waikite Valley. Visit a Maori marae. Walk around the Blue and Green Lakes, and to Hotwater Beach. Meander through the Redwood Forest - by foot or bike. And even then there is still more of Rotorua to explore during Phase 2...
Fancy yourself as an Orc-chaser? Reckon Sauron is no match for your stamina? Then stay up the rocky and remote Mount Ruapehu without its protective coating of snow. Undertake strenuous mountain and alpine activities. Hike (including the Tongariro Crossing), bike, abseil and climb. You’ll need to be fit, just like every courageous Hobbit...
Take the plunge! Earn your internationally recognised open water dive ticket! Learn from qualified and experienced dive instructors in a purpose-built pool facility in Whitianga - a thriving little beach town. Then board a charter sailboat and spend time snorkelling, swimming and maybe jetskiing, waterskiing or kayaking (weather and time dependent). Open to anyone over 16 years old, the Expedition provides all the necessary dive equipment. As exciting as this sounds, you will need to be prepared: there’s a medical assessment required to confirm you are fit to dive, plus pre-course ‘homework’. Are you ready for an underwater adventure?
Soak up the rich history of the lower Kaimai Ranges, home to kauri mills and gold mines, as you hike through spectacular native bush and pause for breath-taking panoramas. Yes, you’ll be sleeping in tents but you won’t need to carry them every day. Bring your togs / trunks / bathers and swim in the sparkling waters of the Waitawheta River. Listen to the native birds. Marvel at the beauty Mother Nature has prepared - as if just for you.
No planes or trains will be used on this Expedition. Paddles, petrol-power, pedals and pumping feet will be your greatest assets. It’s a race. Adapted from TV’s The Amazing Race, it will be action-packed so a reasonable level of fitness will make it more enjoyable. Where will you start from? Where will you finish? What fiendish roadblocks and detours will be presented to your Unit along the way - and who will step up to conquer them? We could tell you more, but where’s the fun in that? Expect. Surprises.
You want remote, isolated and secluded? This adventure kicks off with a 36km hike to the Bridge to Nowhere. This concrete road bridge spanning the Mangapurua Gorge was built in 1936 but has no roads leading to it. Don’t bring your cellphone - no coverage out here! Then it’s onto the water: hopping in your canoe and paddling down the Wanganui River for the final leg to Pipiriki. No shops. No motels. Just nature, friends and fun - and a great range of activities to keep you busy!
At the end of a day sailing, have you ever camped on the lakefront and cooked your dinner in the geothermal water? Here you can. Spoilt for choice of pristine lakes in the Rotorua area, this Expedition has selected Lakes Tarawera and Okataina as its playground. With a healthy mix of both sailing and hiking, you will certainly not have a chance to grow weary of the spectacular natural beauty. But like any bearded Captain with wrinkles of experience, are you prepared for the unexpected..?
Ever watched race cars and wished you were behind the wheel? Do you enjoy tinkering with cars and learning what makes them zoom? If you are over 15 years old, here is your opportunity to not only get your hands dirty under the hood but also learn the techniques of Car Club style autocross driving – which places demands on car handling and driver skill instead of just engine power and outright speed. One for the ready, two for the show, three for race time - go, Venturer, go!
Put yourself in the middle of desolate Lord of the Rings country and explore the North Island’s Central Plateau, based at Mangetepopo. Hike the Tongariro Crossing - if the weather looks kindly upon you and your companions, climbing Mount Ngauruhoe (which doubles as Mount Doom) could be part of your adventure! Abseiling, rock climbing and mountain biking within this Dual World Heritage Area will leave you breathless - from both the stunning scenery and physical exertion.
Sit back and let us take you on an adventure, to showcase the scenic wonders of the Central North Island. Witness thermal activity in Rotorua. Climb Mount Manganui (or relax on the beach at ‘The Mount’). Be amazed by the pink and white prehistoric limestone formations at Aranui Cave. See relics of the gold mining operations in Karangahake Gorge. Not only do Waitomo, Taupo and Huka Falls feature on your tourist itinerary, but so do the world famous L&P bottle in Paeroa and ‘Hobbiton’ in Matamata. Sweet as!
Are you an experienced diver, with an open water or advanced dive certificate? Then travel north and dive the Poor Knights Islands - this Tutakaka coastline marine reserve has been rated by National Geographic Traveller magazine as the ‘second equal best coastal destination on the planet’! Converging warm water currents, a micro-climate and thousands of years of separation from the mainland have resulted in a unique biodiversity below and above the water line. Use your own gear or hire a partial/full set (additional cost). Relax on spacious dive boats (equipped with hot showers) and if the weather behaves, you should get in six dives. Did we mention the stingray mating season?
Action. There – we said it. When you can hear the blood pumping through your veins. Any fear is faced and courage wins the day. High ropes. Black water rafting in world-famous Waitomo. Canyoning in Thames. Rafting. Hiking the Tongariro Crossing. And for good measure there’s a bungy jump option (additional cost). Big miles, big smiles, big adventure. Nuf said.