Outdoor adventure activities at Shakespear Lodge


Adventure activities for everyone, from archery and bush craft to climbing and kayaking

Why take part in outdoor adventure activities? People often have common goals: they may want to learn outdoor pursuit skills, build confidence and trust, improve communication or get to know one another. Shakespear Lodge can design an outdoor education programme with adventure activities tailored to the goals of your group. 

With our team of friendly, inclusive and professional instructors leading the adventure activities, participants can learn and improve their skills in a variety of pursuits. Our outdoor adventure activities include everything from mountain biking and orienteering to raft building and sailing, and plenty more. We can even offer initiative exercises for those who want to build confidence while challenging themselves! 

During our outdoor adventure activities, education comes first. We design our sessions based on the philosophy that once a person has learnt the skills needed, they will be able to have fun and enjoy the experience. Shakespear Lodge’s outdoor adventure activities have even been credited with the OutdoorsMark standard, ensuring a safe and enjoyable learning experience for everyone. 

YMCA Shakespear Lodge is an registered Adventure Activity Provider with an OutdoorsMark safety audit


Activities at Shakespear Lodge

Air Rifle Shooting

Air rifle shooting is an interesting and rewarding activity. The session covers firearms safety, and correct shooting technique. The activity gives participants the opportunity to learn about and use a rifle in a safe and controlled setting, leading to better awareness when encountering firearms outside of this well managed environment.
Due to requiring less physical activity this session is a great option for a wide age range of participants - from 6 to 60+


Having been around for more than 20,000 years this Olympic sport offers the less 'sporty' members of your group an opportunity to exceed their own expectations and really shine.
Our session follows the New Zealand Field Archery Association (NZFAA) 10 Step programme – introducing correct shooting techniques, safe use of a weapon and correct archery terminology in order to promote a high rate of success and enjoyment for participants

Bush Cooking

During this activity participants will get to use a number of different types of portable cooking stove that are often used when going into the outdoors. During the session participants will learn how to use the stoves, the pros and cons of each type and discus when each type of stove may be put to best use. Trying their cooked food adds enjoyment to this educational session.

Bush Craft

This bush activity covers simple but essential skills needed when going into the New Zealand bush. Route planning and informing others of your intentions kicks this session off, before making our way into the bush to build a temporary shelter. Being aware of our environment and discussing signs and treatment for hypothermia add further learning to this practical, hands on session.


We have both a bouldering and main climbing wall. The physical nature of this activities requires a warm up, followed by a review of climbing techniques. The main wall has a number of routes to test the groups climbing ability. Climbers will be shown correct use of the sit harness and karabiners, and are involved in the belaying of other group members with our simple system. This activity is a full group activity with something to do and something to test all abilities.


Coastguard Safety Boating

This Coastguard Education course, delivered by YMCA instructors is a hand’s on activity looking at how to prepare for a boating trip, how to call for help if things go wrong and how to look after yourself if you get into to trouble out on the water. All participants who complete the activity will receive a Coastguard Education – Safe Boating Programme certificate

Coastguard Boating Education


Coasteering or sea coast traversing can be an exciting adventure for children and adults. It is a mix of scrambling, walking, wading, swimming and sometimes rope work. Skills covered can include: entering and exiting the water safely; buddy systems; and water confidence. Coasteering also provides an excellent opportunity to explore the rocky shore environment, geology and bird life. Please note it is a very weather and tide dependant activity.

Initiative Exercises

This is a great activity for getting the group to work together and think outside the box. The group are set a number of different challenges / problems to solve; mental, physical and skill based. These can challenge group members in many ways: using different communication techniques; sharing ideas; identifying strengths and weaknesses within a group; breaking down barriers of personal space.


We have a number of different types of kayaks: single and double sit-on-top kayaks. The sit-on-top offers a safe fun way to learn kayaking, if the boat was to capsize they are easily righted and the kayaker climbs back aboard and carries on. The emphasis of the activity is learning skills for manoeuvring the boats and using them to their potential. We use guided discovery techniques, games and explore the area to aid the learning experience.


Mountain Biking

The first half of the session works on the skills need to ride a mountain bike; correct fitting of a helmet and bike, correct braking, use of gears and downhill technique. Once riders have covered these and show they can safely control their bike, the group heads off for a trail ride around the regional park.
NB: YMCA staff will do their best to bring group members up to the standard needed to ride the trails around the park. However if someone is unable reach this standard they will have to stop riding and remain behind.

Mountain Boarding

A mountain board is like a snowboard crossed with a skateboard, with big off road wheels. The session begins on the flat with riders getting used to being on a board and controlling it, then progresses to riding down hills. It is a great session for individuals to push themselves as far as they want, but the activity’s structure keeps the group together as individuals develop riding skills at their own pace.

Multi Sport

This is a great team event to finish an activity programme off and tie all the activities your group has done together. It is based around a ‘Rogaine’ (a type of orienteering) but also uses the skills, knowledge and experience gained in the other activities done during your programme.
It is also a chance for group leaders to let their hair down and get stuck in – ether helping the group or putting their own team into the competition


To younger children this activity is like a ‘treasure hunt'. For older participants, 'O' is best described as a map sport - 'cunning running' or ‘the thought sport’ are terms often used. Our orienteering courses offer a challenge for all ages. The basic level for younger children is aimed at success, through to the hard, longer courses for those that want a challenge.

Raft Building

The raft building session offers participants a hands-on construction based problem solving activity. As a team, with the equipment provided they must build a raft to float on the water with all of their team on board. Basic knot tying and construction methods will be discussed before ideas are pooled and a final plan is drawn up.


We have a number of different types of sailing boat. For an introduction or for a less full-on sailing experience we can take out one of our large boats, our ‘Hobie’ catamaran or our Cornet 16 which is skippered by a YMCA staff member. The group get to crew the boat, thus gaining a basic understanding of sailing as well as developing confidence of being out on the water.
The small ‘Topper’ is a great boat to learn to sail in. With one or two in each boat the participants have ultimate control of a sailing dinghy. We also have a couple of ‘Topaz’ sailing yacht that can be sailed single handed or with a crew depending on what sail configuration is use

Tramp To Camp

Tramp to Camp is a unique way to arrive at the main lodge. Guided by YMCA instructors you will be guided through the regional park taking in interesting aspects of the area including old military and Pa sites, flora, fauna and scenic look-outs.

UHF Radios

This activity has a fantastic balance of instant appeal, and worthwhile curriculum links. While learning to use ‘walkie-talkie’ radios, the students explore the camp, and play games. The activity is lots fun and exciting. It leads participants to actively use listening skills for content and context. They develop skills in speaking clearly, using structured language and speaking in a public forum.

Sanctuary Discovery

The ‘Sanctuary Discovery’ is an educational talk that outlines why the sanctuary is needed, what it looks like now, what it means for native wildlife, the plan for the future, and what people can do to get involved. YMCA Shakespear Lodge has a strong relationship with the Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society and will organise this activity for you during your stay. It is ideal for afternoon of your arrival day or in the morning of your departure day. The fee for this activity goes to SOSSI to help with their fundraising for their ongoing work.


Get Programme Ideas

Find out how Shakespear Lodge can create a tailored programme based on your unique needs