TOPEC Banner


OutdoorsMark Safety Audit

The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award


Many of today’s most successful companies incorporate outdoor training in to their staff development programmes. They, and we, have found that real tasks with real consequences provide an experience with lasting results. With this in mind we offer a range of practical, action-based team development days using the activities themselves to promote learning and understanding.

We’re convinced our combination of experienced, motivated and enthusiastic instructors and our breathtaking location, close to Egmont National Park, creates a learning environment that’s second to none.

At TOPEC we are committed to ensuring each one of our guests enjoys every part of their stay with us. We appreciate that a productive learning experience relies on a relaxed and receptive mind. That’s why we go out of our way to make sure every element of your event is effective including the facilities, equipment, accommodation, meals, and overall hospitality

Corporate – about TOPEC

A former YMCA camp, TOPEC is Taranaki’s only Outdoor Centre. Our location is unrivalled as a base for outdoor activity. Tucked in at the base Mt Taranaki with it’s towering flanks and inspirational views. We have nearby rivers, lakes, bush and rock. Our climbing wall, native ropes course, tail race, bridge, DOC reserve lodge, and a well equipped meeting room all make us an ideal location for a corporate event.

But it is our underlying philosophy that is our strongest offering. We go out of our way to be flexible, making your stay with us as enjoyable and rewarding as possible.

With that in mind, have a look through this website and see what’s on offer. Just call us and discuss things if you think that TOPEC can offer you a suitable venue. You may want to add a ‘special dinner’ to the last night of your event, provide wine with meals, arrange for evening speakers or add an extra night’s accommodation, leaving the morning after the event. We’re happy to consider any extensions to the programme.

Corporate - Instruction

At TOPEC the one thing that sets us so far above the competition is the quality of our staff. Our instructors include trained Teachers, experienced and accomplished outdoor practitioners, each one dedicated to sharing their love for the outdoors and of outdoor activities.
Our instructors, have stood on the summit of the world’s highest mountains, climbed the steepest cliffs, paddled the widest rivers as part of group expeditions. Which is why they appreciate the value of teamwork in achieving a goal.

When you are struggling to reach the top of an ice covered peak, days from civilisation and far from the possibility of rescue, teamwork is the only thing that keeps you alive.

Our instructors are all dedicated professionals who believe firmly in ‘challenge by choice’ which put simply means that each person has the right to choose how much they are involved in any activity and how much they want to ‘challenge’ themselves.

Corporate – Activities

Aside from providing an enjoyable break from routine in an area of outstanding natural beauty a team development event at TOPEC can be productive and rewarding in many ways. Helping to forge links between departments, cement bonds between team members, integrate new staff and improve personal skills like communication, problem solving, leadership, planning, innovation and delegation.

The nature of the land and water based outdoor activities we offer at TOPEC allow your team to develop trust, confidence and understanding whilst highlighting the importance of effective leadership, communication and, of course, teamwork.

Each of the activities provides a shared learning experience where your team must work together in an unfamiliar environment to succeed. To achieve results in any task or activity, the team will have to bring out the best in each other, and in themselves.

In most cases your team will have had little or no experience in these activities beforehand and the process of experiencing and learning new skills together bring enjoyable and enriching rewards. Above all, we believe that everyone involved should have lots of fun.

At TOPEC, we concentrate on what we do best. Making sure you have a great time in the outdoors. We choose not to follow up our team development activities with formal reviews or analysis, although you are welcome to bring your own personnel experts in to fill this role.

On this website you’ll find a list of activities, all of which take place over a single day. You can make up your own Team Development Event by ‘mixing and matching’ from this list as you please, making up an event of one to three days or longer.

We do however, highly recommend that day one of your event is either the ‘High on Life Challenge’ or the ‘Problems, problems everywhere and not a drop of drink!’.

These two challenges act as a valuable opportunity for our instructors to become familiar with the team’s abilities and personalities, giving them the chance to tailor the more complex challenges that follow to suit the group perfectly.

There are also many skills learned during the ‘High on life Challenge’ or the ‘Problems, problems everywhere and not a drop of drink!’ which can be used by the group on the other challenge days, increasing the effectiveness of the team development process.

If you would like to join us on a one-day team development day and it is your groups first visit then you will need to choose between, “High on life” or the ‘Problems, problems everywhere and not a drop of drink!’.
as the other challenges may rely on previously acquired skills.

Corporate course– Team Leader Training

During out Team Leader course, we will provide Leadership training using both practical and theoretical aspects of Leadership - combining what Leadership is all about and then going out and demonstrating it.

Functional Leadership especially over a small team in a critical situations is essential for reaching a positive outcome, remaining safe and developing others.

Your group may be asked to operate in challenging situations, under tight time frames or with strict financial constraints. The support and back up for your team can at times seem ( and is ) a long way away. It is essential that a team has trust in the Leadership of the team, and be allowed to function effectively in specialist areas.

Leadership in pressure situations requires certain skills to make an effective corporate Leader / manager. The ability to operate independently, make effective decisions, negotiate the needs of the individuals, the team and task all whilst protecting group and company safety is quite a juggling act.

During the course you will participate in pressure situations utilising the outdoor environment - to facilitate individual development towards becoming a more effective Leader.

Leadership factors that will be covered include:

  1. Analyse Leadership
  2. Human behaviour
  3. Morale within the team
  4. Discipline
  5. Problem solving
  6. Decision making
  7. Apply Leadership effectively
  8. Effective Communication
  9. Brief / Debrief
  10. Leadership style
  11. Leading a team
  12. Conflict resolution
  13. Stress - managing critical incidents

Corporate course – High on Life

This day of enjoyable outdoor activity begins with an in-depth session on our low ropes course, which is set into the native environment giving you the chance to experience the tranquillity of this bush like setting.
As you work your way around the Low Ropes Challenge your team comes together to overcome each problem in turn. Calling on the collective contributions of every team member – drawing on their ideas, support, and effort to achieve a team goal, each exercise is performed low to the ground minimising risk and anxiety whilst allowing the team to progress at a comfortable pace. Progression is then on to the High Ropes course where individuals will need team support complete tasks.

This perfect ‘ice breaker’ activity is followed by a move onto our climbing wall.

Under our instructor’s watchful eye, the team will have the task of organising and running the session themselves, discussing and agreeing the level of personal challenge, individual goals and the demands upon and responsibilities towards other members of the group.

Splitting into smaller ‘buddy teams’ you’ll have an exhilarating and enlightening afternoon on the rock

Corporate course - Problems, problems everywhere and not a drop of drink!

This interesting and highly enjoyable day finds your group on a hunt for valuable rafting materials with the ultimate aim of building your own raft.
A raft river worthy enough to set sail on to the river to retrieve the ‘bubbly’ and eventually toast your success.

The strength, stability, and ultimately the buoyancy of your raft depends on the materials your team ‘unlocks’ during the morning challenges. Each activity-based task you successfully complete earns part of a riddle. A completed riddle can be exchanged for a broad range of rafting materials.

The day calls for a diverse spectrum of communication and decision making skills. And it’s heads down right from the start as the team has to plan the day together, choosing activities, booking time slots and assessing their overall needs.

This offers an opportunity for the team to tailor the problems and activities to suit their collective abilities and strengths. After that it’s a race against time where you struggle to get your team to each location on time for the pre-booked challenge before working together to complete the tasks and challenges.

Add to this the complexities of selecting the best materials, designing and building a practical raft and getting it into the water in one piece and you have a fantastic recipe for team development - and for great fun.

Corporate course – On top of the world ( multi day )

This classic team development day blends the best mountain scenery with a great opportunity to develop your teams communication and interpersonal skills. As a team you are challenged with navigating the ascent of a high peak in Egmont National Park.

During a planning meeting the day before the challenge, you’ll have the opportunity to learn basic skills. Skills you’ll need to rely on the next day.

The Following morning, after planning your route, selecting and packing equipment and discussing the group’s individual and collective goals, concerns and responsibilities, you’ll set off up the mountain.

With our instructors alongside you all the way, you’ll walk to the top of the mountain, using map and compass to pick your way through the breathtaking scenery. Along the way your team will be presented with a range of challenges requiring teamwork and effective decision-making. These decisions are often made more complex by the unpredictable weather in the mountains and the harsh, exposed terrain.

Although this is possibly one of our most physically demanding challenges, it is without doubt one of the most rewarding and calls for a unique type of cohesive motivation from the group.

The “On Top of the World” Challenge is a superb day out which carries with it a fantastic sense of group achievement. It will leave your team acutely aware of their strengths and abilities and provide some great snaps for their photo albums too.

Corporate course – Bush Challenge ( multi day )

An evening briefing the day before this event provides an opportunity to master basic navigation skills and gather other information you think might be useful during the challenge.

The next morning your team will gather to select and plan a route. With various challenges and routes available, one can be selected to suit your groups objectives and abilities perfectly.

Once underway the Bush Challenge requires your group to navigate from one checkpoint to another negotiating a task at each point to ‘unlock’ the co-ordinates of the next challenge-rendezvous.

Navigation in this dense wilderness is difficult as visual landmarks are often unavailable, leading to an amplified need for effective leadership, decision-making and team input. The challenges that must be overcome vary in nature, combining to bring out a wide spectrum of skills from the entire team.

After following the route correctly and negotiating each task successfully your group will find themselves back at TOPEC for the final challenge of the event.

This is an exciting day spent in beautiful, remote countryside whilst avoiding the physically demanding terrain that the “On Top of the World “ Challenge covers.

Corporate – Additional Information

What do courses include?

  • A bed in rustic kiwi cabins (normally shared) unless we specifically state "Non-residential".
  • Use of specialist technical equipment and clothing.
  • All in-course transport.
  • All instruction.
  • Free use of our low ropes course. Lodges and other buildings
  • Self or catered facilities for multi day courses
  • Catered lunches for day courses

What do courses not include?

  • Travel to and from TOPEC.
  • Catered evening meals unless previously organised.

When should we arrive?

You should aim to arrive at 9am on the day your course start date.  Rooms will not be available before this.  Lunch will be provided. With multiday courses, lunch is the first meal of the course. You will meet your instructors and start activities around 9.00am following a welcome from one of our senior staff. If you have booked a non-residential day you should plan to arrive by 8.45am and should finish around 5pm.

What happens at the end of the course?

Courses finish around 4pm on the last activity day.  It may be possible for you to add an extra night's accommodation, leaving the morning after the course.

How do we book?

To make a provisional booking or discuss your requirements please call Kerry on 06 7580448 during office hours or E-mail


TOPEC does have liability insurance.


We can accommodate varying degrees of fitness but we do reserve the right to curtail participation or in (rare) extreme cases we may ask a participant to withdraw from activities if we feel their lack of fitness is causing excessive difficulties for other course members.

Value for money

As TOPEC is a non-profit making centre, run by the Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre Trust, our aim is to make sure you get the best possible value for money when enjoying the outdoors.


All activities are entirely weather dependant. Every effort will be made to accommodate your booking but should conditions be such that we cannot run your chosen activites we will offer an alternative activity.

Useful Information

Participants must be 8 or above.

Instructors will assume full responsibility for the groups during sessions. The visiting group leaders are responsible for supervision after 4,30 pm. E.g. in the evenings and overnight.

  • All specialist equipment is provided.
  • All those rafting, kayaking, river sledging / bugging, body boarding , canoeing must be water confident.
  • You are welcome to hire extra gear from our equipment store.
  • Overseas visitors must make sure the group can communicate in English.
  • For special needs groups, alternate arrangements may be necessary, please phone to discuss your requirements before booking.
  • All our instructors are appropriately qualified and experienced.
  • All sessions are entirely weather dependent. Every effort will be made to accommodate your booking but should conditions be such that we cannot run your session we will offer an alternative activity.
  • Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre is a registered charity
  • To ensure the wellbeing of the group every ten young people must be accompanied by an adult leader or supervisor at all times.
Website Design by Accent Web Design Ltd