TSB TOPEC is a registered Private Training Establishment (PTE). If you want a taste of the outdoors, you’ll find our blend of knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm produces an experience that’s unrivalled in the outdoor world.

We love introducing people to Outdoor Education, making sure that they progress at their own pace. Everything is geared towards making adventure experiences enjoyable – challenge-by-choice.

TSB TOPEC – NZ Certificate in Outdoor Experiences (Level 3)

NZ Certificate in Outdoor Leadership (NZCOL) Level 4

TSB TOPEC, as a Private Training Establishment (PTE), provides a career pathway from secondary schools to tertiary training. TSB TOPEC offers a NZ Certificate in Outdoor Experiences programme for year 13 students which allows them to gain 40 credits at NCEA Level 3. Students are onsite two days per week for 30 weeks. The NZ Certificate in Outdoor Leadership course is a 60 credit tertiary qualification where students study at TSB TOPEC for three days per week. An agreement with WITT allows students to also study towards a National Diploma in Business if they desire.

Students visit outdoor learning environments such as Mt Taranaki, Waitara & Waiwhakaiho Rivers and Wharepapa South (Central North Island) when they learn skills in weather and risk management, leading others in the outdoors, teamwork, and bush, climbing and river (kayak and raft) skills. Possible career paths identified through the programme cover a wide variety of jobs including paramedic, defence force and police training, working with children and youth in community-based and outdoor activities-based education, teaching, search & rescue, adventure tourism and outdoor instructor and guiding careers.

River Safety

Many people live near or enjoy visiting Taranaki rivers. River Safe is an on-site river-based learning programme about learning how rivers work and enjoying rivers safely, developed by Water Safety New Zealand and championed by TSB TOPEC.

It is targeted at primary or secondary school students but has importance for adults and parents. It has been developed for use with levels of the NZ Health and Physical Education Curriculum. It can be used at any age level to develop knowledge, skills and awareness.

Professional development courses can also be organised for School Teachers, youth leaders or other organisations on demand.

We use the Davidson Lodge classroom and the Tailrace to deliver River Safety education. A combination of multi-media clips, riverbank and practical activities make the course fun and meaningful to all participants. We are an accredited River Safe Provider and have highly skilled staff to facilitate learning.

Please click here to download the river safety brochure.


What better way is there than to learn a new outdoor activity with your family? We’ve put together a list of courses designed for the entire family to enjoy together. If your kids are eight years old or over you can bring them along with you and take to the mountains, lakes and rivers of Taranaki – always under the watchful eye of our expert instructors. Our distinctive philosophy means that you’ll leave ready to go out and enjoy your chosen outdoor pursuit under your own steam. But, most of all – you’ll be able to continue to enjoy that activity together.

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 ie. the evenings and overnight.

  • All specialist equipment is provided.
  • All those rafting, kayaking, river sledging / bugging, body boarding, or 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, however, 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.