TSB TOPEC is a registered Private Training Establishment (PTE). If you want to bring a group to Taranaki for 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.

Our location close to Egmont National Park, the Taranaki coast and rivers make us an ideal choice for a group of friends, local or visiting schools, colleges, youth clubs and voluntary organisations like the Scouts and Guides.

We love introducing beginners 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)

TSB TOPEC, as a Private Training Establishment (PTE) is currently providing career pathways to Taranaki schools. 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, and also work towards the National Certificate in Outdoor Recreation (Leadership) and various outdoor industry assessments as pre-requisites for further study. TSB TOPEC currently has students onsite two days per week who have enrolled from various schools within Taranaki. Students attend their school for the other three days per week. We aim to expand engagement to more schools and offer a Level 4 module-based option beyond school which creates a NZQA framework pathway through NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3, and on to specific industry training.

The Level 3 lasts for 30 weeks, delivered two days per week with block courses for some areas of study. 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.

The staff at TSB TOPEC includes registered teachers who have extensive experience with the specific demands of standards-based assessment. Skills Active is providing assessment of the unit standards. Taranaki secondary schools have used TSB TOPEC’s expertise to deliver and assess NCEA standards for a number of years, so the PTE status now allows for delivering of a TOPEC NZ Certificate in Outdoor Experiences alongside Skills Active unit outdoor industry unit standards.

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.

Industry Training – Volunteers

TOPEC does accept volunteers to help with running of the centre of to assist the volunteer in gaining experience in the industry. All volunteers will be required to complete personal information requirements and agree to police checks.


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.