The Pursuit of Excellence in the Outdoors


Mount Aspiring College has been acknowledged for excellence in outdoor learning, winning the title of Best Outdoor Education Programme at the 2011 Outdoor Excellence Awards. The awards are organised by Outdoors New Zealand.

MAC has been teaching in the area of outdoor pursuits since the college opened in 1987 and prior to that OP was already on offer by the area school and district high school. The college was one of the first in the country to offer OP as a curriculum-based subject. “We’re teaching kids now in Outdoor Pursuits whose parents did it when they were in school,” said Science teacher and former Head of Outdoor Pursuits Ian McNabb, who put through the nomination for the award.

Outdoor education at MAC is offered at all year levels, with Years 7 through 10 participating in camps and education outside the classroom, and students in Years 11 through 13 able to gain NZQA credits in Outdoor Pursuits. Activities offered at MAC range from rock climbing to snow sports to tramping.

The Outdoor Excellence awards are run annually, recognising achievement by individuals and organisations involved in outdoor recreation and education.

Current Head of OP, Dave Cassaidy (pictured above with Ian McNabb, Andrea Woolley and Luke Faed and the award) said that the award meant a lot for the both the OP Department and the school as a whole. “It’s really humbling, because it’s acknowledgement by our peers in the outdoor industry that we are performing at the highest level.”


Click here to go to the MAC Outdoor Pursuits webpage





Mount Aspiring College | Wanaka | New Zealand | © 2012