Our Story


Karioi Lodge Outdoor Centre 1973- 2014
41 years and counting

The idea of creating a dedicated outdoor education and accommodation facility in Raglan was first conceived by a group of teachers from Huntly College back in 1973. It had become apparent accessibility to outdoor education experiences where diminishing as parents and teachers became burdened with ever increasing job demands. After an extensive search of the Waikato region a 110 acre block of mostly unproductive farm land and native bush was identified and purchased by the newly formed Huntly Karioi Outdoor Trust. The goal of the Trust was to create a facility where kids and travellers would have an opportunity to learn and explore the Kiwi outdoors first hand.


The opening of Karioi Lodge and Outdoor Centre was the result of their efforts.





The Karioi Trust’s original vision has proved prophetic in today’s fast paced and time constrained family and school environment. A connection to the land and its eco systems has never been more relevant as more and more pressures are placed on our environment.


The Karioi Outdoor Centre has evolved over the years to meet the ever increasing demands of accommodation and facilities necessary for backpackers and schools to meet their expectations for a true outdoor experience.


Today the facility has been modernised with amenities such as a hot sauna, Sky TV and broadband internet, but the original vision has never been compromised.
The facility now boasts a truly sustainable organic garden and orchard. An outdoor amphitheatre has been built which is utilised as our classroom in the sky and the all-weather “Barn” is also a favourite for entertaining and running various school modules.


In the year 2000 the facility became the home of the Raglan Surfing School, the first surf school established in New Zealand. This broadened the facilities offerings to include beach awareness and water safety which was a natural fit to Raglan’s expanding surfing popularity.




80 acres of the property has been dedicated as protected land under the QEII Trust Outdoors initiative. This part of the facility will be maintained in its natural state for future generations to enjoy.


The Huntly Karioi Outdoor Trusts original objectives are still being actively pursued after 41 years through the funding received from the operation of the facility.