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Castle Hill

Exploring the outdoors is an intrinsic part of life in New Zealand, and at St Andrew’s College, students enjoy a top quality Outdoor Education programme in award winning facilities at Castle Hill, in the spectacular Canterbury High Country.

The Alistair Sidey Mountain Lodge was completely rebuilt in 2008 into a state-of-the-art centre for our outdoor and leadership programmes, where personal empowerment and team spirit are top priorities.

The comfortable Lodge sleeps 42 people in bunk beds, and has cooking facilities, equipment and utensils in its well-equipped kitchen to cater for up to 50 people.

Students enjoy a range of exciting activities at Castle Hill, designed and overseen by high-qualified, full time instructors. These include group problem-solving games, abseiling, rock climbing, skiing, snow-caving, tramping, camping, kayaking and environmental projects including wilding pines, stoat trapping and a wasp control programme.

Our students in Years 7–10 discover a lot about themselves and their classmates during their annual excursions to the Lodge.

In the Senior College, our prefects, peer support and other student leaders undertake much of their specialist leadership training in the inspiring surroundings of Castle Hill.

Training days and other Outdoor Education days are also held at the facilities.

The Outdoor Education programme at St Andrew’s is continually developing to meet the needs of the curriculum and to provide students with an experience that can help them to look at life from a different perspective, develop organisational skills, resilience, and embrace leadership.

Due to the recognised high quality of the Outdoor programme, all the weeks that are not required by St Andrew’s students are contracted out to other schools in the Christchurch area.

During weekends and school holidays in the summer months our facilities at Castle Hill are sometimes available for hire by groups. For further details please email Head of Values and Culture, Hamish Bell, at

OutdoorsMark Logo

Castle Hill Outdoor Centre has held the OutdoorMark safety accreditation since it first started in 2006. This is a nationally Audited certification which is recognised by the Ministry of Education. The centre has in April 2018 been Audited under the new Adventure activity and been awarded a Premium Safety Audit Certification for the next three years.


The Castle Hill Outdoor Centre has been awarded the Organisation Award for performing at the highest levels. The award recognises the contribution to the society and the long lasting and positive impacts they are making to the wider community.