Outward Bound celebrates 50 years

Today Outward Bound celebrates 50 years since its establishment in 1962.

Outward Bound was founded overseas in 1941 by the German educator Kurt Hahn and influenced by a training course devised for young sailors during World War II. Indeed the term 'outward bound' - a nautical expression to describe a ship leaving harbour, reflects these origins. It is also a metaphor for the challenges faced by participants taking part in Outward Bound courses.

Ref: AWNS-19181003-41-2, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The Outward Bound Trust was established in 1946 to spread the concept to other schools around the world. In 1961, Kiwi Hamish Thomas, a barrister and ex-navy man, brought Outward Bound to New Zealand. The first Outward Bound expedition took places in 1962, when a group of young men descended on Anakiwa in Queen Charlotte Sound, a trip which took 24 days.

More than 50,000 New Zealanders have attended an Outward Bound course, over 2000 every year. From its military boot-camp beginnings, Outward Bound is striving to adapt and be relevant to today's times and multicultural communities. Find out more.

Ref: 03263, South Auckland Research Centre


  1. Personal memories of Outward Bound in the Western Leader: http://westernleader.realviewdigital.com/?iid=65240#folio=30 (please paste this link into your browser).


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