AOEC is a leading environment centre situated on leased Department of Conservation (DOC) land, in the Kaimai Forest Park surrounded by Native Bush


Booking priority is given to groups who meet our mission & objectives; other school, youth & adult education groups may book if there is vacancy


The activities at Aongatete Outdoor Education Centre are dedicated to the education, knowledge, and enjoyment of the outdoors


It’s my pleasure to say THANK YOU so much for looking after us during the past weeks. You deserve praise as you people are so kind, patient, loving and hospitable, words can’t match the good service provided especially during these challenging times with the COVID Pandemic. As I reviewed my book I created while at Aongatete, one of the chapters was about you, Karen. You provided all that we need, making sure everybody satisfied. It is in unforgettable times of challenge in which the Heroes stand out… in our time in NZ one of them was YOU….I would like to take this chance to THANK YOU SO MUCH for all that you did for us….what you did for us will be remembered always…. Thank you.

Timothy Dickson, Apata Seasonal Worker

I would like to thank you for your help and services this year. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much value that you have added to every single trainee that has passed through our gates this year. As they say “The proof is in the pudding”. Without you, this course wouldn’t be as awesome as it is and for that I am extremely grateful.

PO Albert Roebeck, Youth Development Unit, NZ Defence Force

Thank You for helping me fall in love with the forest. My favourite part of camp was the night walk in the forest and seeing all the amazing insects and spiders. I loved all the great times in the forest.

Briana, Student, Drury School

Thank you very much for a wonderful camp. The girls cannot stop talking about it. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with you! Thank you so much for your talk on survival in the bush which we all thoroughly enjoyed and for your continued support throughout the camp. No other camp manager has ever been as helpful as you were to us.

Mother Mary Madeleine O.P, St Dominics College, Wanganui

Once again thanks for your support and fabulous organisation of the Lodge facilities. What a great job you are doing.

Vicki Knell - Principal, Omokoroa Point School

We had a fabulous weekend which started with the very warm welcomes from Karen. Everything is so well organised and cared for it makes it a very easy place to stay. Thanks for all your hard work in keeping it ticking over. Everyone loved the variety of the bush and the river.

Lee McKay, Women's Outdoor Pursuits

We had a great time as always! Thank you for being such a great host. I am always flat out at these weekends and do appreciate all the extra you do for us to make our stay comfortable and to lighten my load for the weekend.

Donna Kerridge, Titoki Education - Rongoa Maori Medicine

I have just spent time at your lodge with my son Dylan. I want to thank you so much for the experience, and passing on your knowledge. I did not get to do the forest discovery activity as I was required at other activities, however I had really wanted to. In saying that, I learnt a lot on our 20 minute drive from school to home this afternoon from Dylan, who sometimes appears to not be paying attention, but really is taking it all in! Thank you for sharing that with us, we both had a great time!

Penny - Parent, Matamata Intermediate

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in a conservation program with Karen during our recent school camp. Your passion for the well-being of our native flora and fauna was obvious, and your commitment to conservation was inspiring. We had an engaging educational tour of the bush, learning about the methods used to track and monitor wildlife activity, and to trap pests. Being able to get up close and personal with traps and pests made for rich learning; an excellent provocation from which many wonderings sprang and a greater awareness of our native taonga (treasures) was promoted. This was one of the highlights of our camp experience and should be a ‘must do’ to cultivate an appreciation of our natural world.

Lenora Skinner - Teacher, Whangaparaoa Primary School