Outward Bound Expedition (ACT)
Held in the April and September school holidays.
Outward Bound Expedition is a young adult development program that will give you personal motivation, boost your self-esteem and confidence, and provide you with the skills to map your journey of self-discovery. Through adventure, laughter and some one-on-one with the wilderness, you’ll find you’re capable of more than you thought possible.
The Expedition program qualifies for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Gold Residential Project. Classification: Activity based - Outdoor adventure courses.
15 Apr 2024 to 24 Apr 2024
30 Sep 2024 to 9 Oct 2024
|Ages||15 - 24|
Outward Bound programs are beyond a simple outdoor experience. You have the chance to explore your core values and build your capacity for:
- Compassion for others
- Environmental responsibility
- Self confidence
- Social competence
Enjoy your adventure in the natural environment while you explore the world through the following peak activities:
- Abseiling / Rock-climbing
- High Ropes
Outward Bound Expedition is all about discovering and developing your potential through participation in adventurous experiences scaffolded by risk and reward. Physical activity, mental agility and the ability to work together as a team encourage teenagers to problem-solve in practical ways.
The 10 day program for youth and emerging adults ages 15 – 24 that promotes curiosity, courage and compassion. Activities include high-ropes course, abseiling, orienteering, hiking, and an overnight solo.
If you’re just starting to think about your future, this program will help you discover the strengths and abilities you may not even know you have. The Outward Bound Expedition program also qualifies for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold Residential Project. Classification: Activity based – Outdoor adventure courses. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for your assessment before arriving on program.
How to apply:
- Create a video that answers the question: Why do you want to attend your selected Outward Bound Expedition program? Your response must be:
- Delivered in a video format.
- 2-minutes duration, +/- 10 seconds.
- Presented by the applicant.
- Audible / understandable.
- Make sure you are in a location with minimum background noise.
- We are not looking for professional quality movies, nor are we seeking to be entertained.
- Be sincere and be yourself.
- Click on the “Book” button to be taken to the application page.
- Select your program location and date from the drop-down menu below and click “Add to cart”.
- On the next page, click “Proceed to checkout”.
- Complete the Expedition Application form. This is where you will be asked to upload your video. You can either upload the file directly or upload a Doc that contains a hyperlink we can use to access.
- Complete the Billing details then click “Place order”.
- The application fee is $20 incl. GST and non-refundable. If you are successful, this amount will be deducted from your program fee (full price $1997).
When will I know if I am successful?
All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application 16-weeks before their selected program start date. The notification dates for 2024 are:
- Monday 18 December 2023 for 15-24 April 2024
- Tuesday 11 June 2024 for 30 September – 9 October 2024
Please click on the image to see an indicative program outline for ACT Outward Bound Expedition. The exact program schedule may change, depending on factors including weather and available access within National Parks.
Start and end times:
Meet us at our National Base in Tharwa ACT from 10:00am, for a 10:30am start on Day 1.
Your program will end at our National Base at 2:00pm on Day 10. A certificate ceremony is held at 1:30pm on this day, and your family are welcome to attend.
Getting to and from program:
We offer a pick-up option from Canberra (Kingston) Train Station at 9:30am, and Canberra Airport at 10am for those who cannot arrange car transport to our location.
If you require public transport to get home, we offer a drop-off option from Canberra Airport at 2:30pm, and Canberra (Kingston) Train Station at 3:00pm.
Come prepared and leave inspired!
Please click here to access your packing list for the program: Mid Expedition Packing List.
Participants are expected to come on program with all items, as indicated.
If you do not have any of the items below, try borrowing from friends or family or buying second hand. We have also partnered with Camp List, who provide many of the items listed for hire and/or purchase. To see what is available, go to www.camplist.com.au and in the central search bar type “Outward Bound Australia”.
At Outward Bound we take safety seriously.
We endeavour to provide a safe but challenging environment for our participants. We believe that people grow and learn by taking a controlled level of risk in the outdoor learning environment.
As leaders in the Outdoor Education field, we have developed, over 60 years, a comprehensive risk management system. This includes:
- policies and procedures for the safe running and management of programs in line with the Australian Adventure Activity standards.
- conducting annual internal audits, bi annual external audits, staff appraisals, staff training and bi monthly safety reviews.
- a comprehensive incident and near miss database (one of the best in the business) which allows us to track trends and work towards reducing the likelihood of accidents. This is greatly assisted by each participant completing a thorough medical & dietary form, before they arrive.
- a coordinated risk management plan that includes hiring procedures, written field operational standards and guidelines, operational training, program structure, reflection, evaluation and organisational culture.
- a dedicated manager responsible for Health, Safety and Risk.
Our safety record is extremely good, and we expect this will remain so due to robust policies, responsible management and continuous improvement.
We encourage parents and participants to familiarise themselves with the Risk-Management-Policy available to view via the link below.
We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have over the phone (1800 267 999). Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions.
Is this program right for my young person?
Outward Bound provides a safe and supportive environment for your young person to thrive, regardless of their prior experience on an adventure like this. Outward Bound’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity means programs cater to people of different ages, genders, backgrounds, and abilities. However, the Outward Bound team are not trained disability support workers or trauma informed, and OB programs are not for everyone.
Programs are delivered in a group setting, with two staff members facilitating up to 18 participants. We are unable to provide 1-on-1 ongoing support throughout the program for individual participants with complex additional needs.
Participants need to:
- Be respectful: physical or verbally abusive behaviours will not be tolerated.
- Co-operate and partake in the fundamental elements of the program, without deliberately disrupting group activities.
- Self-manage living skills in an outdoor camping environment.
Participants may be removed from the program if they fail to meet these standards.
Please read the full Public Program Participant Behavioural and Personal Competency Expectations before committing to this Outward Bound program.
Where will I be sleeping?
Our programs are expedition-based. You will be hiking to a new expedition campsite every night where you will share a bivvy (A-frame tarp, with waterproof groundsheet and sleeping mat.)
What will I eat?
We value fresh food and endeavour to organise regular food drops for you to enjoy throughout your program. Participants will learn to cook a variety of group-based meals, including pasta, rice, burritos, and perhaps even a roast dinner. We are able to cater for most dietary requirements. We will request your specific dietary needs before the program.
Can I bring technology on program?
An Outward Bound program is your opportunity to ‘disconnect to reconnect’. We will not permit technology such as phones, tablets, music players, etc. on your program. If you need to bring these for your journey before and after your program, we can securely store these while you are out in the bush.
Do I have to wear hiking boots?
We recommend hiking boots for all our programs. If you are unable to source these, you will need to find a suitable pair of lace-up, fully enclosed footwear, that has a rigid sole and provides ankle stability.
Do I have to bring the wet weather clothing?
We use the rain jacket and waterproof overpants as a heat-trapping layer in the evenings, just as much as a waterproof cover in the case of rain. For the majority of situations, we continue with our program when it is raining, and so very strongly encourage participants to provide these items.
Do I have to bring the thermals?
For programs running May – September, yes you do need to bring the thermal top and bottom to program. For programs running at other times, you can choose if you want to bring these or not. Overall, we recommend bringing thermals for any time of year, as they can act as a lightweight jumper in the evenings, or as a pair of pyjamas (which are not a part of our packing list).
Do I have to be very fit to come on a program?
An Outward Bound program is an expedition in the natural environment, so you need to feel confident enough to manage walking on uneven ground for about 6 hours every day of your program, while carrying a hiking pack weighing a minimum of 6kg, or a maximum of up to one third of your total body weight. We do adjust our programs to meet the capabilities of each group.
Do participants come with friends, or as individuals?
Most participants arrive on their own, and depart with a set of new friends.
What are the toilet facilities?
Due to environmental reasons, we don’t regularly use pit toilets while camping out. As an alternative to this we have a hygienic, private toileting system that we assemble for use each day of each program.
I’m over/under the age limits in my preferred program, can I still enrol?
Our programs are carefully constructed to suit specific age levels. Because of this we rarely allow anyone into a program that they do not qualify for. If you would like to join a program outside of your age bracket, please contact us to discuss your situation.
Can I bring a camera?
You can bring a non-phone camera on program. However there are times when you will not be permitted to use it, such as roping activities, group debriefs etc. If you do bring a camera, please ensure it is well protected and waterproofed. Before you take photos that have other people, you must gain the consent of everyone visible.
I follow cultural routines; can I follow them during a program?
Yes, as long as the cultural routines are permissible within our Safe Operating Procedures and insurance policies. Our staff will do their best to provide time and space for your cultural practices, please disclose your needs to our staff as soon as possible so that we can do our best to accommodate them. Participants who are unable to wear a helmet will not be able to undertake activities where a helmet is required. Safety must come first at Outward Bound Australia.
What gear does Outward Bound Australia supply?
Unless you are advised otherwise, Outward Bound Australia supplies essential items such as backpack, sleeping mat, sleeping shelter, food, cooking and specialist activity equipment. You are required to bring your own sleeping bag, clothing, personal camping equipment (eg. head torch), personal hygiene items and any medication you may require on program.
We want as many people as possible to experience the advantage of a wilderness program in Australia. Through our charity arm, the Australian Outward Bound Development Fund, we can offer financial scholarship opportunities to those participants who would otherwise not be able to afford to come on a program.
There are three scholarship tiers available on every program. At the time of application, you will be asked to select which Scholarship Program Fee you can afford.
The amount selected is the total Program Fee you may be asked to co-contribute. Scholarships do not include any costs associated with clothing, equipment, or transport to and from program.
We accept applications for all programs throughout the year. First-round notification of your success for any given program will be advised 16-weeks before program start date, in line with your application success notification.
To apply for a scholarship please go to our Scholarship Application Form.