Outward Bound Junior

Outward Bound's Junior school holiday program is for 12 - 15 year olds looking for adventure, making new friends, exploring the natural world and having fun trying new challenges.

Essential Information
Escape the Ordinary
Five Days of Thrill-Seeking Adventure

Outward Bound’s Junior program is designed for adolescents 12 to 15 years old. We will embark on five adventure-laden days where emerging teenagers can escape the ordinary and adventure on an expedition like no other.

Thrill-seeking activities such as a high ropes course, abseiling and rock climbing will tick all the boxes for your adventure-seeking teen.

Expedition-Style Exploration

The expedition-style exploration through some of Australia’s most scenic locations will delight and inspire teens who are drawn to the outdoors or have a passion for the environment.  Problem-solving and adventure activities will provide leadership opportunities to empower teens to support and guide their peers throughout their program experience and beyond.

Growth Opportunities – Risk, Reward, Responsibility

Opportunities for collective and independent exploration will see adolescents discover their inner strength. They will learn new skills, experience challenges, and step out of their comfort zones.

Activities that support risk-taking and curiosity are purposefully scattered throughout the program. Plenty of physical activity and mental agility encourage young adolescents to think differently and problem-solve. The scaffolding and support of experienced instructors promotes Outward Bound’s core values of risk, reward and responsibility.

Help your adolescent put down the mobile phone, step away from the computer screen and engage in an outdoor adventure like no other. If your child thinks camping is fun, then this program is next level “awesome!”

School Holiday Fun, Friendships & Adventure

For a program jam-packed with fun, friendship and personal development, check out the locations on offer for your child in our Outward Bound Junior Adventures. Register your child today and give them a gift that will inspire and encourage them for years to come.

Contact our team on 02 6235 5700 to learn more or ask any questions about the program in your state or territory.

Locations - Where can we adventure?

The Junior program will have you out adventuring in some of Australia’s favourite destinations and environmentally protected National Parks. And if you have never heard of these locations before, your child will be in for a real treat. You will wish you were going too!

Currently available in Tharwa, ACT.

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.

Itinerary - What are we going to do?

Please click on the image to see an indicative program outline for Junior. The exact program schedule may change, depending on factors including weather and available access within National Parks.

What's included in the program fees?

Junior Adventures are $997 per person for 5 days. Your program fees cover all accommodation, meals, activities and specialised equipment is also included.


Our programs are expedition-based, with youth staying in a new campsite each night. Each location will have comfortable accommodation facilities to provide a relaxed, happy camp experience for each participant. Unless noted otherwise, young adolescents and teens will share accommodation facilities with members of their same gender.


Toileting facilities or amenities will be dependent on the specific location of each camp.

Meals & Catering

Each camp facility has excellent fresh and healthy food options available for participants across the week. All breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks (including drinks of course!) are provided within each location. The experience of learning how to cook a variety of meals is all part of the program. If your child has allergies or specific dietary requirements, please contact us to discuss how we can best cater for your teen.


All group camping and adventure activity equipment will be provided by Outward Bound.

Individual Needs

Our program facilitators are trained professionals who administer and manage the camp itinerary and are familiar with young adolescents’ needs.

We are not psychologists or therapists, but we have a firm understanding of this age group and provide support, encouragement and friendship so that everyone has a fantastic time.

Wherever possible, we will make adjustments to best cater to your adolescent’s specific needs to ensure their health, safety, and comfort when away from home.

Support & Encouragement

Each program emphasises individual skills development in an age-appropriate manner. Your young person will be encouraged to participate in new challenges, cooperate with a group of peers and, most importantly – have fun. They will be supported to take on new challenges, consider risk and develop courage and resilience.

Packing List - What will I need?
Come prepared and leave inspired!

Please click here to access your packing list for the program: Short 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”. 


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.

Where am I 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 encourage adult participants to not use technology such as phones, tablets, music players, etc. during your program. If you need to bring these items, 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).

What activities will I be doing?

All Outward Bound programs include a hiking expedition and team initiatives. The program length and location may include abseiling, rock-climbing and high ropes. Programs in Western Australia and Grampians VIC usually include a water-based activity.

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 at least 6km every day of your program length, carrying a minimum of 6kg in an expedition-style backpack.

Where are the programs held?

All-year-round programs operate from our national base in Tharwa, ACT. We operate seasonally from our Base in Walpole WA, and our remote set-up along the Snowy River, VIC.

Scholarships and Fundraising for your Program
April 2024 Scholarship applications have closed.

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.

  • $697.90
  • $498.50
  • $199.40

We accept applications for all programs throughout the year. First-round notification of your success for any given program will be advised approximately 16-weeks before program start date. 

To apply for a scholarship please go to our Scholarship Application Form.

Fundraising with Prezentbox

Prezentbox is a digital platform that enables family and friends to contribute to your Outward Bound program. Read more about Outward Bound’s partnership with Prezentbox and how it works.

Core Outcomes of Outward Bound Programs

The recently released Outward Bound International Global Impact Report 2020 revealed the centralizing theme of CONNECTIONS across all regions and 5 CORE OUTCOMES of Outward Bound programs consistent across the worldwide network of Schools. Connections to:

  1. Self
    • Resilience
    • Confidence
  2. Others
    • Compassion
    • Social Competence
  3. The Natural World
    • Environmental Responsibility
What types of activities will I be participating in?
Hike Expedition
Taking on leadership roles.
The Young Explorer Programs are designed to encourage you to take up leadership roles, develop your communication skills, build confidence and support each other.
Rock Climbing
Building courage.
You are encouraged to build on your social, emotional and physical confidence. Make friends, have fun, challenge yourself and be immersed in the beauty that is nature.
Abseiling & High Ropes
Disciplined self-control.
The ability to follow instructions, work through outcomes and respond to the environment are all skills that you will develop across the 5-day program.
Want to see a day by day account of the 2019 Australian Alps Young Explorer?
Spirit of Adventure
Early adolescence is a stage when young people are redefining their boundaries and seeking new experiences. Outward Bound adventures take young people on a journey - seeking meaningful and challenging experiences rather than mere “thrill-seeking”.
Outward Bound's Junior program provides opportunities for challenging encounters, builds self-confidence through a journey of self-discovery - where young people realise they are stronger than they think.
At this transitional stage in life, young adolescents begin to think about themselves in new ways and shape a new identity for themselves. Compassion, independence and resilience are the supporting pillars of self-awareness.
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