Girls wading across river

Kahunui Life Skills experience

Kahunui is key to a full St Cuthbert’s education and equips every girl with life skills for the real world. Every Year 10 girl spends a month at our Bay of Plenty outdoor campus – a truly transformative experience she will remember forever.

St Cuthbert’s is the only girls’ school to offer a residential life skills outdoor learning programme on a separate campus, which is designed to advance all levels of fitness – social, physical, emotional and intellectual. Our girls emerge with new-found resilience and self-confidence, and a fresh appreciation of their home and family.

“The girls were all glowing when we picked our daughter up. They’ve had a life changing, irreplaceable experience. It’s hard to summarise our elation that our daughter has had the opportunity to participate in such an amazing adventure.”

Parent of a St Cuthbert’s Year 10 student

Off the grid

What’s so special for the girls is spending four weeks ‘off the grid’ – with no phones, laptops or devices – providing a rare opportunity to develop meaningful perspectives without distraction. The transformation is incredible. Our girls return brimming with self-confidence, deepened friendships and a greater sense of themselves and others.

Kayaking and survival camping are just two of the many outdoor activities


Under specialist instruction the girls live in and manage their own house. Along with all the practicalities – like cleaning, laundry, menu planning, budgeting, gardening and cooking – they learn to live with others – building respect, consideration, reliance and understanding of strengths and differences.

Wilderness learning

Outdoor activities range from tramping, kayaking, and blow-carting to fishing, small boat handling, fire lighting and survival camping. The broad learning environment encourages girls to challenge and enquire – to think deeply about the world they live in and delve into problems to develop creative and innovate solutions.

“Kahunui is a unique and very special part of what we offer at St Cuthbert’s to develop well-rounded young women. The experience helps our girls become aware of just how resourceful they are, how they can achieve whatever they put their mind to, how they can feel the fear and do it anyway, and how to be at one with the environment. It expands friendship groups, creating strong bonds and helping girls realise they can confidently face life’s challenges.”

Suzanne Winthrop, Acting Principal St Cuthbert’s

Our campuses

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