Outside the classroom

We encourage all our students to make the most of the opportunities in the outdoors.  The skills developed in the outdoors are transferable and lifelong.  They will enable our students to overcome adversity, become independent and resilient, and stand up and take leadership.

We provide an extensive and challenging Outdoor Education programme progressing through the year levels.  The outdoor activities provide hands-on learning with meaningful choices and opportunities to learn from personal experience.  There is a focus on teamwork to enhance personal and social development.
Participation in our programme provides an introduction to outdoor recreation activities for life beyond school and encourages our students to engage with our communities and environment.
We are very lucky to live in an extremely supportive community who help us out tremendously with fundraising for our EOTC programmes. Parents are expected to pay some of the costs but all classes try to fundraise a large component of the costs.
Our PTA kindly donates $25 per student for EOTC activities.

Whole School Ski and Snowboard Trip
Open to all students and their families.
An opportunity to build friendships with students from across all year levels and for family participation.

Year 3 & 4
Overnight stay at Dunedin Museum annually. While on camp students also take part in other activities based in Dunedin.

Year 5 & 6 Class
3 day camp annually. Alternating between a ski trip and water sports each year.

Year 7 & 8
Bi-annual 4 day camp and on the alternate year at least an overnight stay.

Year 9 & 10
Outdoor education activities concentrating on developing outdoor skills which takes place at the end of the year.
Students cook some of their own meals. Activities can include camping, camp craft, study of flora/fauna, canoeing/kayaking, creek/river/sea study, sailing, shooting, orienteering, confidence courses, fishing, biking, water safety, tramping.

2022 Camp will be held in December, going to Deep Cove – Fiordland.

Year 11 – Educational trip to Wellington

Year 11 students from Maniototo Area School hit Wellington on their Urban Adventure in early August. Otago Community Trust was pleased to be able to support the Area School and students with this trip, some of whom had never been on a plane.

“We had a jam packed itinerary, the students were involved in a wide range of activities including, going to the Wellington Zoo, Weta Workshops, Madagascar the stage show, Space Place, riding the Cable Car, a visit and tour of Parliament and the National Library where we got to see the Treaty of Waitangi, the Declaration of Independence and the Woman’s Suffrage Petition.”

“All of these experiences come at a cost of which many of our families would not have been able to afford. But thanks to the Otago Community Trust for their grant and the students’ hard work fundraising they had a high school experience they will never forget.”

Senior Tramp
Four-day tramp for Year 12/13 students (usually held during term 1 each year).
The tramp is on any one of the DOC tracks, students sleep in the DOC huts. Beyond the personal confidence students may gain, the tramp will provide strong context for student work in sciences/ecology, language and culture, geography and history.

2022 Camp will be a trip to Rakiura – Stewart Island in December.

Year 12/13 Physical Education
A wide range of Outdoor Education activities: Surfing, Abseiling and Rock climbing experience, Mountain Biking and Kayaking in Naseby and a day bike trip in Central Otago Region.

Biology Year 12
One day trip to the NZ Marine Centre in Portobello. The students will gather information on the ecology of the rocky shore. Part of the NCEA Level 2 Biology course, students work towards gaining NCEA credits.

Biology Year 13
Three day trip staying at Quarantine Island with daily visits to the NZ Marine Centre. Students will investigate adaptations of crabs that make them successful in their survival on the rocky shore.
One day trip to the Otago museum and the Zoology Department at Otago University, held during term 3 each year. Students will observe skulls and study adaptations of early hominin species for their Human evolution topic. At the Zoology department they will investigate adaptations for homeostasis.  Both trips are part of the NCEA Level 3 Biology course, students work towards gaining NCEA credits.​

Gifted & Talented Programme
Each year one student from year 10 and year 11 is selected at Maniototo Area School for the Gifted and Talented Programme at the NZ Marine Centre, Portobello. The programme is for gifted and
talented students, who mainly have a keen interest in the sciences. It operates for 8 days, delivered in three residential blocks with students staying on Quarantine Island in the Otago Harbour for the
five nights. The student will join 24 other gifted and talented students from schools throughout Otago and Southland.

Students will be involved with research that relates to a Benthic survey, Oceanography and Plankton and Benthic-Pelagic Coupling. They will be on board the “Polaris 11” which is a scientific research
vessel.  All the research projects will be lead by Marine Scientists from the University of Otago.

Outward Bound, Spirit of Adventure, Borland Lodge
Opportunities for senior students to participate in a personal development and leadership programme.
Students have come back with new skills, fresh outlook in life, energetic, positive and resilient.

Other Events/Activities:
Our students take part in a huge number of events/activities both locally and further afield including: National Young Leaders Day, Mountain Film Festival, Spelling Quiz, Social Studies Quiz, Speech competition, Ugly Shakespeare Theatre Group, Footsteps Dance, Young Enterprise programme and Manaaki Tauira.

Kapa Haka:
At Maniototo Area School we have a large kapa haka group ranging in age from Year 3 to Year 13 students. They enjoy performing at a variety of events whenever possible. We are lucky to have additional support provided from Uruuruwhenua for our weekly Kapa Haka sessions.


Sporting Opportunities
Senior students have the opportunity to take part in the Southern Area Schools tournament hosted by one of the five Area schools in the southern region during term 2. Students compete in a wide variety of events during the 4 day tournament. A representative team from the Southern Area is then selected to travel to the National Area School tournament.


  • Senior Athletics (held during Term 1), then students that qualify can go on to the Otago Secondary School Athletics, then South Island and/or NZ Athletics
  • Maniototo Primary Athletics is held on the first Friday in November. Students who qualify, then go to the Otago Primary School Athletic Champs in Dunedin (mid November).


  • Secondary students take part in a Central Otago Secondary Schools competition.


  • Primary students play for the Maniototo Junior Cricket Club. Secondary students can play for the Maniototo Club.
  • School teams play in various tournaments against other schools.


  • Year 1-8 take part in the Maniototo Combined Schools Cross Country, and those who qualify can enter the Otago Cross Country.


  • SISS & NZSS tournaments for Secondary pupils.
  • Kiwsport Inter-School tournament for Year 5-8 students.
  • Tuition for Year 3 and above as part of the Ice Week programme.
  • Students encouraged to participate in local Contractors Cup competition and NZ Curling Assn Championships.
  • The school is very proud of the achievements of many of our students who compete both Nationally and Internationally for curling. In the past few years students have travelled to China, Finland, Sweden and Norway to compete.
  • Students from Maniototo Area School have represented New Zealand at the Winter Youth Olympics in 2012, 2016 & 2020.


  • Primary students play for the Maniototo Junior Hockey Club. Secondary Pupils can play for Dunstan High School or the Maniototo Hockey Club team.
  • Maniototo is traditionally very strong in hockey and it is not uncommon for a number of our students to be playing in representative teams for Central Otago.


  • Our school enters various Inter-School Teams Events each year.


  • A number of our students enjoy taking part in Luge activities during the winter.  Students in the primary school can try luging as part of their Ice week activities.
  • There are local training camps run by the NZ Luge Assn during the July school holidays which students can enrol for.
  • Some senior students have represented New Zealand overseas in recent summer holidays. They travel to Europe to both train and race as part of a European Natural Ice Luge circuit.


  • Students enjoy mountain biking in the Naseby Forest as part of the PE programme.


  • Students play for the local Maniototo Netball Club
  • School teams play in the various inter-school tournaments


  • Dunstan Zone & then Otago Finals for teams that qualify


  • Primary students play for the Maniototo Junior Rugby Club. Secondary students can play for Dunstan High School.


  • Jack Martin Memorial – East Otago High School Exchange  (March)
  •  Southern Area School Tournament (May)


  • A long term tradition at Maniototo Area School, the Road Race is generally held on the last day of Term 1.


  • Swimming lessons for primary pupils.


  • Senior (Year 7-13) & Junior (Year 1-6) – held during Term 1


  • Zone Triathlon & Central Otago Triathlon


  • Secondary students take part in a Central Otago Secondary Schools Competition

Central Otago Primary School Sports Assn