About Us

The Salvation Army Blue Mountain Adventure Centre (BMAC) is an outdoor adventure centre in the heart of New Zealand. Our mission is to help people discover and live out their God-given potential through the challenge of adventure.

Our Story

The centre was established in 1990 and has become a well-known and trusted outdoor education centre that is used by organisations, schools and various groups from around the country. With a strong focus on safety and an enthusiastic team of staff, BMAC is the perfect choice for a safe, fun and memorable adventure.

Surrounded by the stunning adventure playground of Tongariro National Park, BMAC can be a place for reflection, learning, and of course, fun! This natural landscape provides the space for a wide range of outdoor activities, and the excellent on-site facilities allow for a comfortable stay.

With many years of combined experience in outdoor leadership and instruction, our team are one of the many reasons people come back year after year. Our staff are trained in outdoor safety management and our centre maintains excellence in safety procedures.

We are totally committed to providing a high-quality experience that will allow your group to grow physically, mentally and spiritually.

Come along for the adventure!

Safety Management

The safety of your group is our top priority and we have an excellent safety record spanning over 30 years.

BMAC complies with National Safety Standards and is audited by AdventureMark for all outdoor activities. This means that we meet or exceed benchmark safety standards and demonstrate a commitment to safety and quality.

In addition, we:

  •             are audited by The Salvation Army Health & Safety Department
  •             have our ropes course inspected annually by Dynamic Access and Adventure

In all cases, we continue to receive excellent feedback on our systems.

The nature of our activities and the unique character of the outdoors, means that risk cannot be completely eliminated.

To manage the risks inherent in what we do, BMAC has an extensive safety management system which includes:

  • comprehensive policies on all aspects of our operation including staff, equipment, activities and safety procedures

  • AMP’s (Activity Management Plan)

  • emergency procedures

  • instructor competencies

  • safety checks & logs of safety equipment

Although there is always a level of risk in any outdoor activity, our goal is to provide the safest experience possible, in a supportive and fun environment.

Staff and Instructors

Kyle Aitken

Kyle Aitken

Centre Manager

Kyle has come back to BMAC. He started here 2006 and worked as an instructor for 6 years. He left with his wife Hania to travel and see more of the world spending time in Aus, UK and the Czech Republic before hearing the call to come back to BMAC. He and Hania left with two kids and arrived back with four. Kyle is keen to see BMAC help ignite a fire in those that come, they can take away and pass on. He has been known to pull some epic pranks, loves his rafting and pushing groups to the max, but is equally at home in the office pushing paper around.

Qualifications:  NZOIA Rock 1, Bush 1, Canoe, Sea Kayak 1, Raft Guide Grade III, Pre Hospital Emergency Care.

Richie Jacomb

Richie Jacomb

Operations Manager

Richie and his wife Niki, and their 3 tamariki, moved to Raurimu in January 2023, bringing years of outdoor experience and enthusiasm.

Richie is a mountain man in every sense of the word, and he brings a wealth of knowledge in this field. Saying he is passionate about the mountains in both their natural rock goodness, and snow covered form, would be an understatement. We'll just say he is very zealous.

Richie keeps our team current, providing staff with up to date training, and maintaining the highest quality in the delivery of our programmes and adventures.

In his down time you'll find him adventuring with his kids, or up a mountain, or being furthered in some other element of the outdoors.

Qualifications: Rock 2, Alpine 1, Bush 1, Outdoor First Aid.

Stephen Ward

Stephen Ward

Senior Instructor

Stephen is one of our very own, walking talking Soldier from The Salvation Army. He also brings his brilliant accent from the UK, along with 10 years work experience in the outdoors over there.

Joining the BMAC team in 2016, Stephen is a Senior Instructor, sharing his wealth of knowledge and skills with our staff and clients alike.

Not only does he love the outdoors, he also loves to dance, and teaches modern jive. He gets right into gaming on his PS5, and thrives of his new-found skill of backflipping off waterfalls!

He brings with him a relentless enthusiasm and optimism that the outdoors can have a positive impact on people’s lives if used well… and a cookie monster onesie that he refuses to apologise for.

Qualifications: NZOIA Bush I, NZOIA Rock I, Raft Guide Grade III, National Certificate in Outdoor Recreation Leadership in Tramping and Mountain Biking, BCU Five Star Kayak and Kayak Coaching Award, Level II Canoe Coach Award, Pre-Hospital Emergency Care.

Hania Aitken

Hania Aitken

Instructor/Marketing Coordinator

Hania is a grassroots feature at BMAC. Married to Mr Kyle,  she trained as an apprentice back in 2006, and worked full time until 2009 when the first of their 4 children was born.  Aside from bits of contracting in between babies, her main role until this year has been focused in the homefront and on growing her other hobby of personal training.

Our resident racing enthusiast, she loves OCR (Obstacle Course Racing), quickly followed by trail running, and adventure racing.

We are stoked to welcome Hania back in a part time role as an Instructor and Marketing Coordinator. She brings a steadfast passion for BMAC and the mission here, and is loving getting back into the outdoors in a greater volume.

Quals: Grade II Raft Guide, Outdoor first Aid, certificate IV in Youth work, Level 4/5 Personal Training.

Philip White

Philip White

Shark Wrangler/Instructor

Phil is currently on sabbatical wrangling sharks in South Africa. True Story. (See above image for visual guide.)

In his regular job, when he returns from said shark-wrangling, Phil is one of our Instructors here at BMAC.

He originally joined the team beginning of 2020 straight from Timaru and his Diploma of Outdoor Education and Risk Management.

Not only is he very capable out in the field, he is a thinking man as well, completing a BSc in Marine Biology Ecology and Biodiversity at Victoria University.

He continues a strong family background in tramping and also brings BMAC’s Soldier count to 3 as he signed up in years gone by and continues with that covenant today.

Phil embraces all the area has to offer and enjoys crushing it out on mountain bikes, kayaking on the rivers or scaling the craggy heights. He also has mad guitar skills and can hold a tune (that’s nice to listen to).

Possibly Phil's greatest feat of endurance is taming the wild beast he calls a beard. It really is a thing of beauty.

Quals: NZOIA Rock, Abseil, Kayak and Bush Leader, Grade III Raft Guide, Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Management, Pre-Hospital Emergency Care.

Lynnelle Jellyman

Lynnelle Jellyman

Office Manager

Lynnelle comes to BMAC having grown up in the Salvation Army and with 20+ years study and experience in Youth Work and Human Resource Management.

Alongside this, she worked for 4 years in overseas mission, which gave her a real passion for people and travel.

Life now sees Lynnelle adjusting to off-grid living, with a couple of cats, and some cows,  enjoying her proofreading side-hustle.

She loves her whanau and friends, being in nature, dancing, having a laugh and good food.

Her dream is to run a retreat centre at the foot of mighty Koro Ruapehu.

Olivia Limmer

Olivia Limmer

Apprentice

Olivia grew up in Hamilton and as a kid, came through church to a couple camps at BMAC.

She has always been pretty active and enjoyed doing a lot of different sports growing up, including: competitive swimming, representative hockey, dancing, and soccer.

Coming BMAC as one of the apprentices for 2024, Olivia is ready to take her love for the physical to the next level by seeing what challenges the outdoors can throw at her.

She loves hanging out with young people and seeing the passion and spark they have for life. Livi is super excited to see people try things at BMAC they never thought they'd be able to do whether that’s physically, mentally or spiritually, and counts herself lucky to be getting amongst it!

Some fun facts: she can solve a rubiks cube, is fluent in NZSL, and is a Salvation Army Senior Soldier.

We love having you here Liv! Looking forward to seeing you grow in the outdoors both personally and professionally.

Qualifications: Outdoor First Aid.

Cody Tong

Cody Tong

Apprentice

Cody has joined the crew at BMAC as one the 3 epic apprentices for 2024.

As a Salvation Army Officers kid, Cody is no stranger to living in different places, adding BMAC as the 8th place he has moved to, and we're so amped to have him!

Having visited BMAC as a kid, Cody was sold on outdoor adventure as part of his future.

With a bit of gaming and longboarding in his downtime hobby space, Codys' main focus at the moment is developing his outdoor skills.

Intentionally spending time honing his rock climbing skills, this year, Cody is aiming for his Rock Leader, and then onto getting his NZOIA qualification - Rock 1.

So great to have you on the team Cody. Lets get it!

Qualifications: Outdoor First Aid.

Levi Overbye

Levi Overbye

Apprentice

Levi has come to BMAC as one of our 3 Apprentices for 2024.

Born in sunny Gisborne, he has called a few places home to date, and has embraced the metropolis of Raurimu all in his stead.

An old soul, he loves driving his, not one but two Miata's, one bright red, and one BRG. Other than that, any water activities, singing, gaming, and we can vouch for his phenomenal beat boxing skills.

Having what he would have considered "lofty dreams" about living and working in the outdoors, he describes joining the team at BMAC as being "a literal dream come true".

His main focus going forward is to gain qualifications in some of the water pursuits. His Rafting grade 2, and his Canyon Lead and Canyon Second.

Qualifications: Outdoor First Aid.

Address

17 Pito Street, Raurimu
RD 1, Owhango, 3989
Central North Island
New Zealand

Call Us

07 892 2630