Spirit of New Zealand

Youth development is something the Trust is invested in, and one of the scholarships we offer 16-18 yr olds is a 10-day voyage on Spirit of New Zealand.


Serving or retired personnel of 1 NZSAS Regiment and their immediate dependants, aged 16-18 years of age.

From a Spirit of Adventure perspective participants must:

  • be aged between 16-18 years (must not have had 19th birthday)
  • meet the medical criteria of the voyage
  • agree to the code of conduct /terms and conditions of the voyage


Spirit of Adventure Trust was set up in 1972 by Lou Fisher who had a vision to empower the youth of New Zealand.  The Trust has gained and maintained a reputation in New Zealand as a highly respected youth development organisation providing a unique environment for youth development, where the focus of learning is on team-work, developing skills of communication, self-reliance, self-discipline, self-esteem, resilience, confidence and leadership. Learning to sail a tall ship is only a small part of the programmes offered.

The topsail schooner Spirit of Adventure, gifted to the nation by Lou Fisher, was commissioned in 1973. She sailed a heavy schedule around the New Zealand coast until 1997, when she was sold for tourism work in Fiji. The Trust’s existing ship, the three-masted barquentine Spirit of New Zealand, was commissioned in 1986. Since the retirement of the Adventure in 1997 she has undertaken an annual programme of around 340 days at sea.

Today, Spirit of New Zealand is believed to be the world’s busiest youth ship, sailing around ten months of the year. Subject to stringent, on-going maintenance surveys, refits and audits, Spirit of New Zealand is expected to be able to continue operating youth voyages until around 2035.

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A 10 Day Voyage on board Spirit of New Zealand is a life-changing experience – unlocking your potential, leaving you ready to face your future!

You’ll be one of over a thousand young Kiwis each year who get on board to experience the trip of a life time.You’ll leave with a whole new set of skills, lots of new friends and a new confidence to take on the challenges in life.The whole voyage is based on learning by doing. You’ll face all sorts of challenges and take part in lots of activities on the ship, on the water and on the shore, leaving you with a level of self-empowerment only found on the Spirit of New Zealand.

Increased confidence and skills: On Spirit you’ll improve your communication and leadership skills and learn the importance of self-awareness and being a part of a team. As you face the various challenges your confidence will increase as you increasingly move outside of your comfort zone.

New friends and connections: You’ll meet 39 other young kiwis from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. Over 10 days you will come to depend on each other, learn tolerance and acceptance and create close and lasting bonds.Once you leave the ship you are connected to the Spirit community for life! You’ll have the opportunity to return as a crew member and share your experiences with others.

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  1. Visit the Spirit of Adventure website and read up on the course requirements, frequently asked questions and identify your preferred sailing dates. Note: Full voyage fees are due 12 weeks before the course start date. Please take this into consideration when you choose your voyage.
  2. Download a Beneficiary Grant application from the NZSAS Trust website.
  3. Send your application to the NZSAS Trust Secretary at the address on the application form. There is no closing date for this – applications may be submitted year-round.
  4. Should you be successful in receiving a Spirit of Adventure Scholarship, the funds will be transferred to your account and you may then return to the Spirit of Adventure website, choose the voyage that suits and ‘BOOK NOW’.
  5. Have a credit card ready for payment of the deposit. (If it is more than 12 weeks before the voyage departure date, a minimum payment will be required of $200 at the time of this booking – if it is within 12 weeks, you will be required to pay your voyage fee in full. The NZSAS Trust Secretary will liaise with you if this is the case.)
  6. A medical information form will be required within 12 weeks of the voyage departure date. This will be sent to you once you have completed your booking.

Please note that the all successful applicants will be asked to book their own voyage and organise their own transport to and from the ship.

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