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DoE Gold Qualifying Journey

Duration: Four days / three nights

The final frontier, Gold DofE  brings together all your hard work, persistence and dedication from Bronze and Silver practice and qualifying. Tapping into your adventurous spirit on a whole new level of journeys, it will be up to you and your DoE teammates to plan and lead an extended Gold expedition in its entirety. Are you ready for the challenge?

The final stage in the Gold award, the qualifying DoE adventurous journey is a four-day, three-night adventure where you’ll stay at different locations each night. From start to finish, you and your team will have agency over the entire adventurous journey. Using resources to construct a thought-through plan, you’ll need to complete a route card before leading the DoE expedition as a team. Your Social Nature Movement instructor will be there to shadow you and make sure you’re making sound decisions. But essentially, you’re on your own.

Gold Qualifying journeys must be submitted to the National Office for approval at least six weeks prior to the journey taking place (twelve weeks if outside New Zealand).

16+ years old

Pre-requisites: Gold Practice

Dates and locations: You choose

Transport mode: Tramp, Kayak, SuP or Packrafting

The Gold DoE Adventurous Journey Expedition Section should provide opportunities to:

• Plan and execute an adventurous journey - requiring attention to detail and organisational ability.
• Demonstrate enterprise and imagination – by the group organising their own adventurous journey.
• Work as a member of a team - all adventurous journeys are a group effort.
• Respond to a challenge - either planned or unforeseen.
• Develop self-reliance - through carrying out an unaccompanied adventurous journey.
• Develop leadership skills - members of the group have opportunities to take a leading role during different aspects of the adventurous journey.
• Recognise the needs and strengths of others - all are involved in mutual support to ensure the success of the adventurous journey.
• Make decisions and accept the consequences – the group makes real decisions affecting their well-being.
• Reflect on personal performance - through reviewing progress during training and at the end of the Qualifying Journey.
• Enjoy and appreciate the environment – developing an awareness of the areas visited and issues affecting the environment.

Other Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Adventurous Journeys

Occasionally, a significant gold expedition or exploration involving extra innovation, creativity and challenge may take place. In such circumstances, the advice and agreement of a Group’s or Unit’s Operating Authority is required to proceed. The only additional stipulation is that all participants must be aged 18 or over. It is also the case that significant Adventurous Journeys - such as scaling a Himalayan peak - would require the advice and assistance, usually at cost, of an external provider such as a reliable expedition company.

Social Nature Movement provides Adventurous Journeys by Tramping, Sea Kayaking, Stand up Paddle (SuP) boarding and Packrafting.

If tramping, journeys must be on formed tracks and those tracks should be in-line with the Department of Conservations (DoC) Walking track categories: Bronze = ‘easy’, Silver = ‘ intermediate’, Gold = ‘advanced’. ‘expert’ at SNM's and DoE's discretion.

Examples of gold explorations and expeditions for DoE

• Exploring the natural world: glaciation, erosion, geology, coastal
studies, river valleys, plant studies, bird studies or animal studies,
insect studies
• Exploring historic land use: prehistoric man, historical periods
• Exploring human impact: visitor pressure in national parks,
pollution monitoring, surveys of numbers of walkers in remote areas
• Carrying out health surveys or health education in remote areas
• Completing a demanding journey by foot, cycle or canoe/ kayak
• Investigating group dynamics in challenging conditions
• Kayaking the entire navigable stretch of a river

• Extensive sail across an ocean
• Climbing an Alpine, Himalayan or other high mountainous peak
• Cycling from one end of a country to another or from coast to coast

Where necessary, two Duke of Edinburgh levels can be on the same adventurous journey, provided each DoE participant meets the minimum requirement for the higher Award level.

All practice and qualifying journeys at all levels should be on tracks that have not been used for a previous journey.

How to sign off completed Gold Adventurous Journeys using ORB

Firstly access the Online Record Book (ORB), here

Then, follow the sign-off information, here


Apply for NCEA credits while doing your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award

GOLD AWARD - NZQA Unit Standards Level 3
• Communicate with people from other cultures – 2 credits (1304, v.9)
• Speak to a known audience in a predictable situation – 3 credits (1307, v.8)
• Read texts to research information – 4 credits (2990, v.7)
• Contribute within a team or group which has an objective – 3 credits (9681, v.7)
• Give feedback on performance in the workplace – 3 credits (9705, v.7)
• Listen actively to gain information in an interactive situation – 3 credits (11097, v.5)

Check out our booking tab, click the book now button or fill an enquiry here.

Duration: Four days / three nights



The qualifying component is up to the participants to plan and lead. The duration will not change, but it is the location, activity and specific itinerary that changes based on what they want to do.

Whenever you want! We just need 4+ participants, then we can go at a date of your choosing!

Yes! It is becoming a popular option. There are pro's and con's to both, but combining them means a longer immersion in nature, half the amount of logistics and you get it over and done with in one go.

SNM staff carry cellphones and emergency communication devices where it is often (but not always) possible to connect.

SNM offers tramping, sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and packrafting.

To some extent, yes, but all DoE Gold Adventurous Journeys must be approved by DoE NZ Head Office.

We select the best staff for the job based on their skills, knolwedge and experiences. They will be an SNM staff member or we will bring in support from equally competent contractors. Sometimes we also bring in (semi)celebrity guests!

Clothing and Equipment list for the Duke of Edinburgh Award


  • Wind and Waterproof Jacket
  • Wind and Waterproof Pants (Autumn/Winter only)
  • Thin merino shirt / thermal (polypropylene) shirt x 2
  • Fleece jumper (x1 Summer, x2 Autumn)
  • Alternative insulation jumper x1 (wool, down, synthetic) (add this if Winter)
  • Thermal bottom leggings (polypropylene),
  • Shorts
  • Pants
  • Swimwear
  • Socks
  • Sunhat
  • Warm beanie
  • Neck warmer / scarf
  • Warm gloves


  • Compass
  • Camp shoes (jandals / crocs)
  • Closed-toe footwear (trail runners / boots)
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries
  • Personal medication
  • Water bottle (1L+)
  • Head torch
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner (not critical)
  • Sleeping mat (can be hired $15/day)
  • Cooker and fuel (can be hired $10/day)
  • Tent (can be hired $20/day)
  • Matches/lighter
  • Cutlery and crockery
  • Watch (not critical)
  • Knife / multi tool / swiss army knife
  • Walking poles (not critical)
  • Day pack / mission bag
  • Waterproof pack liner (can be a large black rubbish bag)
  • Pack rain cover (not critical)
  • Backpack (50-75L) to put all of the above in
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