Wilderness Program

The Berry Street Wilderness Program provides opportunities for young people to join in recreational and adventure based activities within the natural environment. 
The Wilderness Program is a structured outdoor adventure therapy program for young people who have experienced adversity, primarily those in out-of-home care. Young people with these background experiences often have skills and strengths beyond their years, and a high level of resilience and other qualities which they have developed in response to, or despite, their experiences.

Benefits of the program

The program aims to help young people build life skills and nurture positive futures through outdoor adventure experiences, with an emphasis on self-discovery. It also challenges them to find new ways to deal with stress and conflict. Berry Street staff are on hand to provide support to each young person. 
The program provides expedition-based journeys and single day outdoor experiences, and includes long-term follow up and reflective opportunities. Participants can:
  • build confidence and self-worth
  • experience personal growth and development
  • develop social skills and relationships with others. 

Types of programs and eligibility

The Wilderness Program offers two types of programs: Journeys and Taster Programs. To access these, young people must have a key support worker or case worker within Berry Street.


  • Young Men’s Program (Cobberas) – a state-wide program for young men aged 13-16 years old, which involves a 10-day journey of hiking and rafting, a reconnect camp and a reconnect day. 
  • Empowering Young Women’s Program (Nadgee) - a state-wide program for young women aged 13-16 years old. This includes a nine-day hiking journey, a reconnect camp and a reconnect day. 
  • Berry Big Adventure – an interstate trip of 16-17 days to one of two locations (Western Australia or Tasmania) for young women and men aged 13-16 years old. The journey involves hiking and either flat water paddling or rafting. The journey is immediately followed by a four-day camp, then a reconnect camp and a reconnect day.  

Taster Programs

  • Group Taster Days – a one-day outdoor activity for young people who are not yet able to participate in an extended journey.
  • Individual Taster Days – a one-day outdoor activity tailored to the needs of individuals who are not yet able to participate in an extended journey and who are unable to take part in a group taster day. 


Katie's Story

Katie* has been in and out of foster care since she was a baby. Her first adventure 3 years ago changed her state of mind and she has now become a youth mentor with the Wilderness Program. 
Read about Katie's journey

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