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Summer Gathering

Summer Gathering is an annual residential camp held December to January, with the location being moved around the country each year to minimise travel costs. Summer Gathering has been held each year since 1956. Friends of all ages from all over New Zealand (and some very welcome overseas visitors) join in a holiday atmosphere for relaxation and recreation. There are usually some formal discussions or visiting speakers, but the emphasis is on getting to know Friends from around the country through such activities as picnics, concerts, walks, all-age games and general fun.

The locations of future Gatherings are planned by the Coordinators.

Click here to download the following information as PDF file


Summer Gathering 2019   28th December to 3rd January

Download the Registration Form, as downloadable writeable PDF.

You can EITHER print the downloaded file, fill it in, and post it to us, OR you can save the file, fill in the file, save it again, then email it to us as an attachment. 

Information to accompany the Registration Form - Please read it all.

Emergency Contact– An emergency contact name and phone number will be included in a second information sheet to be sent in November to all those registered for SG.  This will enable other Friends to have a message relayed to those at SG – there is no mobile coverage at Wainui Heights.

Theme. – “KINDNESS to OURSELVES, to OTHERS and to the PLANET”

The 2019/2020 Summer Gathering will be held for six nights at the YMCA Wainui Heights Conference Centre at Wainui Bay about 1km back from the water’s edge of the beautiful Akaroa Harbour.  The Akaroa township is about 25 min drive away.  This steep hillside site is surrounded by native bush and birdsong, with shady walking trails.

Arrival Time at SG: Reception opens at 2:00pm on 28 December, and the first meal is dinner at 5:30pm that evening.

How to get there:

You will need to allow at least 90 minutes to drive over the winding scenic hilly road from Christchurch City to Wainui.  For electric cars, there is a fast EV charger at Little River.

Wainui Heights is at: S 43  48.756  E 172  53.646

The regular bus service (run by Red Bus) leaves the Airport at 8:30am daily and picks up at various city locations (hotels and bus depots) and goes over to Akaroa.  If you were on that bus, we would meet you at Barrys Bay (let us know).  The bus is $50 pp for return trip.


For those who are travelling to Christchurch by public transport (plane, bus, train) and not able to use the regular bus as above, we intend to provide a subsidy for the cost of transport by minibus from the city to Wainui on the 28th December and back to Christchurch on 3 January.  If you wish to use such transport, you will need to clearly specify this on the Registration Form – or by email to us. (

Bunkrooms and camping

The main building, except for one 12 bunk family room, has four bunks to each room, ie 2 up and 2 down, each room with its own ensuite.  There are also general-use toilets in the main building, and campers will be allocated to the many ensuite rooms for showers.

There is adequate access beside the main building for mobility impaired.

Limited camping space is available on the terraced grounds, with very limited electric supply.  There are no standard caravan points, and the handful of 3-pin plugs may be 30 metres away.

We will hire portaloos to take care of camper’s night time needs.

The main buildings have a maximum of 88 bunks (half are top bunks),  so allowing for campers, we may need to limit total numbers to 110 Friends.

Do not leave your registration too late!!

The last date for the discounted rate is 1 November.

The closing date for SG 2019 registrations is 1 December.


Marion Leighton will once again be heading the food team, with a vegetarian menu, with small amounts of dairy and eggs.  Meat portions for dinner must be pre-ordered on the Registration Form at an extra cost. (see explanation below).

Wifi and Mobile Coverage:

Wainui Heights does not have mobile coverage or Wifi.  The nearest is at Duvauchelle, 12km away, outside the pub.

Programme and activities:

We will have a programme in three streams: talking, craft and active.

The Camp has adventure activities suitable for people of all ages, such as archery, flying fox, high ropes, orienteering,  enviro study.   These will require the supervision of a registered instructor which will incur a charge.  However, we will put some of the selected activities into the programme as part of the SG budget.  There will be other activities with no added cost, such as bush and hill walks, the waterslide and the beach.

The Wainui Heights venue does not have a swimming pool – it’s 1km to the beach.

The six nights includes five full days, and on the middle day Dec 31st we will have a picnic at Akaroa, with more vigorous options for those wanting to walk or climb in the hills.  That evening, we will have games and entertainment until midnight.

Explanation of Registration Form – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

A       One Form can cover a full family, but please fill in a line on the Form for each person.

B       Details: Even when the cost is free (for those under 18yrs), we really need to know their details and choices - age, food, accomm, offers, etc.   Please tick your choices.

C       Top bunks: Half the bunks are top bunks with a ladder.  Please be sure to write in each person’s choice for top bunks: “Want to”,  “Can do”,  “Can’t”.  We may not be able to satisfy all wishes.

D       Meat Vouchers: Please decide and show on the Form how many meat portion vouchers each person wishes to purchase – we have 6 dinners at SG. 

For those with prepaid vouchers, we plan to provide lamb on 2 nights, beef on 2 nights, and chicken on 2 nights.  On the Form, enter L for Lamb, B for Beef, and C for Chicken.  For example, entering 2L+1B+1C means you have paid for 4 vouchers.

E       Special Food Needs: If you have special food needs, tick the box and one of our food team will contact you to discuss your needs.

F       Transport: If you need transport from Christchurch to Wainui, please specify in the box on the Registration Form (lower left). 

G       Interest groups: If you wish to offer an Interest Group, please tick on the Form.

H       Payments: When making online payments, show your name in Reference.

I        Discount:  Note the discount of $30 per adult for registrations before 1 November.

J        Duty Groups:  The Form has columns for your choices of Duty Group.  Choose from:

1        Willing to do anything                8       Cooks dishes

2        Breakfast set-up                          9       Kitchen helper

3        Breakfast clear-up and dishes     10     Veges preparation

4        Lunch set-up                               11     Cleaning dining and conference rooms

5        Lunch clear-up and dishes          12     Cleaning general use toilets

6        Dinner set-up                              13     Grounds / rubbish, & green waste disposal

7        Dinner clear-up and dishes        


Location map:

Location map


WHAT TO BRING: (LABEL your items with your name)

 Your own pillow and pillow case

 Sleeping bag or sheets and duvet

 Towels and hand-towels

 Any essential medications / special dietary foods

 Your clothes, toiletries for a week away, earplugs


 Sunscreen, sunhat, sun-glasses, insect repellent

 Raincoat and warm jacket

 Swimming togs (Akaroa Harbour), walking shoes.

 Water bottle for walks

 Musical instruments if you wish to play in the New Year’s Eve Band or final concert.

 Clothes/aprons you can get dirty for craft work etc.

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS: you may also like to bring

  Stout boots for vigorous hill walks -well, not for everybody.

 Washing powder and/or soap for washing/handwashing clothes.  Bring pegs.  Two washing machines and a drying room are available.

 Mat (for yoga or sitting on the ground)

 Folding outdoor chair

 Outdoor or indoor games equipment, board games

 CD/music, songs/ poems etc. to share

 Sketching pad and pens

Having your own coffee mug would be useful.


A second information sheet will be sent in November to all those registered for SG.


The SG Team:Derek Carver, Margaret Mouat-Carver, David Minifie, Deborah Williams, Brian Curtis, Cam Odlin.


Some photos will follow soon


Further information:
Summer Gatherings since 1956
  • 1956/57 Rissington
  • 1957/58 Henderson
  • 1958/59 Motukarara
  • 1959/60 Friends School
  • 1960/61 Unknown
  • 1961/62 Reikorangi
  • 1962/63 Mahoenui
  • 1963/64 Friends School
  • 1964/65 Eastern Beach
  • 1965/66 Palmerston(Otago)
  • 1966/67 Quail Valley(Nelson)
  • 1967/68 Taurewa 1
  • 1968/69 Roxburgh 1
  • 1969/70 Epworth(Karapiro)
  • 1970/71 Glen Tui 1 (Canterbury)
  • 1971/72 Otaki Bridge
  • 1972/73 Taurewa 2
  • 1973/74 Roxburgh 2
  • 1974/75 Eltham
  • 1975/76 Carey Park (Henderson)
  • 1976/77 Cheviot
  • 1977/78 Greytown
  • 1978/79 Nga Tawa (Marton)
  • 1979/80 St Kevins 1 (Oamaru)
  • 1980/81 Hata Paora (Fielding)
  • 1981/82 Te Karaka
  • 1982/83 Waipara 1
  • 1983/84 Rotorua
  • 1984/85 Inglewood
  • 1985/86 Methven
  • 1986/87 St Kevins 2 (Oamaru) -SG/YM
  • 1987/88 Fielding High School 1 -SG/YM
  • 1988/89 Carey Park 2 (Henderson) -SG/YM
  • 1989/90 Waipara 2
  • 1990/91 Riverbend (Hawkes Bay)
  • 1991/92 Kiwi Ranch (Upper Hutt)
  • 1992/93 Teapot Valley 1 (Nelson)
  • 1993/94 Fielding High School 2 -SG/YM
  • 1994/95 Whanganui
  • 1995/96 Blue Skies (Kaiapoi)
  • 1996/97 Ngaruawahia
  • 1997/98 Paraparaumu
  • 1998/99 St Stephens (Auckland) -SG/YM
  • 1999/00 Teapot Valley 2 (Nelson)
  • 2000/01 Nga Tawa 2 (Marton)
  • 2001/02 Chosen Valley Camp, Drury, Auckland
  • 2002/03 Glentui Meadows 2, Canterbury
  • 2003/04 Nga Tawa 3 (Marton)
  • 2004/05 Ngaruawahia 2
  • 2005/06 Waipiata, near Ranfurly, Central Otago
  • 2006/07 Silverstream Retreat, Upper Hutt
  • 2007/08 Chosen Valley Camp 2
  • 2008/09 Blue Skies (Kaiapoi) 2
  • 2009/10 Te Aute College (Hawkes Bay)
  • 2010/11 Ngaruawahia 3
  • 2011/12 Chosen Valley Camp 3
  • 2012/13 Camp Columba (Gore)
  • 2013/14 Wairarapa College
  • 2014/15 Chosen Valley Camp 4
  • 2015/16 Teapot Valley 3 (Nelson)
  • 2016/17 Inglewood (Taranaki)
  • 2017/18 Ngamuwahine Lodge
Summer Gathering NOTICE SG17 FINAL.pdf198.43 KB
SG 2017-18 CALCULATOR.xlsx10.76 KB
Summer Gathering 2016-17 report.pdf344.93 KB
SG-2019-map.jpg368.28 KB
Camping-area-1-C.JPG2.26 MB
Camping-area-2-C.JPG2.97 MB
High-Ropes-1.JPG3.93 MB
SUMMER GATHERING 2019 - Information sheet.pdf250.91 KB
Registration Form for SG2019 fillable2.pdf250.15 KB