"Respect the land and you have a home,
Respect the sea and you have sustenance,
Respect the air and you have life,
Respect your neighbour and you have a friend,
Learn from the SPIRIT and you have a future."


- Stephen B Fisher QSO, Board Chair


Spirit of Adventure Trust was conceived by the simple insight and observation by founder Lou Fisher - when you take young people out to sea, magic happens. The concept of a tall ship for young people combined his ultimate passions – his love for sailing and the ocean with his desire to better the lives of others.

The idea for the two-masted topsail schooner Spirit of Adventure followed the purchase of Lou’s first big yacht - the vintage 1899 gaff rigged Brixham Trawler, Imatra. Lou's son, Stephen Fisher, then just 10 years old recalls loading up the boat with crew, his family, friends and his siblings' friends on Sundays for day trips out on the harbour.

"It was then father first saw the enjoyment, the excitement, whatever it was, that these other kids who had no association with the sea before, were getting from one day out on the harbour. It was a real circus every time the boat went away."

The Spirit of Adventure Trust Board was founded in 1972 with the Trust's ship 'Spirit of Adventure' being launched in late 1973 and the first youth voyage sailing in early 1974. In 1977 Stephen Fisher was appointed Chairperson following the death of Lou. Driven by the same powerful mission to help young people in New Zealand reach their potential, Stephen has guided the Trust to become one of New Zealand's most successful and well-known youth development organisations.