Make Kayak Training Possible

The opportunity to learn from one of the best kayaking schools in the world doesn’t come every day, especially if you are a Nepali kayaker. Yet this is the opportunity on offer for Dipesh Gurung of Nepal.

In May 2016 Join Adventures invested nearly $4000 NZD to bring Jess Matheson and Sophie Mulder from the New Zealand Kayak School to join the Join Adventures team for a Karnali Expedition and to give training in kayak instruction and techniques to a senior and junior team of local paddlers. Dipesh was a participant in the senior team and the translator and assistant instructor for the junior team. Upon completion of the programs in Nepal, due to Dipesh skills and leadership, Jess and Sophie arranged with Mick Hopkins, kayaking legend and owner of the New Zealand Kayak School , for Dipesh to receive the opportunity to train with them in New Zealand for one season. The aim of this opportunity is to enable Dipesh to continue the training programs in Nepal for local paddlers, creating a sustainable program.

Join Adventures is built on the philosophy of Paying Forward and all training programs are provide free of charge for Nepali kayakers. The New Zealand Kayak School has offered to give Dipesh Gurung of Nepal, free training and accommodation for the season so that he can develop his kayak instructor skills and techniques. On completion of a season under the New Zealand Kayak School Instructors, Dipesh Gurung will return to Nepal to give his time to share and teach the Join Adventure programs free of charge to local paddlers.


Photo: Dipesh Gurung

Dipesh at the age of just 26 is a highly skilled class V kayaker, instructor, raft guide (paddle and oars) and trip leader. A driving and inspirational force in the founding of the Join Adventures Team and passionate about helping paddlers of all backgrounds develop confidence and their connection to rivers. A Trip Leader with extensive knowledge and experience of Nepal's rivers, he combines his skills with patience, understanding and encouragement of paddlers of all levels.

Dipesh's qualifications include Rescue 3 International WRT / High Peak International Wilderness First Aid / NARA licensed / International Rafting Federation Class IV/V Trip Leader

Photo: Dipesh Gurung 

Previously we have made two visitor visa applications to NZ. We have included the New Zealand Kayak School as a sponsor and provided letters of support from the schools instructors as well as financial and personal documentation. To date it has been a one year process with people from Australia, New Zealand and Nepal working together to build the applications, however the applications have been declined.

Cottrell Law Limited , based in Wellington NZ have kindly given their time in the last 6 months to review Dipesh Gurung application. They have offered to provide their services with charges only upon success of his application of a Limited Purpose Visa. This visa would allow Dipesh to enter NZ for the soul purpose of receiving training from the New Zealand Kayak School . The cost of this application is $3000 + tax + government fees (government fees require payment regardless of outcome).

Our teams Adventures Creator and program coordinator is Australian. Her name is Laura Oakley, the founding member of our team and responsible for this crowd fund innovative, the team’s correspondence, website, Facebook page, as well as coordinating expeditions and training programs from the logistic and financial side. Raised fund are to be sent to the New Zealand lawyer and are easily transferred from Australia to New Zealand, but not from Nepal.

The offer for Dipesh to receive training at one of the most internationally recognised schools in the world is a massive opportunity not just for him, but for the team and local paddling community in Nepal. This opportunity is on offer now for the December to March season and although Join Adventures has sponsored the previous visa applications we invested all our previous raised funds in the 2016 training programs, it would take more than two years for our team to make enough to cover this cost through expeditions. Normally our team works hard to build and operate our expeditions to create our own funds for these dreams, but this opportunity is too important for us to pass up and we have to ask for help.
There are only two hurdles in the way of this massive opportunity. One is financing the basic costs and the second is obtaining a visa, our best chance at that is with a New Zealand Immigration Lawyer.

By a miracle we need to find $5000 to pay the immigration lawyer, government visa fees, travel and travel insurance. Once Dipesh is in New Zealand we have his expenses already covered from the support of our friends and network there.

The lawyers are confident that they can build a successful visa application, however there is a small chance that the visa application could be unsuccessful. If this is the case we would insure all the funds raised in this Crowd Fund go directly towards continuing training programs in Nepal with instructors from New Zealand, who are committed to helping the team reach the highest standards of instructorship.

With our deepest grattitude, Thank you
The Join Adventures Team
  • Michael Greene 
    • $1,000 
    • 52 mos
  • david birch 
    • $50 
    • 55 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $40 
    • 55 mos
  • Emma Miller 
    • $8 
    • 55 mos
  • Emmanuelle Bélanger 
    • $50 
    • 55 mos
See all


Laura Oakley 
Kanumbra, VIC