Blue Skies is owned by the SCOUTS New Zealand, it is run by an independent board and open to the community for group hire. Established in 1965 by Scouts to provide camping and training facilities to Scouts and the Community.
The A-frame; a distinctive feature on the Christchurch skyline was constructed in 1969, for the National Scout Jamboree.
Set in almost 7ha of flat park-like grounds, its’ multiple facilities allow for flexibility of use; multiple groups, large groups, whole-site hire and varying levels of accommodation. Blue Skies can accommodate up to 200 in beds, which vary from single serviced rooms to communal bunk style accommodation, as well as having extensive areas for caravans (limited powered sites) and tenting. Blue Skies is suitable for church groups, school camps, training and seminars, family reunions, retreats and sports teams.
Blue Skies is only 20 minutes from Christchurch City and Airport. It is within the Kaiapoi township boundaries, however has a distinctly rural feel. Multiple sized accommodation complexes; ranging from serviced conference style, with seminar rooms through single twin and bunk rooms with large dining and hall areas to a communal bunk facilities; provide for all levels of accommodation and group needs. There is adequate onsite parking, bus turn arounds, privacy, large grounds and onsite activities. These are easy to manage and integrate into any programme; including swimming pool, abseiling tower, challenge activities including the confidence course and initiatives.
Included onsite is the National Scout Museum, which can be opened with prior arrangement. Groups have the ability to self-cater using our fully equipped kitchens, or have Blue Skies take care of all your meals, with our delicious and nutritional menus, which are all ‘homemade’.
The site was purchased in 1965 and developed over the years as a training facility. The Main Complex (Ron Moore Memorial Lodge) was constructed in the late 1960’s in time for the 1969 5th National Scout Jamboree which was held in Kaiapoi at Blue Skies.
Over the following years the swimming pool and grounds were developed. The Dougall Love Conference Centre was built during the 1980’s. The Youth Lodge was constructed in stages from 1995 – 2010, and the back paddock “Loffhagen Field” was purchased in 1991. Today the facilities are still used by SCOUTS New Zealand as a training facility but are available to all community organisations, including Schools, Churches, Event organisers, Sports, Training groups and Youth Groups. The Conference Centre is used by businesses including Training Organisations and Government Departments, taking advantage of our close proximity to Christchurch, utilising our excellent facilities and grounds, ease of facilitation with all meals, and an abundance of activities on site.
As part of the Conference Centre, The National Scout Museum was established during the 1980’s and officially opened in 1994. It is open to the public on Sunday afternoons between 1.00pm — 4.00pm and by prior arrangement is available to groups and individuals at prearranged times. The Museum contains an extensive range of displays from Scouting’s early beginnings by Lord Baden Powell in England 1907 through its development in New Zealand from 1908 to present day, covering all aspects of Scouting.
Pages from an appeal booklet, seeking funding for the building of the Main Complex on the site (Mid 1960’s)
Aerial Photograph of the original Blue Skies Campground, before purchased by Scouting Canterbury NZ (Est early 1960’s)
A Blue Skies postcard (est early 1970’s)
An appeal brochure for the Conference Centre (1983)
A comparison photo looking at the Main Complex from the Abseiling Tower. First photo dated in the early 1990’s and the second in 2009. The A-frame just visible behind all the trees.
Youth Lodge Stage 1 completed in August 1996 and the start of stage 2 (Units and bunkrooms) in November 1997. The hall was then extended in May 2002, final bunkroom extension completed in October 2005.
An R.N.Z.A.F. Iroquois helicopter dumps water from a monsoon bucket into the Blue Skies pool during a Fire Brigade training weekend held at Blue Skies in 1988.
Cub Day at Blue Skies (est early 1990’s)