Timbertop is an unforgettable learning experience which, for many students, is a challenging rite of passage to a rewarding adult life. Nestled in a secluded valley in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, it is a campus like no other. Here, adolescents develop personal skills and qualities beyond those possible in a traditional suburban day school.

Timbertop combines comprehensive Academic and Outdoor Education programmes. While living together in a small, supportive and secure community, students are exposed to intellectual, physical and emotional challenges under demanding environmental conditions. They unearth personal strengths, develop confidence and learn the value of co-operative endeavour - awakening a belief in themselves that will help them overcome the obstacles and hurdles they will come across throughout their lives.

Unit Life

Unit life is a vital aspect of the Timbertop experience. There are 16 Units at Timbertop (eight for boys and eight for girls), where students live and learn. The students are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Unit, nurturing self-reliance and co-operative endeavour.


Heating comes from a slow-combustion wood heater and a wood-fuelled boiler provides hot water. If wood is not collected and cut, there is no fire for warmth in the cold winter months. If the boiler is not lit, there are no hot showers. Although simple and often quickly learned, the lessons provided by this environment are rich and significant.

Outdoors Programme

Timbertop has an extensive Outdoors Programme which encompasses hiking, skiing, canoeing, rafting, rogaining and camping; all of which can be done from our backyard. These experiences are fundamental to presenting new challenges and helping students to discover their potential. In many ways the year at Timbertop is a year of journey and our experiences in the outdoors are a literal foundation for this.

In total, students camp for between 50 and 55 nights during the year. The most important activity, in terms of time and in the minds of the students, is hiking. The hiking programme in the Alpine National Park is challenging - the terrain is mountainous, with routes often involving ascents and descents of 1,000 metres, sometimes all in one day.


Academic Programme

While the Outdoors Programme dominates the "weekend", for five days a week students are involved in classes with a Year 9 timetable much like any other school. The main difference being that for most of the year our weekends fall on Wednesday and Thursday - Saturday and Sunday can be busy times with tourists and other visitors in the Alpine National Park and we like to have the bush to ourselves as much as possible.


The subjects offered at Timbertop in Year 9 are much the same as at other good schools. Students are required to study core subjects (English, Mathematics, Science, Health and Physical Education, Religion and Spirituality, Positive Education and History) plus five semester-length elective units spread across the school year. It is our responsibility to send students to the Senior School at Corio thoroughly prepared for Year 10.

For further information about our Academic Programme please open our Curriculum Guide.

Co-curricular Activities

In addition to the Academic and Outdoors programmes, there are also a wide range of Co-curricular Activities that include hobbies (photography, community radio, drama, fly fishing, etc.), the Darling Huts project, Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, community service and music tutorials.

Each week during Term 3 the entire campus visits Mt Buller for downhill skiing, which includes lessons with the Mt Buller Ski School.


Positive Education

Positive Education is concerned with developing the belief, resources and personal skills necessary for our students to lead more engaged and meaningful lives. Positive Education helps reinforce the traditional elements of Timbertop whilst introducing new skills and knowledge.

At Timbertop, students are taught about resilience, gratitude and mindfulness. They are also involved in creating a community Declaration of Optimism, recognising and analysing their own and others' character strengths.