Magis Est in Nobis

There is more in us than we know

Timbertop can be an incredibly powerful and formative experience for students fortunate enough to spend time in this unique and isolated community. For over 70 years, both staff and students alike have realised that the lessons learned here are profound and often life changing.

Please note: each year, places are available for new students to join our Timbertop campus, however, the School receives more applications than the number of places available, and unfortunately not all applicants for Year 9 entry can be offered a place.

We highly encourage all families who are wishing for their child to attend Timbertop, to ensure they have registered an application, and to consider entry to the Middle School years at the Corio Campus in the major intake years of Year 7 and Year 8*.  *Read more for criteria for offering a place to Timbertop. 


Head of Campus

At Timbertop, there is a feeling of life being very ‘real’ with strong purpose and clear direction.

Real World Learning

Nestled in a secluded valley in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, three hours’ drive from Melbourne, Timbertop delivers a unique educational experience of indoor and outdoor learning, presenting new challenges to young people and helping them discover their best within.

Our full boarding programme, which operates across the entire Year 9 academic year, engages students in a rigorous academic programme five days a week, with weekends spent participating in a challenging outdoors programme, co-curricular activities, or community service.

Kurt Hahn

There is more in us than we know; if we can perhaps be made to see it, then for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for anything less.

Timbertop philosophy

The ethos behind Timbertop is a simple one which has its origins in the thinking of Kurt Hahn, founder of Salem School in Germany, Gordonstoun in Scotland, the Outward Bound movement and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Hahn believed that the skills and confidence to deal with unfamiliar territory could be developed; that exposure to challenges, in a secure environment, awakens in young people a belief in themselves which will stay with them through the hurdles ahead.

Kurt Hahn’s philosophy looked beyond an academic education, and sought to develop the qualities of compassion, honesty, initiative, a thirst for adventure and a sense of service to others. Today, in this age of technological and sociological change, we too uphold these principles as fundamental to shaping courageous and compassionate young people; well prepared for their senior school years and, most importantly, the opportunities and challenges that lie beyond.

Read our Purpose

Celebrating 70 years of Timbertop

In 2023, we are honouring the people, the place, and the purpose of our Timbertop campus. Timbertop was established in 1953 and, 70 years later, this transformational learning opportunity helps those who experience it to literally look upward, to the top of the mountain, and to unearth the courage and confidence of daring to trust themselves, and others, and all that they can become in these most formative years and beyond.



The space to thrive

Timbertop operates in a very isolated environment. The campus is set on over 325 hectares of bush and farming land in the Victorian High Country. The nearest public road is over two kilometres from the main living and teaching areas. Cars and the general public cannot be seen, and the noise of traffic is replaced by the sounds of the bush. It is a quiet and peaceful place. We offer our students individual attention, stirring challenges, and relief from the urgency and distractions of the modern world.

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Academic Focus

Our comprehensive academic programme is busy and rigorous and takes place from Friday to Tuesday. Unlike most Australian schools, our weekends are on a Wednesday and Thursday, which allows us to enjoy the bush and local alpine area when it is less busy with tourists and visitors.

The academic curriculum consists of a core range of familiar subjects plus the choice of five semester units.



Adventure of the Outdoors

Our challenging outdoors programme takes full advantage of its natural surroundings, and includes hiking, skiing and camping and at times, canoeing and rafting. These experiences are fundamental to presenting new challenges and helping students to discover their potential. In many ways, the Timbertop year is a journey and our experiences in nature and the outdoors are a literal foundation for this.

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Life as a Timbertop Student

The experience of a Timbertop student is exceptionally unique. Great friendships are made, acceptance is learned and teamwork is practiced.

Although simple and often quickly learned, the lessons provided through life as a Timbertop student are rich and significant, and often lessons that cannot be replicated in an urban or suburban environment.