Outdoor education, in its various guises, has been part of the New Zealand education system for decades and is considered by many to be integral to school life. This paper addresses outdoor education within physical education in primary and secondary schools. It critiques the priority historically given to personal and social outcomes, suggesting that this has served to keep outdoor pursuits and adventure activities at the forefront of many school programmes, particularly in secondary schools. In turn, it is proposed that this has sidetracked the focus from outdoor environmental education, a problematic outcome given contemporary concerns about the need to foster environmental appreciation, understanding, and action. A range of possibilities for a practice of outdoor education that deliberately and creatively fuses simple, ‘skill-full’ adventures, and student connectedness and commitment to local environments is highlighted.