Mountaineer - Adventurer - Artist - Writer - Humanitarian


Sir Graeme Dingle MBE, KNZM is known as the father of outdoor pursuits in New Zealand.  He has undertaken innumerable adventures around the globe, including hundreds of mountaineering, rock climbing and adventuring firsts.  He was named by Wilderness Magazine as one of the greatest New Zealand climbers ever.

Highlights of his mountaineering feats include:

  • Numerous first ascents in the Andes, Himalaya, Antarctica and New Zealand.
    • First ascent, in one season, of all six classic European north faces including the notorious Eiger in Switzerland and the Matterhorn.
  • First traverse of the Southern Alps in New Zealand (100 days in winter).
  • First traverse of the Himalaya from Kanchenjunga to K2, 5,000 kms in 265 days.
  • A 400-day, 28,000 km circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle in two stages.

But Sir Graeme has more than adventuring in his blood.  He is a published author, a painter and has been involved in the production of more than 20 adventure films. His latest book, ‘DINGLE – Discovering the Sense in Adventure’, won the biography section of the 2006 Montana Book Awards. He is currently in the throes of writing two more.

His legacy, however, will be in the humanitarian space, having founded the Graeme Dingle Foundation (formerly the Project K Trust) with his wife Jo-anne Wilkinson, MNZM, Lady Dingle.  He is a principal fundraiser for the organisation, which has more than 25,000 young people in its programmes each year, and a Trustee of the Graeme Dingle Foundation Endowment Trust, managing a capital fund of around $5M, including property.

Sir Graeme Dingle is the recipient of numerous awards including: an MBE for services to outdoor pursuits, the Award of New Zealand for services to recreation and sport, the Antarctic Service Medal of the United States, the Deloitte Top 200 Companies Visionary Leader Award, ONZM for services to young people and a life member of the New Zealand Alpine Club. He also received in 2010 a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sport New Zealand, for services to outdoor recreation; and the Outdoors New Zealand Supreme Award, in 2011.

Sir Graeme was born in Gisborne on 30 November 1945, and has one daughter and one grand-daughter.





An inspirational speaker, a captivated audience and a message that will live long in the memory of those attending……Brilliant!
Simon Lockwood,
Institute of Directors (Waikato Chairman)
“The stories of your adventures were very interesting and humbling to us all…  Your message of ‘giving things a go’… motivated a lot of our staff the following day…  People overcame their fears and accomplished activities that they had [earlier] decided not to try.  Being highly admired as one of New Zealand’s top mountaineers and adventurers… we were honoured to have heard you share your triumphs.  Many thanks for an exceptional evening.
Paul J Duffy,
Challenge Properties Ltd
“Your contribution to our company conference… lifted the event onto a higher plain.  Your talk had a dramatic impact on all of us.  Apart from being fascinating, it graphically illustrated the benefits of planning, of self-reliance, [and] instinct…  It was a rare honour and a privilege to meet you…”
Hugh McKellar,
“Graeme is restless in mind and body, and always on the go – a formidable technical climber and a very entertaining companion – a little crazy perhaps, but never dull…  you always know that once Graeme gets started, he’ll expend every bit of his strength and courage in the adventure.”
Sir Edmund Hillary
"Sir Graeme's experiences, insights and his passion for life and for making the world a better place shone through to a point our team was enthralled, inspired, and perhaps even a little mesmerised. ETCO is more focused and aware of possibilities than we were before Sir Graeme spoke to us today. And I’m really excited about what that means for us."
Jeremy Sole – Chief Executive Officer,
The Electrical Training Company Ltd


The Man And The Mountain

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Adventurer & Youth Advocate Graeme Dingle Knighted

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‘Boring person’ comment spurred Sir Graeme Dingle’s charitable work

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Outdoor legend Graeme Dingle earns knighthood for youth development work

Graeme Dingle and his wife, Joanne Wilkinson. Photo: Graeme Dingle Foundation   Graeme Dingle, a lifetime mountaineer and leader in…

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‘Selfish’ mountaineer’s transformative journey to lifetime of giving back

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My Holidays: Graeme Dingle

What was your greatest holiday? If the test is pleasurable and memorable, it was one of the first Graeme Dingle…

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Graeme Dingle and Jo-anne Wilkinson’s Graeme Dingle Foundation helps young Kiwis achieve their potential

BY BRITT MANN SUPPLIED Graeme Dingle, left, and Jo-anne Wilkinson, husband and wife duo at the helm of the Graeme…

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Women of Influence alumni: Jo-anne Wilkinson

"I think today women still have to make a decision about career and taking time out to have a family…

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Kiwis in quest to conquer unclimbed peak

BY MICHELLE ROBINSON GRAHAME COX/FAIRFAX NZ OFF TO CONQUER: Rob Frost with his mountain climbing hero Graeme Dingle   New…

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Dingle’s Toughest Journey

Mountaineer Graeme Dingle’s 1200km odyssey with six young violent offenders was a journey he would later describe as the most…

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