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How it all Began

The Kathmandu journey begins in the mid-eighties.

At the time, production of outdoor clothing and equipment was severely limited. A trip into the outdoors was less an adventure than a test of endurance, with trekkers lugging heavy packs, wet woollies, stiff boots and sweaty oilskins. Enter Kathmandu. The founders were driven by the desire to use new quick-drying materials such as Fleece and Thermals to make outdoor adventure more comfortable and better suited to local conditions.

Past Kathmandu Catalogues

In 1987 Kathmandu’s first store opened in Hardware Lane in central Melbourne, followed by its first New Zealand store in Christchurch in 1991. Throughout the nineties Kathmandu remained a small specialist outdoor retailer. However, enthusiasm for the company’s innovative products was clearly growing, leading to the launch of the Summit Club loyalty program in 1994.

Kathmandu has now grown to become a leading international retailer of clothing and equipment for travel and adventure. Over 1500 team members now work in over a hundred stores, distribution centres and offices spread throughout Australia, New Zealand and the UK. In November 2009, Kathmandu became a publicly listed business on the Australia and New Zealand Stock Exchanges.

Throughout its journey, Kathmandu has never lost sight of its origins. The focus is still on creating quality products that make the outdoors more accessible to adventurers of every description. To this day, about 95% of sales are Kathmandu-branded products, using materials and designs sourced or specified by our talented in-house design team.

It’s been an exciting journey so far – and the itinerary for the future is wide open.