This New Zealand Bush Experience has a focus on providing a mixture of adventures and activities that make what going bush is really all about in New Zealand. That feeling of reaching a hut you get all to yourself, mountain rivers you can drink out of, wild life and wild foods are all on offer at this privately run Station. This tour has been designed to suit people with all experiences, fitness and backgrounds.
Shaun has walked through a lifetime of back country adventures all over New Zealand from multi-day solo hikes, to back pack adventures and hunting along the mountain ranges in the deep south. A local legend who has frequently appeared in leading NZ hunting magazines as an "expert pig hunter". Shaun's wide range of knowledge on wildlife, plants, conservation, bush-craft, mountain safety and New Zealand's unique history makes for a great chat while walking the trails and in the private lodges.
Below is a breakdown on what activities and adventures you'll do. These may change slightly due to demand and/or weather, but overall this provides an idea of plans.
February 27 // Arrive into Christchurch
On this day, you will arrange a flight or transport into Christchurch city (where applicable). The day is all to yourself where you may wish to meet the other travelers, or complete some last minute work. In the afternoon, any gear or food you purchase will be delivered to your accommodation for you to pack that night. By night time, we will arrange a protein, energy heavy meal at an affordable priced for everyone at Cafe Valentino. A final briefing and any last minute requirements can be discussed here.
February 28th // Leave for Hurunui
Today starts at approximately 8 am with everyone picked up by the arranged transport (more concrete times will be shared once all 10 people have booked). We head north through typical NZ country towns for coffee and pies. A few hours drive will have us head deep into the Canterbury Hills. By 10:30 am, we arrive at the beginning of Island Hills station where everyone is transported further to the first lodge to meet with Bushman Shaun, and receive the first briefing.
February 28th // Begin the hikes
After a meet and greet, health & safety prep and exploring the homestead, (depending on weather), the group will begin heading up into the mountains. This unmarked, epic hike is challenging but rewarding. You will head through traditional native beech forest with a lesson on natural growth and devastation. You'll head up into mountain ranges for epic views of the surrounding valleys at 1750m. It's here you should prime your eyes for local stags (something Shaun frequently keeps under control). While heading back down the hillsides after a big day of hiking, you'll arrive at your next hut. Here, you'll be briefed on the conservation work and help prepare the camp for the evening (campfire and BBQ).
February 29th // Conservation & Exploring
Today brings with it a variety of activities including bush craft, checking & setting conservation traps (large, bulky boxes that earn you a cold beer) and checking for pests, big hikes around the full station (looking for local stag & pigs), replacing wood and resources...or for those keen to just take it all in, lounge around the lodge and sunbave by the rivers that flow from the mountains. Shaun will put the team through some activities, teach you bush craft, how to build your own hill stick, skinning a possum and preparing wild foods - a true backcountry experience.
February 29th // Wild Foods
This evening after a day of hard work and big walks, we'll feed you up and make it all worthwhile with some locally sourced, free-range foods (some of the finest in the region). This includes:
- wild venison
- Wild pork
- west coast whitebait
- home grown lamb
- wild bacon
- free range eggs
- Fruit & Veggies locally grown
The whole group will help prepare a feast and set up the campfire for a beautiful, fun night of socializing under a blanket of stars and zero connection to the outside world.
March 1st // Team Hike
Today, we will be focusing on using the bush-craft skills and hiking out of the station toward our pick up location along an easy marked track. A clean up of camp is closely followed by some lunch and a chance to soak in, get some photos and ask questions from the Bushman Tours team about the environment. We'll be heading out on a medium difficulty hike over a few hours (depending on team fitness). Early afternoon, we are met by the van to take us back into Christchurch (you may even get some complimentary snacks on the ride home).
March 2nd // Fly Out or Hang About
Today, you may wish to book a flight or transport that works for you. Getting around the city is easy with plenty of taxis, Ubers, buses and even Lime Scooters if you dare. We can provide more information on transport if needed. Otherwise, you're welcome to stay on, explore the city or head north to visit the RiskLogic NZ HQ. Another option for those keen to continue to stretch the legs is a local day hike with another local Bushman. If you're interested in exploring the options, get in touch.
We have full flexibility in our itineraries. If there are certain activities you want to add or avoid, let us know when you book and Bushman Shaun will make sure about to accommodate.
For a full gear breakdown and what you must bring as minimum requirement, use the chat function below and we'll email you what you need. Otherwise, this is shared on your confirmation booking.
Huts with history
The wilderness, supporting conservation, and learning about this delicate part of Canterbury allows our Visitors to get a full private and personal experience. The private, historic huts are just the icing on the cake. The lodges and huts are handmade and looked after by a team of locals. The history of them and the region is diverse and something you get the privilege to experience, without any intruders. Sit around the campfire and chat with Shaun about the dynamic history of this region.
Let these pictures speak a thousand words on our behalf.
At checkout, we'll offer you to donate $150 ($144 AUD) toward a new trap. You can put your name on this trap and will be directly supporting conservation work in New Zealand by donating it to the region. These hills are not supported by Government, so it's people like Shaun who keep the pests under control for our native wildlife. If you can, please help us contribute to this.
We've simplified the process. Either jump on our chat function to the bottom right of your screen, or leave an email below and we'll get right back to you.