5-day Advanced Navigation & Survival Course October 21, 2024

This is a 5-day advanced navigation & survival bushcraft course.

survival & navigation training in Arthurs Pass National Park with OENZ-Outdoor Education New Zealand
5-day survival, bushcraft & navigation

Advanced Navigation, Bushcraft & Survival Course Overview


Our advanced navigation and survival courses are for people who are looking to extend their foundational compass and map reading skills and gain confidence in the NZ backcountry. Delivered in Arthurs Pass National Park, this course includes advanced map & compass skills, travelling in steep terrain, NZ weather, route planning and bush survival skills.

This is a popular course for adventure racers, mountaineers and trampers that are getting into more serious, off-track terrain or those looking to build confidence & survival skills in the New Zealand backcountry. This course is also suitable for professional instructors training towards NZOIA Bush qualifications.




Before attending this course, you must have completed a 2-3day bushcraft course and a river crossing course. or be competent in river crossing techniques inc rescues, basic navigation, understanding map features, scale and using a compass and be able to walk with a pack for 4-6 hours.

This is an advanced bushcraft and survival course.  please get in contact with us before completing your booking if you are unsure you meet the prerequisite skills.




This course is delivered in Arthurs Pass National Park.  However, New Zealand mountain weather can be fickle so as a backup option sometimes we split the course between Arthurs Pass and The Craigieburn Range (see map).  Having flexibility in course location ensures you will get the most of your time with us.




Arthurs Pass Mountaineering courses
Lodge in Arthurs Pass Village


**All your accommodation is included in this advanced navigation & survival course**


1st night – Arthurs Pass lodge

2nd night – Arthurs Pass lodge

3rd night – Arthurs Pass lodge

4th night – wild camping Arthurs Pass National Park


Arthurs Pass Lodge

The lodge in Arthurs Pass Village has bunk beds set up across three bedrooms and can sleep up to 20 people. It has a kitchen stocked with utensils, cookware, fridge, ovens. You’ll also be treated to power, bathroom facilities, hot showers and heating.

Camping on bush survival course New Zealand
Camping, Lake Mavis Arthurs Pass N.P


Note: Evening meals can be purchased from the local pub in Arthurs Pass when staying at the lodge.


Cam out/Survival Shelters

Our 4th night is spent in tents or in survival shelters in the bush. If you choose to you will need to build a suitable natural shelter using only what’s in your pack to survive the night.





Survival shelter on bush training course in Arthurs Pass National Park
Survival shelter


You will need boots and tramping/hiking clothing, a compass, a pack and some food for this course.

If you’re not sure you have everything you need for the course, that’s ok. We have all the gear and equipment available for you to use. If you need to borrow or hire some gear please add a note to your booking or give us a call.


Note: a full packing list is available to download at the bottom of this page.




This is a self-catered course, please pack all of your meals and snacks for the duration of the course. Evening meals can be purchased at the local pub in Arthurs Pass Village on the nights that we stay in the lodge.



Bushcraft and navigation and survival courses
OENZ 4×4


Free transport is available from any Christchurch accommodation if your travelling from out of town to attend one of our courses.


Meeting locations 


If you have your own transport please meet us you at one of the following locations:

  • Yaldhurst Mcdonalds 3:30 pm

      (see on google maps)

  • Darfield Bakery 4:00 pm

      (see on google maps)

  • Castle Hill Village 4:30 pm

      (see on google maps)

bush survival courses with OENZ- Outdoor Education NEw Zealand
OENZ 12 seat van


*Our preferred meeting location is Darfield Bakery.





We recommend that you arrive in Christchurch the day before your course. We have a few hotel & hostel suggestions on our FAQ’s page. Please avoid booking accommodation north or east of the city centre.  At the end of the course, we are more than happy to drop you back at your accommodation or directly to the airport.  The earliest time we can have you back at the airport is 6 pm.


5 Day Advanced Navigation & Survival Course Highlights



Reading Topographic maps (NZ topo50)

Navigation and bushcraft course
Interpreting contour features


  • Above the bush line navigation
  • Scale and distance
  • Orientating a map using features
  • Refining contour interpretation


Travelling contour features


  • Ridges
  • Spurs
  • Gullies
  • Saddles
  • Highpoints


Using a compass

bush craft training courses
Poles for bracing in steep loose terrain


  • Downslope bearings
  • Cross slope bearings
  • Feild: Feild bearings
  • Refining compass technique


Advanced walking techniques in steep terrain


  • Poles for bracing
  • Foot placements and techniques for steep or slippery terrain
  • Handlines
  • Scree – traversing, ascending/descending


Survival skills

bush craft
Synoptic Charts


  • Building a natural survival shelter
  • Field weather observations and predictions
  • Fire lighting in adverse conditions


Weather education


  • Reading and interpreting synoptic & metadata information
  • Weather data interpretation across forecasting sites
  • Field observations
  • Free air Freezing Level and what it means
  • Understanding how fronts move and what they mean
  • A foundational understanding of how weather works.



*Advertised price is the early bird discounted price.



Course Outline
Gear List






*Minimum 4 people needed to run a course

Course booking form

Participant Details

Participant details

Please enter details for each participant you're booking for (even if they're the same as entered above).

Bookings are $1999 per participant

Add a Youth Participant?

Youth Participant details

Youth must be at least 12 years old to attend this course

Bookings are $999 per youth participant



Which course are you taking?
Alpine Course
Bush and River Crossing
Rock Climbing
Sea Kayak
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Other Details

Course cost

Course Cost: $ NZD

You can choose to complete your booking using Credit/Debit Card (via Paypal - PayPal account is not required), or by using your Paypal account. If you would like to make payment by Internet Banking or request an invoice please contact us in advance.

Contact us at
+64 3 329 9076

Other Course Dates

Please contact us for more dates!

Course Timing

8:30am to 4:00pm