6-day Advanced Navigation, Survival & River Crossing Course January 30, 2022

This is a 6-day advanced navigation, survival & river crossing course.

Navigation course with OENZ-Outdoor Education New Zeland`
6-day Advanced Navigation, Survival & River Crossing course

6-day Navigation, Survival & River Crossing Course Overview


Our 6-Day advanced navigation, survival and river crossing courses take your hiking skills to the next level.  Extensive training in advanced navigation techniques, walking in steep terrain and river crossing as well as building on our foundation knowledge in weather interpretation and trip planning. This course will give you the confidence to undertake advanced or challenging tramping routes like never before.

This is a popular course for people looking to take on advanced tramping routes that may take you over alpine passes or for people looking to create their own pathway through the New Zealand backcountry.

This course is also valuable for those intending to get into mountaineering and looking to build on their navigation skills.




Before attending this course, you must have completed a bushcraft & navigation course.  Or have some good basic navigation skills including understanding map features, map scale and be able to take bearings using a compass.

All participants must 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.




Navigation training in Arthurs Pass National Park
Arthurs Pass National Park

This navigation 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.


Day 1 –  Course starts at 6 pm in Arthurs Pass Village (free transport available for Christchurch)

2nd day  – Day trip, River Crossing

3rd day – Day trip,  Arthurs Pass National Park

4th day – Day trip, Arthurs Pass National Park

5th day – Overnight expedition

6th day – Overnight expedition (free transport is available back to Christchurch)


Note: A full course outline is available to download at the bottom of this page.



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 – Arthurs Pass lodge

5th night – wild camping Arthurs Pass National Park



Arthurs Pass Lodge

Navigation & river crossing course in Arthurs Pass
Bivvy building

The first five nights of our accommodation will be staying at our Lodge in Arthurs Pass Village. The lodge 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.

Evening meals can be purchased from the local pub in Arthurs pass on the nights that we spend at the lodge.

Camping/Survival Shelters

Our 5th night is spent in tents or 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.



Navigation Course Arthurs Park National Park
River crossing


Just bring along your normal tramping/hiking kit, a compass, and some food. We will send you a detailed gear list once your booking has been processed.

If you’re not sure, you have everything you need for the course, no need to stress. We have all the gear and equipment available for you to hire. Just add a note to your booking or give us a call to organize your gear rental in advance.

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 navigtaion 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 at one of the following locations.

  • Yaldhurst Mcdonalds 2:45 pm

      (see on google maps)

  • Darfield Bakery 3:15 pm

      (see on google maps) 

  • Castle Hill Village 4:00 pm

      (see on google maps)

  • Arthurs Pass Village 6:00 pm

(See on google maps)

OENZ 12 seat Van


*Our preferred meeting locations for this course are Castle Hill Village or Arthurs Pass Village.





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.


6 Day Advanced Navigation, Survival & River Crossing 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


Navigation & bushcraft training courses
Poles for bracing in steep loose terrain
  • Downslope bearings
  • Cross slope bearings
  • Field: Field 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


Navigation & bushcraft courses with OENZ-Outdoor Education New Zealand
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
  • Free air Freezing Level and what it means
  • Understanding how fronts move and what they mean
  • A foundational understanding of how weather works.


River Crossing


river crossing bush craft training
Catching a throw bag in river crossing rescue swims
  • Hazards
  • River characteristics
  • River crossing principles
  • Decision Making
  • River crossing methods
  • Recovery







Course Outline
Gear List




*Minimum 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).



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.


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


Contact us at
+64 3 329 9076

Other Course Dates

Please contact us for more dates!

Course Timing

8:30am to 4:00pm