Senior Bush Instructor Training February 7, 2023


Senior Bush Instructor Training Overview

Our instructor training is specifically designed for people who are wanting to lead people in the bush environment. If you are working towards NZOIA Bush level 2, or are wanting to become trip leaders for clubs and social groups on advanced trips, this will be the course for you.

This is a 9 day “train the trainer” style course designed to look at key aspects that are important when leading others in this dynamic environment. There is a level of technical competency you will need to meet in regards to your personal skills in order to be able to attend this course, this is outlined in our pre-requisites below.

N.B: The 7-day instructor training is dedicated to the aspiring Level 1 instructor, the 9- day instructor training is dedicated to the aspiring Level 2 instructor



Before attending this course, you must be competent walking in steep varied terrain, in and above the bush line, can navigate confidently and efficiently with a map and compass off track, and have completed a comprehensive river crossing course.

If you do not meet the requirements in your personal skills we have aligned this course to our Bush Training Courses, where you can combine the 7-day Bushcraft Course and this 9-day instructor training.

We strongly recommend you combine our personal skills course with the Instructor Development Programme to observe how our bushcraft instructors deliver and scaffold learning to a group as well as ensure your personal skills are at industry standard. 


Level 2 Bush Instructor Recommended Training Pathway

The OENZ 7-day bushcraft course + 9-day instructor training for leading groups in moderate to hard bush terrain off track and over multiple days.

We also encourage keeping a personal logbook starting with 40 days of personal experience in the bush with a minimum of 5 x multiday trips plus working towards additional time observing others and assisting in teaching alpine skills. 

Recommended additional training for leading and teaching 

OENZ Facilitation and Leadership Module (this is an optional separate 5-day module)



Instructor Training Location

This course will be held between Christchurch and Arthurs Pass


Instructor Training Accommodation

**All your accommodation is included in this instructor training**



Arthurs Pass Camp Out (day 1)


The first night of our course includes a camp out in Arthurs Pass National Park. We use this time to cover bushcraft and camping skills for above the bush line environments. We will also spend two nights out with our model client groups camping. (See timetable below)




Arthurs Pass Lodge

Lodge in Arthurs Pass Village


The remainder of the course will be 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. All you need to bring is your sleeping bag, pillow.






Gear & Equipment

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.

We will also supply all of the group and client equipment needed for the model client days.




Food is not provided on this course. We recommend packing plenty of snacks and lunch that do not require cooking. The accommodation has a full kitchen & fridge that you are welcome to use. Alternatively, the local pub & cafes in Arthurs Pass serve meals and refreshments.



Free Transport

Outdoor education New Zealand mountain courses
OENZ 4×4


We collect you from your accommodation on day 1 and then provide daily transport to and from the bush and accommodation for the rest of the training.



Meeting locations (catch a ride with us)

If you have your own car but want a lift we’re happy to meet you at one of the following locations:

Yaldhurst Mcdonalds 7:00 am (see on google maps)

*Darfield Bakery 7:30 am (see on google maps)

Castle Hill Village 8:30 am (see on google maps)

*Our preferred meeting location is Darfield Bakery.




Traveling From out of town?

OENZ Van for mountaineering courses
OENZ 12 seat Van

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 center.  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.


What’s Included in this

Senior Bush Instructor Training ?



L2/Senior Bush Instructor

While we will endeavor to cover as many of the teachable skills below across the week, the focus will not be on the technical skill, but how to teach it. 



Instructor development program

Weather Forecast

  • Applying weather forecasting to decision making & trip planning.
  • Synoptic Chart understanding and refinement




Teaching Survival skills

  • Natural shelters
  • Field weather observations and predictions
  • Fire lighting in adverse conditions
  • Advanced knife skills




Teaching Camping skills

bush training course with OENZ- Outdoor Education New Zealand
Survival shelter/bivvy building


  • Selecting a suitable campsite for a group above the bush line*
  • Pitching tents
  • Various ways to construct tarp/group shelters






Understanding and demonstrating teaching skills and group management in the following:

navigtaion, bushcraft and survival skills
Orientating map with a compass


  • Contour features/micro navigation
  • Topographical map reading & interpretation
  • Advanced compass techniques
  • Describing the limitations of emergency communication devices.
  • Flora & Fauna
  • Moving off-track with a group
  • Weather modules
  • Setting appropriate group objectives and dynamically adapting as the need requires.




Teaching River Crossing 

  • Hydrology
  • Hazards & River characteristics
  • Decision Making – understanding and explaining what affects our decision-making and how we can manage this.
  • A range of suitable river crossing methods
  • Recovery swims
  • Handlines and ropes in rivers



bushcraft training
Firecraft in action

Leadership/instructional skills:

  • Plan and prepare 2 x multi-day educational and safe bushcraft experiences for model clients in off-track terrain.
  • Lead and manage a small group for 2 x 2 consecutive days in the bush environment which may include a campout.
  • Apply effective safety management applicable to group, terrain and environmental conditions.


*If suitable

Senior Bush Instructor Training Timetable

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 Instructor Specific Skills Day Instructor Specific Skills Day Facilitation & Planning Overnight Model Client Experience Continued Model Client Experience Off Off
Week 2 Reflection & planning Overnight Model Client Experience Continued Model Client Experience End of course – wrap up and final results.


How many people will be on my instructor training?

We believe that small groups are better for this type of training. So we have a maximum client to instructor ratio of just four clients to one instructor. If there are six clients you will have one guide and one assistant guide, eight clients means there will be two guides and you’ll operate in two smaller groups.


Does this senior bush instructor training have minimum numbers?


Bush training

Yes, the minimum number for the course to proceed at the advertised price is two clients. We won’t cancel your course if we don’t meet the minimum numbers though, instead, we will offer you the following options:

a.) A shorter private course with 1-1 tuition – e.g. with one person we can cover the course content much faster, so far fewer days are needed.

b.) You will be offered to continue with the course as planned and cover the extra cost.

c.) We can transfer you to another date when the course is running again.

Note: In the unlikely event that the course length is shortened due to insufficient numbers. We will provide accommodation for you in Arthurs Pass Village for the full duration of your original booking. ie. any extra time following the course being shortened.


Course downloads


Gear List

Course Outline








PHONE: +64 3 329 9076                                EMAIL: [email protected]

Field Based Course Highlights

*Minimum people needed to run a course

Course booking form

Participant Details

Participant details

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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.


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