3-day Navigation, Bushcraft & River Crossing course

This is a 3-day navigation, bushcraft and river crossing course

navigation and river crossing course
3-day bush craf and river crossing course

3-day bushcraft, navigation & river crossing course overview

The 3-day navigation, bushcraft and river crossing course is an introductory course. It combines our 2-day navigation & bushcraft course and our 1-day river crossing course.  You do not need prior skills or experience to attend this course.  On completion, you will have the foundation tramping skills to hike some of New Zealand’s most infamous tracks.


***This is our most popular beginner bushcraft training course.  Prior experience is not necessary, and we have all the gear and equipment available for you to use.***


Adult Price $1049* (minimum age 16 years)

Youth Price $524.50** (14-18 years, accompanied by an adult)

Ask about our Family Friendly courses for ages less than 14 years.


Bushcraft & River Crossing Course Location


Bushcraft courses with OENZ- Outdoor Education New Zealand
Craigieburn Forest Park

This course is delivered in the Craigieburn Forest Park and Arthur’s Pass National Park area.

Note: Free return transport is available from Christchurch.


Day 1 & 2 – Bushcraft and Navigation training

The course starts in Darfield (40 mins from Christchurch) at 8:30 am. We spend the first two days in the Craigieburn Forest Park (near Castle Hill Village).

See location on google maps.


Day 3 -River Crossing

Bushcraft & river crossing courses with OENZ-Outdoor Education New Zealand
River Crossing, Arthurs Pass N.P

On day 3, we head down to the Waimakariri river at Mt White Bridge, Arthurs Pass. The day is spent focusing on river Crossing.

See location on google maps.


The course finishes at 3:30 pm in Arthurs Pass or Castle Hill village  (approx 1.5-2hrs from Christchurch airport).




Camping on bushcraft course
1st night -Camping


1st Night – Wild Camping

The first night of this course you will be wild camping in the Craigieburn Forest Park.


Note: we have tents & camp gear available if you don’t have your own.


2nd Night – Arthurs Pass Lodge

On the 2nd night, we stay in our lodge in Arthur’s Pass Village.


2nd night – Lodge  Arthurs Pass Village

The lodge has bunk beds set up across 3 bedrooms and can sleep up to 20 people. It has a kitchen stocked with utensils, cookware, fridge, & ovens. You will also be treated to power, bathroom facilities, hot showers and heating.


Most groups choose to eat out at the local pub in Arthurs Pass on the 2nd night.


**Your accommodation is included**



Gear & Equipment

Please bring along your normal tramping kit with a tent for our camp out. If you don’t have everything you need, we can hire you some equipment to help set you up for the 3 days. For those travelling by plane, we are happy to organise gas canisters for your overnight camp out.

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



This is a self-catered course. Please pack all your food for the duration of the course. We recommend packing plenty of snacks and lunches don’t require cooking. For dinner on the 1st night, we recommend something convenient and easy to cook on a camp cooker.

For the second night, you may choose to eat at the local pub. Alternatively, you may like to use the facilities at the lodge to prepare your own meal.  The lodge has a full kitchen & fridge that you are welcome to use.



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


Meeting locations

River Crossing Transport
OENZ 4×4

Please meet us at one of the following locations if you have your own transport:



  • Castle Hill Village 9:00 am

      (see on google maps)

*Our preferred meeting location is Darfield Bakery.

van for bushcraft courses
OENZ 12 seat van



Travelling From out of town?

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.




When is the next bushcraft course?

Bushcraft courses run from October to June.  Visit our Course Calendar for scheduled course dates. Custom courses can be created on alternative dates by request.


Visit Course Calendar


Price: $1049*


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* This is the early bird booking price, standard rates available on the course calendar.

**Conditions apply for youth pricing structure. See FAQ’s page.


This Bushcraft & River Crossing course includes


Reading Topographic maps (NZ topo50)

learning map features
  • Colours and symbols
  • Scale and distance
  • Orientating a map using features
  • 6 figure grid references

Interpreting contour features

  • Ridges
  • Spurs
  • Gullies
  • Valleys
  • Saddles
  • Highpoints

Using a compass

Orientating map with compass
  • Finding North
  • Orientating map with compass
  • Follow a compass-bearing
  • Field: map bearings
  • Map: Field bearings
  • Taking resections/triangulations

Clothing & Equipment selection

  • Packs
  • Boots
  • Walking poles
  • Personal clothing
  • Emergency communications
  • Using a GPS/Smartphone GPS

Camping skills

  • Selecting a suitable campsite
  • Field weather observations and predictions
Bushcraft & River Crossing Course
River Crossing Mutual Support

River Crossing

  • Hazards
  • River characteristics
  • River crossing principles
  • Decision Making
  • River crossing methods
  • Recovery





Course outline
Packing list



See what our clients have to say


“Finished our 3-day course yesterday and just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. Sarah [the instructor] was AMAZING. We will be looking for more courses to do with you guys for sure!” – Di & Peter, Wanaka

“Getting back into navigation with a map & compass was fantastic!” Robert Johnson, Australia

“I learnt heaps, thank you the course was great” Elizabeth – West Coast

“So worth it to prepare us for the Te Araroa Trail, we’ve learnt so much.” Jess & Kym, United Kingdom.



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Phone: +64 3 329 9076                                Email: [email protected]