Silver Qualmark Award for Bushman Tours
Bushman Tours has gained a Silver Qualmark status after a review by Qualmark and New Zealand Tourism.
If you love mountains and fascinating natural structures, but you don’t want to climb too high, then Bealey Spur might just be for you. Panoramic views, plenty of lookouts and a historic hut – you’re in for a special trip into the heart of our Southern Alps!
This Adventure has been designed to provide a full-on day throughout the western region of Canterbury. We’ll combine an enjoyable walk up the Bealey Spur Track with a trip to the remarkable structures of Castle Hill.
Visitors who have joined me on this Adventure praise its variety and the number of wonderful sites and landscapes you’ll see.
One person from *$299 NZD
* Save up to $154 NZD by bringing 4 friendsChoose Dates
I'm a 50-something woman enjoying a second teenagehood. I'm a glider pilot who's discovered the spiritual bond I feel in the air extends to the earth and the bush. I'm a writer by profession, a storyteller by inclination, and I have a wide knowledge of the New Zealand bush, its trees, birds, insects, the earth below it and the sky above. People who come hiking with me will feel welcome in the wilderness. I'll share the stories of the place and help you see the small things that you may not know to even look for. We'll take our time. Hiking with me is about being in the here and now, looking, listening, smelling and connecting to the land. I am not about rushing to make it to the end, just to tick a journey off the list. I'll tell you my stories but I also want to hear yours. This is your journey, your trip and I want to make it the best experience you can have.
To make the most out of our day trip, let’s leave the city bright and early (not without a coffee, of course) and head towards the mountains. We’ll interrupt the scenic drive to grab one of the world-famous Sheffield pies, starting our trip in Kiwi tradition.
Once we’ve reached the track, there is a bit of uphill climbing involved until we reach the main lookout over the Waimakariri Valley. It’s steady-going and with spectacular views of the surrounding nature and river systems; typical Canterbury. I’ll guide you further through native beech forest, open grassland and sub-alpine scrub until we reach the historic Bealey Spur Hut once used for high country sheep farming. Time for a brew!
In fine weather, it is possible to climb beyond the hut to the top of the spur. There is no marked track but that’s what I’m here for. An adventure not too dissimilar to something out of Lord of the Rings takes us over a 45-minute swamp and forest walk to the summit (maybe don’t bring your formal shoes).
Before we head back, there are still some unique limestone formations to explore. Several movies have been filmed around here and you are sure to recognize one or two scenes. Not to mention the photo-opportunities and the chance to watch some rock climbers. We’ll explore the unique landscape a little more and spend some time talking about how they got there and what they mean to Māori who once lived and travelled in these regions.
All tours require the proper gear to ensure you’re having the time of your life, and are well prepared if things go south. It’s the real and rugged New Zealand out there!
750ML Water Bottle
Sunscreen & hat
Top Base layer
Torch & Batteries
Warm hat & gloves (March to October)
Cutlery & cup
Lighter / Matches
Personal First Aid Kit
There are add-on extras for this tour. These are the little things that’ll either make your Adventure easier to organise or more rugged - your choice. You can add these during the booking process.
This place is a local must-do when heading to the mountains. The ‘World Famous Sheffield Pie Shop’ has delicious products prepared and baked on-site using only the freshest ingredients. They have won awards in the New Zealand Pie Awards four years running and bake over 20 varieties of pie including fruit pies! A perfect way to fuel up for the day.+ $5 NZD
Want your Adventure captured in stunning, professional photos? We’ve got a Lensman (like Bushmen but with cameras) who will join you and capture all the best moments so you don't have to.+ $150 NZD
Your Bushman has added a couple of answers to questions other Visitors have asked in the past to help you with your booking plans. Once you book a tour, you'll be in direct contact with your Bushman for more support.
Although people from all backgrounds and fitness levels have done this hike, it's not without its efforts. You'll handle it, but it's a good day of exercise.
Bring lots of water and hiking poles if you struggle with ascents. Those with experience will break a sweat, but not struggle. We’re not in a rush and can take many breaks.
The drive to Bealey Spur has several worthwhile stops along the way, including the limestone formations at Castle Hill, a cave and the quaint village of Arthur’s Pass a few kilometres after the car park.
We can customize your itinerary, depending on how much time we have left after our hike. Contact me through the chat function after you’ve booked and we can figure out what you’d like to see.
The drive is approximately 4 hours in total but we will break this up and have chances to stretch legs, get food & coffee and explore the surrounding areas as we drive. I will try to make it as entertaining as possible for everyone!
Here’s a few answers to the more general questions about the whole journey. You can visit our help and support area for any further information or contact us via the chat function.
Bushman Tours sets a standard cancellation policy that can be found via our Terms & Conditions. This is globally set at 48 hours notice. However, Bushmen may add to this depending on the requirements for the Adventure (e.g. - hiring gear and renting equipment on your behalf). The final policy will be located at the bottom of the checkout, or you can reach out to us to check.
In most cases, the Bushman can arrange another day to run your tour, but this also comes down to when you're available if travelling through New Zealand. We recommend ensuring you have insurance for cancellation of any tours. If the Bushman has to cancel due to a health risk, we will call you to arrange another option.
Although we have a minimum requirement of gear, you will need the right equipment and gear that is relevant to the Adventure you're booking. This is usually found at the bottom of each tour page, but for our minimum, please visit our FAQs & blog page.
In some circumstances, your Bushman will have equipment for you to hire. This is available to browse and book through the checkout. We may also have options through our checkout. Although you may be able to borrow gear during the tour, it's important to reserve it now.
Depending on the length, this can vary. Your Bushman will advise on the tour page what is recommended for this particular Adventure, but typically, what we offer at checkout via the add-ons section is what you'll need. Keep it lightweight and nutritious if you buy your own.
We always try to pick the closest iSite (Visitor Centre) to your Adventure's location. Instructions on precisely where to meet are sent after the booking is made. However, you can also message your Bushman and arrange another location as long as it's close enough to the region.
If you book and find that more people want to come with you, we can arrange to add them onto the booking (this is dependant on the Bushman's preference to the number of people to take out). The more that book on the original checkout option, the cheaper the fee for each individual - so spread the word before you go to book! Please note, you cannot add or bring extra people 48 hours before the tour starts.
Absolutely! Once you book, you will be able to login and chat directly to your Bushman through a private, secure chat. Here you can arrange some extras you would like to do, timings for pick up and much more.
There's plenty to explore, check it out!