Introducing backcountry camping
Dense and rich beech forest, crystal clear rivers and towering mountain ranges to both sides: the Casey and Binser Saddle Route connects two beautiful valleys in the middle of Arthur’s Pass and provides stunning surroundings away from any crowds or technology for you to connect with nature.
While it’s a pleasant hike, it covers decent distance – which makes it an Advanced Track. However, this gives us the chance to see more of the area and the wildlife that calls it home. Some of the highlights include:
- Camp among native bush and embrace New Zealand’s elements.
- Hike through dense forest, over tussock flats and river terraces to experience true backcountry hiking.
- Enjoy valley views and snow-capped peaks all day, every day.
- Watch Kea fly and talk overhead.
A great getaway to explore more of Arthur’s Pass, one of the South Island’s most stunning and dramatic National Parks.
Inky is a tribal bushman born on Piney Mountain whose blood flows with the Susquehannock River. He is a well-travelled explorer who has ventured deep into the Amazon and to the heights of the Andes. A keen storyteller, Inki carries extensive knowledge of ecology, geology as well as indigenous narratives of his beloved Southern Alps. A patient teacher, he is always happy to share his backcountry skills with others. If you're looking for an experience above and beyond just hiking, Inki is the Bushman to book.
- Roaming Western Ghats, Andes and Appalachian Mountains
- Emergency First Response & First Aid Trained
- Rescue Diver & (USAF) Battlefield Care Trained
- Also worked as guide at Ngārua Caves with a focus on history and geological/ecological knowledge.
- Hablo español intermedio!
A pleasant hike with rewarding views
Andrews Shelter on the way towards Arthur’s Pass marks the start of our 2-day Adventure. The track is a circuit connecting Andrews and Poulter Valley, with two saddles to cross along the way.
We’ll hike mostly through sheltered beech forest, a paradise for the native birds around here. Fantails and robins are sure to check us out while we’re making our way through the dense, native bush – typical Arthur’s Pass. You’ll embrace the smells, fresh winds (and rain) and get to meet my favourite region in New Zealand.
After a few hours, the track emerges onto grassy river flats and crosses a few streams before leading over Casey Saddle. The site of the burnt down Casey Hut is where we will camp for the night. Unfortunately, huts can succumb to silly fireplace mistakes, but we’ll still stay around this location. Once we pitch the tents and get settled, it’s time for dinner under the stars.
The following day sees us walking along the Poulter Valley Track, with more stream crossings, red beech and open tussock land. We’ll also have some fantastic views of the valley and the Waimakariri river flats past Binser saddle. Well worth the climb and a fantastic few days out if you’re heading west or south.
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!
1.5L water container
Cutlery, bowl & cup
Lighter / Matches
Pack Cover / Liner
Sunscreen & hat
Toiletries & Underwear
Top & Bottom Base layer
Torch & Batteries
Warm hat & gloves (March to October)
Warm hiking layer
Cooker & gas/fuel
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.
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Q & A
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.
Where are we staying?
We’ll camp either around the old site of Casey Hut that burned down or continue to a nearby river terrace. Both spots are sheltered and the hut site still provides a long-drop toilet. If you don’t have a tent, you can hire one from us.
Can I purchase food?
Yes, we provide meals by Backcountry Cuisine at check-out. Just select a flavour and I’ll have it ready for you. For this trip, you’ll need 2 lunches, 1 dinner and 1 breakfast.
If you want to bring your own food, keep in mind that we’ll have to cook outside. Backcountry Cuisine is quite easy as we just have to add some boiling water to the meal pouch - grab your spork and go!
What kind of clothes should I bring?
I recommend a mix of breathable, warm clothes that you can layer up or down. Spare socks are good after a day of stream crossings and thermals are your best friends at night. Our minimum requirements list all the gear you should bring to keep warm and safe, and you'll need top of the range if we're going in the winter months (no exception). It will go well below sub-zero temperatures during that time.
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.
What is the refund and cancellation policy?
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.
What happens if the tour is cancelled due to weather?
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.
What gear do I need?
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.
Can I hire gear/equipment?
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.
What food shall I bring?
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.
Where do I meet my Bushman?
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.
How much extra is it to add family/friends onto the booking?
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.
Can I talk to my Bushman before the Adventure?
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.
Need more help?
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