Silver Qualmark Award for Bushman Tours
Bushman Tours has gained a Silver Qualmark status after a review by Qualmark and New Zealand Tourism.
No New Zealand visit is complete without a trip deep into the native bush. Escaping the chaos of urban life, constant cell phone notifications and chaotic media updates can often seem impossible. Lake Christabel is the perfect spot to regenerate your mind and body through good ol’ fashioned nature.
Located in Lewis Pass, the lake is hidden away in a remote valley often opening up to misty mountain mornings. A crackling hut fire and clear alpine water all to yourself provides a chance to get back in touch with nature and a more pure world.
I won’t sugarcoat it, this is a challenging hike that includes steep climbs and descents over Rough Creek. (The name itself says it all). But this keeps the wrong people away and all your efforts will be worth it once you’ll see the views and relax in front of the fire.
Bring your friends, invite family and complete a route guided by a passionate local Kiwi… me!
On top of the unique vegetation, this is also a great habitat for native wildlife and if we are careful enough, who knows what we might spot… New Zealand is known as Middle Earth after all, right?
One person from *$550 NZD
* Save up to $275 NZD by bringing 4 friendsChoose Dates
I’m an absolute outdoors nut that is always up for a challenge. I love NZ and love showing and teaching others about our beautiful homeland even more. If I’m not paddling, pedalling or running you will find me hiking in the mountains. As a born and bred Kiwi I love everything to do with this beautiful place. I truly believe it is one of the best places on earth and there is no better way to see it than by getting out and exploring. I have a passion for teaching others about the outdoors and love to see people thriving in the NZ wilderness. I have a creative streak so you may even get to experience some outdoor crafts on your journey, or some fresh baked goods.
You’ll get a first taste of the scenery on our drive through Lewis Pass. It’s a beautiful drive that offers the chance for us to pull over on the way and see some stunning, natural rock formations from millennia of earthquakes and glacier movement, I’ll fill you in on how it all came to be (you’ll never look at rocks the same way again).
Once the landscape has changed from rocky grasslands to dense rainforest, the car park is not far and we will soon begin our adventure.
Rough Creek has its name for a reason – you will feel like you’re climbing into the sky from the get-go, but if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards are gorgeous views, remote backcountry and Lake Christabel, a protected ecological reserve that brings with it a step back into prehistoric times. There are few places like this left, embrace and learn from it.
After a steep climb, we’ll reach a stunning lookout offering first views of the lake. This is a good spot to have some lunch and prepare for the upcoming descent, which will take up the rest of our afternoon. Once we’ve unpacked our bags, it’s time to explore the shore located nearby. Don’t forget your towel and togs if you’re up for a swim.
We’re in for some fantastic stargazing and a cosy night in a traditional Kiwi hut. We’ll retrace our steps the following day and ensure plenty of stories on the region, nearby tracks and conservation efforts keep us entertained. This one is a goodie.
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!
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.
A reserve like this is a highly protected area of bush, water systems and landscapes that is vital to native wildlife and flora. This particular one is looked after by the Department of Conservation and volunteers - it's a must-do if you want an extra wildlife experience.Free
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.+ $250 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.
For sure, just remember that New Zealand lakes tend to be very cold! Don’t forget your towel and warm clothes to change into after you’ve jumped in. It also doesn’t hurt to prepare to put your clothes on as quickly as possible. Fresh, wet skin on a hiker is a Sandfly’s favourite afternoon snack.
There is a fair bit of uphill hiking involved, but the views are worth the effort - we promise. For anyone having trouble with steep climbs, I highly recommend using hiking poles to protect your knees. You can hire these through us.
It’s a long but stunning drive from the car park back to the city. Plan to return to Christchurch by late afternoon to early evening, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the scenery.
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!