A night deep in the bush

Are the mountains calling you? Did you come south because of the millions of backcountry photos you keep seeing on online? Discover stunning Lake Christabel, hidden away in a remote valley. These peaceful surroundings have allowed native wildlife to find tranquillity and a unique hut offers a challenging adventure for visiting explorers.

This is an overnight hike with your accommodation being a well-kept backcountry hut. Guided by a local expert with knowledge of the surrounding region.

No route is easy here, but that’s the point of Canterbury hiking – a good workout with big rewards.

Four key reasons to book this Adventure:

  1. It’s full of history and a diverse mix of nature.
  2. The route combines both challenging and easy walking while you take in the views.
  3. You can spot an abundance of wildlife around the lake, an important ecological reserve.
  4. Locals love it and tourists are nowhere to be seen.

The sub-alpine feel of this track presents both a dense bush and the sharp Blue Grey river, with tough climbs to amazing views of Lake Christabel itself.

 

From: $275
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Addons

Photographs of Your Adventure

Book this Adventure’s Lensman to come out with you and capture the experience. Leave your camera at home and enjoy the experience while a professional photographer captures stunning photographs of you, your group and the views.

Backcountry Breakfast – Fruit Salad (V) (+$8)

Simply add water for delicious wheat flakes and fruit salad, smothered in whole milk. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Breakfast – Muesli (V) (+$8)

Crunchy, wholesome muesli with creamy yoghurt and apples. Contains milk. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Breakfast – Fry Up (+$8)

A hearty combo of smokey beef, tomato, egg and a hash brown potato mix. Gluten-Free, contains milk, egg and soy. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Lunch (V) x 2 (+$14)

A light lunch option: A heart-warming mushroom flavoured soup with creamy mashed potato. Gluten-Free, contains milk. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Lunch x 2 (+$14)

A light lunch option: Tasty chicken soup with rice noodles and vegetable broth. Gluten-Free, contains chicken and milk. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Dinner – Spaghetti Bolognaise (+$13)

Tender beef mince with tomato in a savoury sauce, served on a bed of noodles. Provided by Backcountry Cuisine, NZ made. Please contact us about allergies and diet requirements. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Dinner – Roast Chicken (+$13)

Tender chicken dices, vegetables and stuffing smothered in gravy and served with mashed potato. Provided by Backcountry Cuisine, NZ made. Please contact us about allergies and diet requirements. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Dinner – Beef Stroganoff (GF) (+$13)

The Russian classic of beef pieces, and mushrooms in a sour cream sauce, served with rice. Gluten-Free. Provided by Backcountry Cuisine, NZ made. Please contact us about allergies and diet requirements. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Dinner – Creamy Carbonara (V) (+$13)

A vegetarian Italian style dish, served in a creamy alfredo and mushroom sauce. Provided by Backcountry Cuisine, NZ made. Please contact us about allergies and diet requirements. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Dinner – Vegetarian Stir Fry (V) (GF) (+$13)

An appetising vegetable medley infused with honey soy flavours served on a bed of rice noodles. Gluten-Free. Provided by Backcountry Cuisine, NZ made. Please contact us about allergies and diet requirements. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Backcountry Dinner – Pasta Vegetariano (Vegan) (+$13)

Pasta, beans, tomatoes and olives in a tasty Italian sauce. Provided by Backcountry Cuisine, NZ made. Please contact us about allergies and diet requirements. (Only order what you need for your group size)

Donate a trap

This may not be for you, but many are surprised that only one $45 trap can save up to 1,000 native birds in its lifetime. If you want to be part of New Zealand conservations efforts on a personal level then donate this trap. Your name and special Visitor number will be written on it so that we can record your traps contribution to saving our native wildlife. If time allows, you’ll even get to sign and set the trap you donate.

Airport pickup

Keen and heading out on your Adventure the moment you land into New Zealand? It’ll save you a lot on accommodation and we can arrange luggage storage. Your Bushman will message you for flight details and times.

Energy Snacks

If you need that extra boost during the day trip, it’s worth ensuring you have some high-protein snacks. We’ll have this sorted for you with NZ’s best energy bars & snacks.

Food or Allergy Requirements

If you have any food or allergy requirements your Bushman needs to know about, please add the details here. You can send more information on this via your dashboard once booked.

Summary
Lake Christabel Ecological Reserve

Sub-Alpine Lake Christabel

Stefan Warnaar Bushman Tours Profile Image Hiking with Stefan

Duration

2 days
1 night

Distance

20km
Altitude An icon depicting the altitude of this adventure. 655m

Difficulty

Charities

Map of Canterbury
Who's taking me on this adventure?

Stefan

I have travelled and hiked around the world, but there is no place like the South Island of New Zealand. My best memories have been out in the mountains on foot, skis, or raft. I want to share New Zealand's backcountry experience and explore our unique environment with others. I love to explore places that stay off the radar, whether it's countries few have heard of, or huts that only get a couple of visits a year. Finding unforgettable views, wildlife that rarely sees humans, and bush in its wild state has made a huge impression on me. Enjoying these places while conserving them and leaving them in better condition for the future is crucial. Come with me and discover remote and pristine valleys, mountains and bush. Plus, fall in love with backcountry hut life by the fire, bathtub or natural hot pools.

Experience

  • Deep knowledge of local and regional backcountry as well as the West Coast.
  • Has travelled Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Armenia, for personal travel that mixed multi day trips, day hikes, camping, huts, guesthouses, all up to 4000m.​
View Profile

Gear

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!

Required

  • Cutlery, Bowl and Cup

    Cutlery, bowl & cup

  • Hiking Boots

    Hiking Boots

  • Hiking Pack

    Hiking Pack

  • Hiking Pants

    Hiking Pants

  • Hiking Socks

    Hiking Socks

  • Knife

    Knife

  • Lighter and Matches

    Lighter / Matches

  • Pack Cover

    Pack Cover / Liner

  • Rain Jacket

    Rain Jacket

  • Sleeping bag

    Sleeping Bag

  • Sunscreen and hat

    Sunscreen & hat

  • Toiletries and Underwear

    Toiletries & Underwear

  • Top and Bottom Layer

    Top & Bottom Base layer

  • Torch and Batteries

    Torch & Batteries

  • Warm Hat and Gloves

    Warm hat & gloves (March to October)

  • Warm Hiking Layer

    Warm hiking layer

  • Whistle

    Whistle

Optional

  • Bivvy Bag

    Bivvy Bag

  • Gas Cooker

    Cooker & gas/fuel

  • Hand Sanitiser

    Hand Sanitiser

  • Inspect Repellent

    Insect Repellent

  • First Aid

    Personal First Aid Kit

Extras

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.

  • Photographs of Your Adventure

    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

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.

  • Can I swim in the lake?

    I’d be disappointed if you didn’t! Just remember that New Zealand lakes tend to be very cold, so don’t forget your towel and warm clothes to change into after you’ve jumped in.

  • How steep is the track?

    There is a fair bit of uphill hiking involved, but the views are worth the effort. For anyone having trouble with steep ascents and descents, I highly recommend using hiking poles to protect your knees (they reduce effort by 30%).

  • When will I be back in Christchurch?

    It’s a long but stunning drive from the car park back to the city. We’ll return to Christchurch around late afternoon to early evening, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and to take breaks along the way.

FAQs

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.

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