Immerse yourself in native forest
On my last trip, I spotted over a dozen native animals on the tracks and rivers that criss-cross the route to Nina Hut. This even included rare and endemic Whio ducks (blue ducks) which were being carefully watched by university scientists. The unique wildlife is just one of the reasons to book this trip.
This overnight tour is the ultimate time away, deep into magnificent mountain ranges and bush. It will suit those with a passion for the outdoors, nature and of average to medium fitness levels.
A uni-student out on a trapping and conservation study trip once told me:
We come out here at least every two weeks to reset the traps. It’s an amazing spot and after so long, we even begin to recognise the robins and fantails as they follow us through the bush. This place is home!
- The route to the hut is steady-going and great for those new to the outdoors. However, even my most experienced friends love the relaxing vibe this route gives out.
- Turquoise rivers, swingbridges, native birds and the freshest air you can breathe – we’ll be sure to take it all in while I tell you more about the surrounding area.
- The hut provides a cosy fireplace and kitchen area, or if we have a tent available, we can camp under the stars on the soft grass.
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.
- Peak Safety 2-day Outdoor First Aid
- Full time professional tour guide throughout New Zealand
Don't tell anyone!
Visitors often ask me to show them the lesser-known tracks, the “real New Zealand” all these other tour companies keep saying they have access to; where you still feel like a hobbit could run out of the bush at any moment. Where the air is so pure you can literally taste it.
Don’t tell anyone, but Nina Valley is one of those places. Imagine dense forest combined with misty mountains and a cosy backcountry hut that opens up to the surrounding peaks; you’ve got yourself the perfect overnight adventure in Lewis Pass.
We’ll make our way through native forest and over several streams until a steady climb leads us to our accommodation for the night: Nina Hut. Located on a small plateau, we’ll have nice views over the surrounding ranges and valleys; a perfect spot to catch the sunset while enjoying a traditional backcountry dinner and banter around the fireplace.
The area is filled with endangered wildlife and you’ll definitely spot some curious locals like fantails and robins on the way. If you listen carefully, you might even hear a Kaka, Kea or a Kiwi in the distance as they’re currently a few of the creatures under strict protection here.
Get away from it all
Your adventure starts with a drive towards Lewis Pass, which always makes for an interesting trip with its ever-changing landscape, from rocky grasslands to the dense rainforest of the West Coast. If you’ve never done this road before, you’ll soon learn why many locals do it every weekend to get away from the urban surroundings.
I’ll show you the trapping methods used to ensure the safety of local birdlife and we’ll try our luck at spotting some tracks of particular, rare creatures (easier in the snow of course). There is also much to learn about the dense vegetation around here and nearby peaks make for good photo opportunities.
We’ll arrive at the hut around late afternoon and after unpacking our bags and claiming the best bunk beds, there is time to explore the surrounding forest or have a quick dip in Nina River (if you don’t mind freezing alpine water). Afterwards, it’s time to get the hut fire on and enjoy our dinner while watching the sunset. Don’t forget, the dark blanket of the night only brings with it more activities including stargazing and spotting some nocturnal wildlife.
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.
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.
How cold does it get overnight?
Although plenty of trees cover the track, this region is known for its cold winds, especially in the off-season. Therefore a good level of warm clothes and a sleeping bag are required, even in summer.
Are there any steep climbs?
The track is easy to follow and not too steep, with a gentle climb up to Nina Hut in the end. This is good for those new to hiking or those who don’t want a ‘big’ day.
Do I need hiking boots?
Yes, we highly recommend swapping your sneakers for proper hiking boots on any tracks, but on this one, it’s a must. There are several small stream crossings on the way and a swamp area which can get quite muddy after the rain.
When will I be back in Christchurch?
This is a full overnight hike, including a 2-hour drive back to the city. Plan to get back to Christchurch City around mid-afternoon the following day.
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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