Wilderness off-track walking expeditions in the safe hands of experienced bush guides
Bushbashing means, quite simply, walking through wilderness. Real wilderness. We don't use walking trails. Bushbashing means walking through magical forests and discovering pristine rivers, hidden waterfalls and jaw-dropping mountain views. And we do it in one of the most exhilarating places in the world; Fiordland National Park.
Forget the crowds at Milford Sound and large groups of trampers on the famous Milford, Kepler and Routeburn Tracks. They are a world away. In 1.2 million hectares of national park, it's not hard to lose them. But we won't lose you. Going off track in such a wild environment carries risks, and requires expert guides. We get you to paradise and back again in the safe hands of qualified and passionate bush men and women. If you are fit and looking for adventure, look no further.
Bushbash to save the cleverest parrot in the world
Bushbash trips raise funds to save one of New Zealand's most endangered and beautiful birds, a magnificent and highly intelligent mountain parrot called the kea, often spotted during our trips. Kea are threatened by introduced predator mammals such as stoats and rats. If you book online through this website, ten percent of your booking fee will go to the Kea Conservation Trust. For more information, visit the Kea Conservation Trust.
For keen charity fundraisers taking part in Bushbash multi-day mountain expeditions, Bushbash also provides the option to fundraise additional funds for the Kea Conservation Trust, with Bushbash providing sponsorship forms and other help with fundraising, including an awesome kea T shirt for Bushbashers raising more than $200 New Zealand dollars.
You need to be fit, but it's not that tough
To be a Bushbasher you don't need wilderness experience or a machete. You just need general fitness, the ability to follow the instructions of your experienced guide, and the agility to push through undergrowth and negotiate the occasional obstacle such as fallen tree trunks, banks and streams. You will move through uneven terrain where you have to concentrate on foot placement, avoiding holes and slippery tree roots.
On our multi-day camping expeditions you'll need to carry an overnight pack with your share of ultra-light camping gear (provided by us), walk uphill, and walk above the bushline in rocky areas (however, none of our trips is on exposed edges).
Clara from California (pictured right) says: "I regularly jog, and was looking forward to the challenge of a wilderness trip. During the pre-trip briefing, I was impressed that my guides took care to ensure my pack was correctly loaded with just the essentials, so it wasn't too heavy. And during the trip it was more important to take photos than walk fast. It was an amazing trip that took me to places I just couldn't have reached on my own."
What's more, we feed you. On all our trips, including our one-day trips, all catering is included, and we ensure it is nutrious, lightweight and locally sourced.
Where trips start
We are based in Te Anau, Fiordland National Park's only town, with plenty of accommodation and restaurants. Te Anau is an easy bus journey, of under two hours, from Queenstown international airport with Intercity or Tracknet. All our expeditions leave from Te Anau or nearby. In other words, you do not need to have a car to join a Bushbash trip, meaning we are a great company to choose if you believe in travelling as sustainably as possible.
Where we go
Our expeditions are all in Fiordland National Park. We vary our trips year to year, so repeat customers can join us on new adventures, although we can custom-build a trip for you in a particular area of the park you choose within the range of areas we operate within.
Specific areas we go to include: the Routeburn region, above and beyond the famous Routeburn Track; the Kepler interior, beyond the famous Kepler Track; the Hunter Mountains, and the route to George Sound. Most of our expeditions start with a road journey from Te Anau although some involve a boat journey to access the far side of wilderness lakes.
Authorised, safe, sustainable, small
Bushbash is one of only a handful of companies authorised to operate in wilderness areas by New Zealand's Department of Conservation. Bushbash has been granted this permission because it is an environmentally-responsible and safe operator, treading lightly. Our one-day adventures are limited to six clients per guide, and our multi-day expeditions are limited to five clients and two guides. This enables us to minimise impact and operate with lower risk. These limits also provide you with a personal experience and a high guide to client ratio. Because our trips are small groups it is really important to book early, particularly for our exclusive multi-day expeditions.
None of our trips uses helicopters because we are committed to avoiding carbon and noise pollution in the park. Our trips have also been designed to include as little road travel as possible thanks to the fact we are based right here in Fiordland.
Qualified bush instructors
Bushbash is owner-operated by qualified bush instructors Geoff Clarke and Mary Williams (pictured left) and all our guides are experienced back country people with relevant mountain safety and leadership qualifications who live in Fiordland and are ready to share with you a wealth of knowledge and experience. Whichever Bushbash adventure you choose, you will have the time and opportunity to chat with them and find out more about Fiordland's unique trees and birdlife, and learn about the conservation efforts being taken to protect them. You will have the time and opportunity to consider the challenges faced by Fiordland's early explorers and their survival skills that are still relevant today. Meet Geoff and Mary.
Quality at the right price
We offer an exclusive experience in challenging terrain, with high safety standards and modern adventure equipment. Our prices are set to ensure we pay top-notch guides a decent wage for their valuable time, assure your safety, and give us a fair, but not excessive, profit to enable us to operate into the future and support local conservation projects, without ripping you off. Our prices are competitive with other guided off-track expedition operators. See our trips for prices.
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