An exclusive expedition into remote terrain above the tree line. Bash the bush up to our wild camp in Fiordland's remote Ailsa Range, high above the Routeburn track, in a region of unique botanical species. Because of its sensitivity, the Department of Conservation allows very few groups to access this region. Be one of the few. General fitness and a sense of adventure is compulsory for this full-on, off-track mountain wilderness expedition, taking you safely to special places inaccessible to others.
The Routeburn Track is one of the most famous walks in the world, traversing arguably the most beautiful region of Fiordland, rivalling the Milford Track next door. Many walkers rate the Routeburn Track more highly. But we think you deserve even more. We cross the track and leave it below us for a remote wilderness adventure in the Routeburn interior, high in the Ailsa Range mountains, and entirely off-track.
The Ailsa Range is so environmentally sensitive that the Department of Conservation allows us to run just three trips a month with a maximum of five clients on each trip in order to protect the delicate alpine plant life. As far as we know, we are the only guiding company permitted to operate here. This really is an exclusive backcountry experience in beautiful wilderness: check out our Routeburn gallery.
This adventure simply has everything. In the safe hands of your qualified bush instructor and co-guide, get ready to bush bash, deer stalk, learn survival skills, wild camp under the stars, discover secret waterfalls, explore exquisite alpine plant life, and summit peaks that are so remote they have no name (we'll name them after you). What you won't see is people; this is real wilderness in the heart of the national park, well away from trails. You're much more likely to see endangered birds. Read our itinerary to find out more.
What is included in your trip price
You get two full-on days well away from other walkers in an exclusive group no bigger than five, with qualified wilderness guides. Within your trip price, we provide modern ultra-light camping kit, emergency and safety equipment including mountain radios and rescue beacons, all meals (two breakfasts, two lunches, one tramping dinner, one pie and chips end-of-trip supper), Department of Conservation fees to join a guided trip in this remote area, and transport to and from Te Anau in our modern vehicle.
Ten per cent of the price of your trip goes to the Kea Conservation Trust, our partner charity. The charity works hard to protect kea, the most intelligent parrot in the world, now sadly endangered. You have a fair chance of seeing kea however on this expedition.
We travel at a moderate, not fast, pace, but you do need to be reasonably fit and agile and prepared to walk up hill and off-track on uneven terrain and through bush while carrying a pack. We take our time because there's no rush in paradise and there's a lot to see and photograph.
Limited availability - book ahead!
Due to its remote location and alpine sections, this trip runs in summer only (December, January, February, March and April). As group sizes are small and the numbers of trips we can run are limited for environmental reasons, it is crucial to book ahead.
Want to see the map? Search ailsa mountains southland on this topographical map
Weather note: Like all our wilderness trips, the route of this trip is subject to change depending on weather and environmental considerations. In some weather conditions, it may be appropriate for us to choose a different route in Fiordland to give you the best possible experience.