New Zealand Backpacking

New Zealand Backpacking


  • Hike approximately 100 miles through New Zealand's rugged interior mountain ranges
  • Learn about New Zealand's native flora and fauna, some of which are found nowhere else in the world
  • See a wide range of alpine environments, from elevations as low as 900 feet to peaks as high as 6,000 feet
  • Experience a wide variety of weather patterns in New Zealand's cool, temperate environment and learn to travel comfortably in all of them
  • Spot birds such as the tui, bellbird, parakeet, bush robins, mountain falcons, and morepork owls, not to mention the mischievous Kea, the world's only mountain parrot
New Zealands 30-day backpacking course takes you into the South Islands rugged interior: a land of mountains, rivers, waterfalls, tundra, and forests.

The routes here are demanding but the rewards great. Most backcountry travelers in New Zealand stick to the main tramping paths; we leave them behind. You'll see few people as you explore the islands tangled forests and cruise its rocky tops.

The length of this course allows you time to delve into New Zealand's unique natural history. You'll encounter plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth: strange trees that look like they're straight out of Dr. Seuss' imagination and large mountain parrots that live high in the alpine zones.

You can expect challenging travel. The mountains are precipitous, and the rivers are prone to sudden rises after a storm. You can also expect to learn the skills required to travel safely and comfortably in this environment skills that will serve you later in life wherever you may go.


Location NOLS New Zealand
Tuition $7,632 Learn about Financial Aid
Equipment Deposit $350
Minimum Age 18
Duration 30 Days
Type Classic
Start/End Aniseed Valley, New Zealand
Fly in/out Nelson, New Zealand
College Credit
  • 6 Credit Hours
  • 2 Hours Environmental Studies
  • 2 Hours Leadership Techniques
  • 2 Hours Skills Practicum
Learn about College Credit
High School Credit
  • 1.5 Carnegie Units
  • 0.5 CUs Physical Education
  • 1 CU Leadership
Learn about High School Credit

“The most rewarding part of the course was definitely the ISGE (Independent Student Group Expedition). It was like going from having a drivers permit to your license. It gave us a chance to really test our skills, and definitely improved my confidence in my abilities to the point where I would consider leading my own short expedition. ”

-Christian F.

New Zealand Backpacking Grad