|Tuition||$18,015 Learn about Financial Aid|
|Start/End||Aniseed Valley, New Zealand|
|Fly in/out||Nelson, New Zealand|
“The most rewarding part of this trip was the personal growth. I became a lot more comfortable and in tune with my emotions and how I handle situations. Also I learned that I am capable of a lot more than I thought I could ever do. I pushed myself and then pushed myself some more and I don't think I have ever felt such a sense of accomplishment.”
There’s nothing quite like seeing the remote wilderness on your own two feet, carrying all your own gear on your back while gaining the tools necessary to become a great leader in the backcountry and at home.
Backpacking courses often hike three out of every four days. You’ll travel in small hiking groups so you have more opportunities to lead, make decisions, and map read as you move through beautiful wilderness. Hiking days begin early when you light your stove, cook and enjoy breakfast, and then organize and pack your pack.
You’re usually hiking by mid-morning. Lunch on the trail might be bread you baked the day before, or a trail mix of nuts and dried fruits. You may stop for a short class on natural history, or to learn how to cross a river, travel through boulders or snow, or move over a high pass. When you arrive at your new camp location, you'll first spend time choosing a Leave No Trace site and organizing camp, then you’ll prepare a well-deserved dinner. If the day was long, a short evening meeting may wrap up the day. If the hike was short, there may be a class or discussion.
NOLS courses travel on the world’s best rivers and oceans for learning paddling skills, from the wild whitewater of the Salmon River to the Yukon’s pristine Hess River, all the way to the Kimberley coastline of Australia. You'll scout rapids and practice rescue techniques and learn lining and portaging skills as well.
From the cultural opportunities of traveling with local liaisons and students to spending extended time with families who call your destination home, you will develop a new, deeper understanding of the world while on an international NOLS course.
When you choose to sail with NOLS, you'll learn how to read tidal charts, the finer points of coastal navigation and all the expedition skills you'll need in this dynamic environment.
NOLS sea kayak courses travel to some of the world's greatest locations for ocean paddling, from Alaska's famous Prince William Sound and the unique coastal desert ecosystem of Mexico's Gulf of California to the remote fjords of Patagonian Chile. You'll practice basic and advanced strokes and rescue techniques while traveling in a variety of water conditions.
New Zealand is a land of contrasts. The South Island’s west coast drips with rain. Its forests are dense with tree ferns and towering podocarps, ancient remnants of conifer forests that existed when New Zealand was part of a gigantic continent called Gondwonaland.
On the eastern side of the island, in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps, the hills are brown in late summer, backcountry travel is often across open slopes covered with tussocks of grass or through beech forests that smell like honey.
Raw and young, this landscape is steep and rugged and its weather is capricious. You can go from hot sun in the morning to cold winds, rain, and snow in the afternoon. We leave behind the tourist routes and plunge deep into the forests or climb high up into remote alpine areas.
Some courses float down its rivers or explore its coastlines, experiencing the country’s rich marine life—whales, dolphins, and seals—and its wide variety of endemic birds. New Zealand is a dramatic place that engages your senses, challenges you physically and mentally, and promises to give you the adventure of a lifetime.