Moderate to Challenging
  • 2 day guided walk challenge
  • 2 nights huts
  • 2 Dinners
  • 2 Lunches
  • 2 Breakfasts


3 daysfrom


Trip Code: SOG8431

Trip highlights

  • Arrival barbecue dinner with your hosts
  • 30 kilometres of private trails and exclusive use for the challenge
  • Fresh farm produce and wildfood meals
  • Diverse range of landscapes and vegetation throughout the challenge
  • Truly remote high country New Zealand experience, no WiFi, TV or Phones
  • Mt Skedaddle challenge (weather dependent)

There is no better way to really explore New Zealand than on a remote and truly back country experience. Your guides will explain the history of the area, show you the diverse range of landscapes and challenge you each day with high country ridge lines, Mt Skedaddle (weather dependent) and trail walking through wild landscapes and private tracks. You will be on trails amidst the high mountains of Island Hills where your nights are spent surrounded by the stars and the wild in amongst the bush on a QEII conservation covenant, deep in the heart of the Canterbury high country. By the time you finish this challenge, you will have truly experienced high country life and learnt a little about the history from those that live and breathe this land. A truly uniquely New Zealand experience and a great and challenging couple of days out on New Zealand land supporting Gut Cancer Foundation.


After meeting with your driver this afternoon at around 4.00pm in Central Christchurch, your journey north begins through rural Canterbury to Island Hills High Country Station. On arrival, familiarize yourself with the Cookhouse accommodation and facilities. The farm museum is worth a look and provides a glimpse into New Zealand's farming past and high country station life many years ago. Dinner this evening is a hosted barbecue with local produce.

Meals:  D

It's going to be a 5.00am wake up call this morning in order to begin the Skedaddle challenge. Your guides will meet you at the Cook House for a safety briefing before you set off for your big challenge. Your main bags for transfer will be left at the starting point and you will only carry a day pack and all that you need for the challenge, baring in mind conditions can quickly change. Mt Skedaddle sits at 1704 metres, but don't be fooled by it's size. Today you will be heading off track and cross country, as you hike along the high ridges of the Island Hills, on rocky and often steep terrain, to the peak of Mt Skedaddle. Be greeted by open grassy knolls, views of big mountain surrounds and beautiful high country scenery. There will be some narrow, rough and steep sections and careful footing will be required. After the summit, you will make your way down to Valley camp through the ridges and the surrounding forest. Down is often more taxiing than up, but you will be rewarded with a fabulous dinner to celebrate the achievement. ** PLEASE NOTE: Mt Skedaddle can only be undertaken if the weather is favorable. Should this not be the case, we will instead do a high ridge challenge instead which will still be off country and challenging but suitable to the conditions.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hearty breakfast, an early start is needed out on the trails for today's challenge day. Today you will follow the foothills through belts of native manuka, regenerating beech forest and sub-alpine ridge lines with your guide. Expect quite rough and uneven terrain at times. There are sections of uphill and downhill as the track climbs and descends over the spurs for 9kms to Bush Hut. From Bush Hut it is further 9.5kms back through to Cook House. This is an easier section of the trail compared to that encountered so far. Your bags should arrive back at the Cook House by the time that you do. We will transfer you back to Christchurch at the end of your challenge, departing Island Hills around 3.00pm, back in Christchurch around 4.30pm. Challenge arrangements end on arrival in Christchurch.

Meals:  B,L


  • Return transfers from Christchurch to Island Hills
  • 2 nights country hut accommodation (shared bunk huts)
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 packed lunches, 2 dinners (including wild and local fresh produce)
  • Professional local Guide
  • Luggage transfer from hut to hut (20kg per bag maximum per person, plus 1 chilly-bin per group)
  • Hot drinks (tea/coffee)
  • Sleeping bag and liner hire
  • Drinking water (available from huts)
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • $25.00 conservation donation included towards Mandamus Preservation Reserve

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary and trail snacks
  • Drinks other than those mentioned
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment by bringing your own drink bottle or hydration system)
  • Personal equipment such as rainwear, gaiters, walking boots, walking poles etc
  • Personal expenses (e.g. phone calls, wi-fi, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa (if required)

Trail Surface



Moderate to Challenging  

MODERATE TO CHALLENGING - GRADE 6 This trip grading involves a combination of what is described in our MODERATE and CHALLENGING levels. The emphasis is on moderate activity with several challenging stages. Suggested preparation: We recommend one hour of aerobic type exercise, four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended. These adventures involve walking for up to 8-10 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Treks may involve carrying a full pack around 15kg. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions. Suggested preparation: We recommend 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.

Departure dates


Base Price

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Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed The Gut Cancer Foundation Island Hills Challenge 2024 trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

Trip reviews

Why walk with us

Self-Guided Experts

Our itineraries have been carefully designed and researched with you in mind.  The logistics are handled for you allowing you the freedom to walk New Zealand at a level of your choosing and in your own stride.


A core Maori value exercising guardianship in relation to nature, flora and fauna and its people, ensuring that sustainability and environment are valued, respected and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Supporting Local

As a small business ourselves, we love supporting and sharing New Zealand with other small and likeminded businesses and communities to showcase for you, what our land and people have to offer.

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