Featured Courses


Featured Courses


The Pupu Rangi “Explorer Program”

Imagine a jungle-like forest where no one has walked through in the last forty years.

Nature has shaped this living form in which trees soar to the sky, the ferns are taller than people, and the supple jack is impenetrable. Inside, it is green – hundreds of shades of green – it is moist, it is warm, and it is the home of countless birds, kiwis and kauri snails. Five minutes into it, you cannot tell where you came from and where you are going.

This is the place where you will be the first person in a generation to explore, discover, make note of what you see, and above all, learn to be in the middle of the nowhere without being lost. Interested in seeing a two thousand year old tree? Keen to see a kiwi in the wild?

Ever seen glow worms in the forest? Willing to lend a hand in a nature sanctuary? Then come along and become an Explorer!

The Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary is located 250km from a crowded city, 50km from the closest supermarket, 2km from the next door neighbor, and at an arm’s length from the Milky Way. For us, seeing two cars in a day is a traffic jam, and being able to live in the middle of a forest is the ultimate lifestyle.

The aim of the Explorer program is to offer a unique experience to our guests. Through one to one training and group activities you will learn the skills required to navigate in a dense forest. You will also learn about the New Zealand plants and birds and about the environmental conservation techniques that are used in the sanctuary.

Throughout the program you have the freedom to explore the forest taking the time to observe, reflect, and take pictures. Previous explorers have discovered a string of waterfalls, a number of a hundred year old trees, eels, and a magic area lit at night by countless glow worms. What will you discover?


Day 1

Your host will pick you up in Whangarei at around 11am and your week of adventure begins!
On our way to the sanctuary we visit a glow worm cave and have lunch at the Piroa Falls. Further down the road, we will climb
the Tokatoka Peak to get a bird’s eye view of the Kaipara region. We then drive along the Wairoa river to the small town of Dargaville, the gateway to the Kauri coast. Once we load up on the week’s groceries, we start the climb to the sanctuary where you will be welcomed with a delicious dinner.

Day 2

After breakfast, it’s time for the introductory overview of the sanctuary and of the environmental conservation work carried out to
protect the New Zealand native species. Your leader will explain the safety procedures that need to be followed in the bush and will show you how to use the GPS/compass and the walkie-talkies.
With the basics covered, it’s time to head into the forest for an exploratory walk and to practice the morning’s teachings. A couple of navigation activities will give you the confidence required to feel comfortable in the forest. In the evening, continue to
explore your environment or help cook for your fellow explorers.

Day 3

Today you will learn how to navigate in a straight line through dense forest and steep terrain. The compass navigation skills that you acquire will be used to create a new trail. You will also learn how to prepare and use the tools (machete, lopper, saw, tape) required to get through the dense bush. In the afternoon, relax in the common area and use the free time to pick some wild blackberries, maybe?

In the late evening, we will descent in the Trounson Kauri Park and you will take part in a night safari  tracking kiwi and other night birds.

Day 4

Today is time to learn more about conservation.  After breakfast we will head back to the Trounson Kauri Park. You will have a chance to see the enormous kauri trees and to understand the work required to protect a species from extinction. We will catch a connecting bus to either Auckland or the
Bay of Islands.

Program Details

Location: Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary, Kaihu, Northland, New Zealand
Duration: 7 days, 14 days, 21 days
Number of Participants:  1-10 participants
Programme Dates: The programme is available from 30 November 2015 to 25 April 2016.
All programs start on a Monday and finish on a Monday
Requirements: All participants must have full travel insurance.
Participants must pay their own travel to Whangarei
Other Information: The sanctuary is off the grid, and had limited access to electricity.
Participants will be asked to share the cooking and the cleaning duties while staying at the sanctuary
The accommodation is dormitory style with four people sharing a cabin

Gear required
Day pack,  Sleeping bag, Drink bottle, Torch, batteries, Hiking boots, Light footwear, Socks, Shorts and t-shirts, Long trousers
Underwear, Toilet gear/towel, Thermal shirt,  Thermal jacket, Raincoat & trousers, Sun-hat, Sun-screen, Insect repellent, Swimsuit
Personal first aid kit, Camera, Books, cards, frisbee, etc for entertainment, Other: Journal – to write about the Pupu Rangi experiences, Medication/contact lens solution – sufficient for the stay, Favourite snack/food,  Cash – for occasional treats/internet access, Ipod/MP3 player – for personal music/radio

For more information and prices about this program, please contact us

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