National SAREX 2024

Haast Pass region

Friday 1 March 2024

About the SAREX

This is the National Canyon SAREX, which will be an official event of Land Search and Rescue NZ, hosted by Wanaka SAR, with funding support from NZCA.

We will be adding information about the SAREX on this page as things are confirmed.

Who is involved?

The SAREX will be limited to 48 people, who are already registered with NZCA as CanyonSAR volunteers, with a current  LandSAR ID number. 

If you want to get involved in CanyonSAR, then see the information on the rescue page. 


Because of the anticipated amount of SAREX participation (because of the festival!) our plan is to divide the SAREX into a series of half-day stations.

We’re expecting to make up groups, that include 1 facilitator and  7 participants (1x Canyon Rescue Coordinator plus 3x 2-person rope teams)

Each group will have a half-day ‘search’ station, and a half-day ‘rescue’ station. These stations will be located in canyons and creeks in the Haast Pass region.

SAREX Schedule

The schedule is subject to change, but should look a bit like:

  • 8am  SAREX briefing at Makarora
  • 9am  Morning activity starts
  • 1pm Lunch and travel to next location
  • 2pm Afternoon activity starts
  • 5pm Afternoon activity ends
  • 5.30pm Debriefing at Makarora


Safety managment / command & control

Watch this space. 

This will be an official activity, using appropriate Safety Managment Systems under LandSAR command. 

Reimbursement for expenses

Each LandSAR volunteer who is confirmed for the SAREX can claim up to $400 for travel in accordance with the LandSAR expense claim policy (on the LandSAR member Portal) 

We will have to be strict with this policy: It is essential that you read the policy before you start spending money.

We are looking into funding for accomodation (the night prior) and catering for packed lunches, but in the meantime you should plan and budget to cover those costs yourselves. 


The SAREX is limted to 48 people, and to those who are registered with NZCA as CanyonSAR volunteers, and who have a LandSAR ID number.

Registrations will be accepted on a first in-first served basis.  This is to provide some certainty around travel cost reimbursement for people who will have to travel from far away to attend the SAREX. 

If more than 48 people apply, then a wait list will be established, and we’ll look to reconfirm peoples intentions to participate in the new year. 

Contact the organisers

Dan Clearwater is the NZCA lead organiser for the SAREX 

If you need info now, which isn’t explained on this page, then please contact



Frequently Asked Questions