Fresh Active New Zealand Guides Kick off the 2012-13 Season of New Zealand Tours

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What does it take to guide New Zealand tours for a leading adventure tour operator? Applicants needed solid experience in tourism, hospitality and/or guiding and the right credentials for a start. Then Active New Zealand hand picked seven locals who embody Kiwi hospitality and a passion for hiking New Zealand to join their ranks in order to kick off their busy 2012-13 summer season this month.

Hiking near Mt. Cook, New Zealand

Some of Active New Zealand's guides for 2012-13

“Imagine a cross between Bear Grylls, David Attenborough and a Four Seasons concierge and you’ll start getting a sense of the calibre of our guides,” says Matthew Yates, one of Active New Zealand’s destination experts.

Leading adventure tour operator, Active New Zealand, indoctrinated seven new guides earlier this month through a rigorous selection and training regimen that culminated in an intense 2-week training trip modelled on the company’s New Zealand South Island tours. This fit and enthusiastic bunch completed a mix of classroom time, role playing scenarios, preparing meals for the group and, of course, hiking New Zealand trails where they’ll soon be leading their clients, in order to join the ranks of some of the best guides in the industry.

They’ll be leading groups of up to 14 clients hiking, biking and kayaking on outdoors-focused New Zealand tours alongside Active’s 21 veteran guides, who are returning refreshed after having the winter off hitting the slopes or collecting more stamps in their passports. All but the smallest groups will tour New Zealand with two guides, a lead guide/driver and a co-guide/chef, by their side every step of the way on trips ranging from 5 to 14 days long.

The new recruits’ previous experience guiding on the Milford Track, the Chatham Islands, the Australian Outback and the Franz Josef glacier as well as snowboard instructing and nannying abroad will all come in handy during the busy summer season, which kicks off in October each year. For many of them though, there’s simply nothing better than sharing the culture, history and iconic destinations of their own country. “These trips make me proud to live in such a beautiful and welcoming place!” says Nicole Brown, one of the new guides.

Being a star guide is as much about attitude and personality so there is a certain quality that cannot be trained. “Imagine a cross between Bear Grylls, David Attenborough and a Four Seasons concierge and you’ll start getting a sense of the calibre of our guides,” says Matthew Yates, one of Active New Zealand’s destination experts, and this is apparent in the post-trip reviews. Jeanne Bates (of Kansas City, Missouri) who was on a “Rimu” New Zealand trip in March said, “‘Trip of a Lifetime’ is a pretty good comment about what we did and what we saw, but it doesn't cover our most awesome guides and the personal attention they gave to each of us. It also doesn't cover their knowledge of, and love for, New Zealand or the fantastic meals provided. Nor does it cover the attention to details that they and Active have incorporated. All this combined make it ‘THE Trip of a Lifetime’. Couldn't be better in any way!”

Christine Reilly (of Troy, Michigan) who was also on a “Rimu” New Zealand tour in March wrote, “What we loved was that they led gently; they were there when we needed them, but gave us room to do our own thing when we wanted. We did not feel restricted by being with the group. We saw amazing things that I do not think we could have seen if we had attempted this trip on our own.”

About Active New Zealand:
Active New Zealand is part of Active Adventures, a New Zealand-based tour operator specializing in bucket list travel and small group adventures with unsurpassed personal service and attention to detail. In addition to New Zealand tours, they also run multi-activity tours in Peru, Patagonia, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (as Active South America), as well as trekking tours in Nepal as Active Himalayas. Call Jodi or Matthew to discuss trips to New Zealand or to request a brochure on 800.661.9073 (it’s free!).

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Brett Black
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