Our New Zealand Hiking Guides


3 minute read

Get hold of your free New Zealand Trails brochure here

The key to an unforgettable adventure, is unforgettable people, right?

We consider ourselves experts in guided New Zealand hiking tours, and just like all the places we visit on our trips are hand-picked to show you the best of New Zealand, so too are our New Zealand hiking guides. 

We're proud to have assembled the best bunch of people you could wish to travel with. Our guides are interesting people from a wide breadth of backgrounds. Many of them are tourism professionals however we also have paramedics, photographers, teachers, and micro-biologists – to name a few. One thing they all have in common is they are true outdoor enthusiasts and love what they do here at New Zealand Trails. 

Guide above Hooker Valley on Sealy Tarns

Our super-guide Kahu in Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park

Choosing our guides 

It is a testament to just how good life on tour with New Zealand Trails is that most of our guides each season are returning guiding 'veterans'! We also welcome in a select few new faces, whom we’ve chosen with the utmost care, making sure they can meet our high standards of safety and hospitality. To even get an interview, our guides have to meet strict criteria including being Kiwi, professional, and up-to-date with all the necessary qualifications. Then what we are looking for is the 'X-Factor'! Our guides are masters of the outdoors and hospitality, they know how to be right there whenever you need something, before you know it sometimes, yet out of sight when you want to bask in the solitude. They prepare exquisite meals seemingly out of nowhere, and know how to encourage you up that track or across that bridge!

Most of our guides grow up hiking and are already experts on the trails we visit – one of our super-guides, Ross, completed his first Great Walk of New Zealand at just 10 years old, and won a gold medal as a sighted guide in the downhill skiing event at the Lillehammer Paralympics! 

13. Guide at Key Summit

Our amazing guide Cass at Key Summit on the Routeburn Track.

Guide training

Before the start of each season, all guides – both new and returning – come together for a comprehensive, industry-leading two-week training course to prepare for their upcoming adventures with you.

While out there having fun, our guides are training in bush and alpine safety, refreshing their navigation, communication and teamwork skills, practising their first aid and sharing their knowledge and stories of New Zealand with each other. We also visit many of the awesome places we will be taking you, including the Routeburn Track, the Kepler Track and Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

2. Guide selfie and guests Sealy Tarns

Our super-guide Emily and her awesome guests on the Sealy Tarns Track, Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park.

On the road

From the moment you meet your guide, you'll know that you're in safe hands. They all carry comprehensive first aid kits and personal locator devices. Our amazing operations team in the office is also on standby and contactable 24/7 for anything that our guides may need while out on your trip.

The group size and style of our trips means our guides can spend the time getting to know each and every one of you for a truly personalised experience! They're your new Kiwi mates eager to show you around their backyard.

To find out more about our guides and what our guests are saying about them, check out our guides page here


Are you interested in your own New Zealand adventure? Find out more about us and the trips we run HERE


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