Auckland City from the Sea

Our Guides

Over the years, we have been fortunate to work with a number of very special people.  People who have led interesting lives, who hold interesting knowledge and who are interested in people.  These are our guides.  Each one of them has been personally selected and vetted.  Almost all of them can now be counted as personal friends, with relationships based on mutual respect and integrity.

We have no hesitation in recommending these people as highly competent and wonderful companions in whose company to enjoy discovering New Zealand.

Some of these guides are regional specialists, some are generalists, and some are technical specialists.

Given our historical focus on the Russian market, we also have two specialist native Russian guides as well as a Russian-speaking CEO.  However, these guides are also interesting in their own right for non-Russian speakers who make up the majority of our clients.

If you are interested in having any of these guides accompany you for a day, a week or the entire time of your stay in New Zealand, please let us know.  As busy people, often with successful independent businesses, they are not always available - so early notification and booking is recommended.

Dave Nicholas - Wine Entrepreneur

Wine Entrepreneur

Dave Nicholas has been in the business of wine in New Zealand for the last 12 years. A professional marketer and former Chairman of New Zealand Wine Exporters, Dave learnt the business of international wine sales and marketing while working as international export manager for Corban's wines. Well-read, intelligent, articulate and infectiously enthusiastic, Dave also has very wide and deep... > Read more

Andy MacKay - Helicopter Guide

Helicopter Guide

Andy used to own Heliflight, an Auckland helicopter company specialising in tourism and training.  Over the last few years, Andy has undertaken substantial touring work with us and we have built some considerable combined expertise.  Through this Andy has discovered a passion for tourism, an interest in our clients, and a penchant for guiding.  Although primarily a... > Read more

Mike Yates - Hunter and Fisherman

Hunter and Fisherman

Mike Yates has lived on the West Coast of the South Island for many years.  As usual with the people we find interesting he has had a colourful past - former professional hunter, professional fisherman, jetboater, whitebaiter, glacier guide - he has had a life made up of the experiences he now shares with our clients. Mike and his wife Sue own and run Silver Pine Lodge, one of our... > Read more

Mike Lester - Motorcycler


Our main motorcycle guide, with his own motorcycle tourism company based in Christchurch, Mike brings a depth of technical expertise, a breadth of tourism experience in New Zealand, and a lifetime of looking after people as a firefighter in the UK.  The latter meaning that he is very highly qualified in case of any sort of motorcycling emergency.  Mike is a highly trained member of... > Read more

Lydia Bradey - Mountaineer


Lydia Bradey is the first female as well as the first New Zealander to make it to the summit of Mount Everest with no additional oxygen.  As one can imagine, this is quite a breathtaking feat!  In developing her expertise, Lydia has been fortunate in growing up in the mountains of New Zealand's South Island which she got to know very well while refining her skills.  She recently... > Read more

Hone Mihaka - Maori Rangatira (Chief)

Maori Rangatira (Chief)

Hone runs a superb Maori re-enactment tourism business in Northland.  This is just becoming recognised by mainstream operators and we wish him well.  However, for the last 5 years or so we have been working with Hone in putting together special Maori days for clients throughout Northland and now also further afield.  We have ambushed clients in the bush, attacked them by waka... > Read more

Grant Taylor - Central Otago Wines

Central Otago Wines

Grant Taylor is the founder of Valli Vineyards.  With almost thirty years winegrowing experience in the USA, France and New Zealand, he is a master winemaker.  Credited with putting Central Otago on the global map as a heavyweight wine growing region, we can think of no one better to showcase these wines to our knowledgeable, demanding and intelligent clients. For people who have... > Read more