Our Guides
Shay Gill

Shay Gill - Operations Manager

A 'real' local, our Operations Manager's great-great grandfather arrived in Nelson in 1842.  Shay's been with us since 2000. Along the way he's collected qualifications including Outdoor Recreation and Management, commercial Skipper and qualified Sea Kayak Instructor. Despite his responsibilities, he hasn't lost his sense of fun. When called in to be a kayak guide, he still gets rave reviews.

Sam Ryder

Sam Ryder - Head Guide

Sam's ancestors arrived in Nelson in 1865, so brings a wealth of local knowledge and enthusiasm to his job. He joined us in 2008 fresh from studying Outdoor Recreation and Advanced Leadership & Guiding at Tai Poutini Polytechnic (South Island West Coast). A qualified Ski Patroller, Sam was spending his winters as Health and Safety Officer at Rainbow Ski Area until we were able to offer him a year-round role in 2018.

Paddy Kenny

Paddy Kenny - Guide

With a degree in Outdoor Education from Otago Polytech (2011), Paddy started with two seasons kayaking guiding in Kaikoura then set off to see the world. He's taught cultural and adventure sports for international schools in Asia, UK and Switzerland. For recreation, he challenges himself with long distance runs and bicycle tours. 

Amy Carrick

Amy (AJ) Carrick - Guide

An Otago Polytech graduate, Amy was born in Dunedin where she taught sailing at her local Vauxhall Yacht Club. After helping friends sail a yacht from the Whitsundays to Cairns (Australia) she found the “perfect job” with our guiding team in 2012. During our low season, she has instructed part time for Otago Polytech, assisted on school camps and worked in reservations for Glacier Guides at Franz Josef.

Shannon Trimble

Shannon Trimble - Guide

Shannon returns to us after a break that included adventure racing in Portugal. She has adventure tourism qualifications from Otago Polytechnic, and has completed six seasons guiding with us. During our winter she has guided in Norway and competed in multisport endurance races. Don't be intimidated! She's a popular and patient guide.

Miles Darby

Miles Darby - Guide

Hailing from Cardiff, in Wales, Miles left school to study outdoor leadership, then spent 3 years kayak guiding around in the Isle of Man, UK and Europe. He returned to Wales to guide on the Pembrokeshire coast for 3 years. Our good reputation brought him to New Zealand to guide for us in 2018. After a season at Porters Ski Area, he's back for another summer with us.

Marios Gavalas

Marios Gavalas - Guide

With Greek origins, and born in England, Marios has live in New Zealand for over 20 years. After graduating with a degree in geography from Sheffield University, he spent several ski seasons in the French Alps, so speaks fluent French. Adventure guiding in New Zealand since 1999, he first started with us in the Abel Tasman in 2010. He has 18 travel guides on New Zealand hiking and historical attractions (published by Reed Publishing) and is now developing walking apps.

Sjors Brouwer

Sjors Brouwer - Guide

Originally from Holland, Sjors is now firmly rooted in Motueka with family, house and animals. Previous experience of sailing, kayaking, cycling, walk-guiding and outdoors instructing in France, the USA, Holland and the Lakes District UK, brought Sjors to our guiding team in 2006. He aims to provide serious information with a fun twist, not afraid to discuss conflicting views.

Jacinta Borer v2

Jacinta Borer - Guide

From Whangaparaoa (north of Auckland), Jacinta's sense of adventure took her to Wanaka for her final year of High School. Paddle board guiding on Lake Wanaka wasn't enough for her, so she studied outdoor education at Tai Poutini (West Coast). After graduating in 2016, she joined our guiding team.

Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey - Guide

Starting from Brisbane, Sarah's qualifications include seven years of hiking around the world, managing a private accommodation village in Tasmania, and instructing in outdoor education. She realised her dream of living in the sunniest part of the South Island when she starting with our guiding team in 2019.

Olivia Shanks

Olivia Shanks - Guide

A southern lass, from Gore, Olivia has a degree in Outdoor Education & Environmental Sustainability from CPIT (Christchurch) before gaining a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching. Most recently she's been travelling and working in the U.K and Europe.

Ai Hoddy

Ai Hoddy - Guide & Translator

From Japan, Ai worked with inbound operators showing Japanese visitors the best of New Zealand before setting up her own business in 2015, with her office based in the orchards of Hope (Nelson region). She has worked as a freelance guide and translator for us since 2000.