Our Aim: To promote an appreciation of the Abel Tasman National Park and its unique features, by providing you with a responsible, informative, sustainable and caring service.
Our Guides and Hosts in the field are, backed by a dedicated team of professionals to help co-ordinate your holiday and ensure your comfort and safety
Our Abel Tasman Guides
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 - 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.
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.
Sylvan grew up in Rarotonga, the Channel Islands and Nelson and has gone tramping all over the world. After completing a MA in Creative Writing in America, he finally returned to Nelson and joined our guiding team in 2019. He alternates his guiding work with growing gourmet mushrooms, writing and landscape gardening.
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 started with our guiding team in 2019.
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), graduating in 2016. Her cheery smile was added to our team in 2019.
Stand by for Seth's story
Growing up in Raglan, on the North Island, Corina's adventurous spirit drew her to study for a Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Guiding at Tai Poutini Polythechic on the West Coast. After a season as rookie guide with us, she spent the 2021 winter gaining snow board instructor qualifications at Cardrona Alpine Resort and joins us again this summer.
Born in England and raised in Dunedin, Jack first joined us as a kayak guide in 2015 after graduating from Otago Polytech. He spent 2 seasons with us, then went travelling in Canada and Europe. In 2017 he started an engineering apprenticeship in Dunedin but the lure of the Abel Tasman brought him back to our guiding team in 2019.
Originally from the US, Olivia has spent the past three years working and studying outdoor pursuits in New Zealand. She spends her winters ski instructing, has kayak guided on the West Coast and joins us this season after finishing a course in Outdoor and Adventure Education at Hillary Outdoors.
Jason (Doc) Dockery
Growing up on the doorstep of the Waitākere ranges and Mangawhai Heads, Doc spent a bit of time outside as a kid and figured he'd continue doing so. After studying an Outdoor Education degree at AUT, then instructing in Auckland and Christchurch, he joins the Wilson team this summer.
Dunedin born and bred, Siobhan left school to complete a Diploma of Outdoor Education at Tai Poutini (West Coast), graduating in 2020. After working for Golden Bay Kayaks and Cardrona ski area, she joins our guiding team this summer.
After leaving school in Auckland, Ella moved to Christchurch to study for her Bachelor in Outdoor Education and Environmental Sustainability at Ara Institute of Canterbury (formerly CPIT). On a student trip, she fell in love with Abel Tasman National Park and chooses to work with us for the opportunity to interact with groups on multiday trips.
As part of the Glasgow whanau, with connections to the Abel Tasman since the 1890s, Rewa has been guiding with us since 1999. She has taken breaks as she raised her family on their property at Golden Downs in the Nelson hinterland.
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. Before Covid travel restrictions, she worked in the U.K and Europe.
Amy (AJ) Carrick
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.
One of New Zealand's most experienced guides, John can track his association with Abel Tasman National Park back to his grandfather who settled here in the late 1890's. The park is literally his back yard as 700 metres of the Coastal Track passes through his family's land. As a mountain guide on Mt Cook/Aoraki, in 1970 he was in the first expedition to climb the mountain's Caroline Face. Read the story here.
Working as an early childhood teacher in Germany, Karin first came to NZ in 1987. She has lived here permanently since 2004, graduating to tourism in 2005. With time out to run her own driving and guiding and business, she has worked with us since 2015.