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.
Chelsi Williams - Field Support and Reservations
Finishing school in the North Island, Chelsi moved south in 2015 to study Adventure Tourism Management at Queenstown Resort College, including an internship in Abel Tasman National Park. She worked for Spark telecommunications for the 3 years of Covid disruptions to the visitor industry, then joined our operations team this season.
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.
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. Her latest expedition was cycling through Europe during our 2023 low season.
Growing up in the North Island, Phil was 19 when he came to the South Island for tramping and climbing. He has guided at the penguin reserve on the Otago Peninsula and spent 15 months as manager of Quarantine Island wildlife reserve. He started guided with us in 2020, 5 weeks before the Covid lockdown. His skill as a builder keeps him occupied when he's not guiding.
Born in Nelson, I grew up spending plenty of time outdoors, adventuring with the whanau throughout Nelson and Marlborough. Studying adventure tourism and guiding at NMIT was a natural progression. Since graduating in 2020 I've spent my summers guiding in the Abel Tasman and my last few winters throughout Wanaka and Lake Ohau ski instructing. Live to love it love to live it!
Joining us from Te Tai Tokerau in Northland, Krystal has adopted the South Island since 2019 when she completed her Diploma in Adventure Tourism at NMIT. Since then, she’s divided her time between seasons in Australia, Japan and Wanaka ski resorts with kayak guiding in Abel Tasman National Park. Sea kayaking is her second love. Surfing is her favourite sport.
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.
Born in Scotland, Rod’s family moved to New Zealand when he was 3 years old and lived in Nelson. In 2022 he graduated with a degree in Sustainability and Outdoor Education at Ara Institute of Canterbury. This is his third season working with our guiding team. As well as kayaking and tramping he enjoys rock climbing and distance running.
Hailing from Cardiff, in Wales, Miles spent 3 years kayak guiding around the UK in the Isle of Man and Scotland, then returned to Wales to guide on the Pembrokeshire coast for 3 years. Our good reputation brought him to New Zealand in 2018 to guide with us. He also spent 3 seasons in Kaikoura.
Stand by for Ollie's story
Stand by for Finn's story
Taylor first started as a guide in the Abel Tasman National Park when she finished her Bachelor's degree in Sustainability and Outdoor Education (2018). Since then she has also been spotted in the North island working with school camps and backpacking in Asia. Taylor has a passion for the environment and Tikanga Maori so will add her unique knowledge to every tour. She is absolutely stoked to return to her favourite place in the world and can't wait to share it with you!
Kia Ora! I'm a born and raised kiwi girl, growing up immersed in the ocean and mountains of Tai Rawhiti, the East Coast of the North Island. Here, I practically lived in my local Surf Life Saving Club whilst competing in canoe slalom and canoe polo. Moving from one sunny region to the next, I settled in Nelson to gain my diploma in Adventure Tourism and Guiding at NMIT and was introduced to the Abel Tasman National Park. I couldn’t think of a more perfect spot to make my workplace!
Leaving his home nation of England in search of an adventure, Chris' decade-long 'Gap Year' is showing no signs of slowing down. Instead, a path has been weaved from East Asia, Africa, Europe, North and Central America, to now New Zealand. Chris is a migratory species that spends the summers working as a Sea Kayak Guide and the winter months as a Snowboard Instructor.
Originally from Cambridge (U.K.) Seth headed for New Zealand in 2020 after suffering permanent hypothermia as an outdoor instructor in Dorset. He was happy to get stuck here, working as a guide with us when Covid disrupted further travel plans. Other jobs in New Zealand include working on deep sea fishing boats out of Nelson, and commercial rope access technician in Christchurch.
Glyn Miller - Jones
All the way from the sunny UK, Glyn gained a degree in Outdoor Recreation immediately finding his passion within paddlesports. You will also find him mountain walking and open water swimming, when he isn’t playing one of his numerous instruments or reading Tolkien. After seasons of sailing, power boating and kayaking at the national outdoor centre for Wales he finds new grounds in Abel Tasman National Park.
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 joined the Wilson team in 2021.
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.
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.
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.