Meet the Team

Hamish Paterson

Hamish has been with Tuatara Tours since its inception.

When Tuatara Tours started there was one product – The Akaroa Walk. Now there are upwards of 45 products including 5 overseas tours to Bhutan, Japan and Australia.

Hamish’s background is varied, he has been involved in the nursery and garden centre trade, real estate, computer programming, and organising multi-day adventure races.

Away from work Hamish is involved in grafting and producing producing some new plant varieties and still retains his interests in everything outdoors.

Nicky Page

Most of you will know Nicky as Tuatara Tours Tour Manager, but her starting role at Tuatara Tours was as a guide for the Akaroa Walk and West Coast Trail walking tours. For the last 6 years Nicky has also lead the Tuatara Tours walking tour program to Japan.

Nicky has a background in languages and 30 years industry experience in tourism. She is a fluent speaker of Japanese. Having lived in Japan for several years she relishes the opportunity to travel there each year with our tour groups, and to share her love of all things Japanese with our walkers.

When not walking the trails of the Nakasendo and Kumano,  Nicky enjoys getting out on our local trails and having lived on the Port Hills of Christchurch since childhood, Banks Peninsula is her “backyard”. She is a keen tramper, and Nicky and her husband also enjoy  getting ‘off the beaten track”, travelling around the South Island in their camper van.

 

Stewart (Stew) Cron

Stew was born on the West Coast of the South Island and has a great passion for the wilderness. The majority of his working years were devoted to education, as well as organising and guiding groups in outdoor recreational activities. The mountains, valleys and rivers in Canterbury, Nelson Lakes and the West Coast are his recreational playground.

He has a particular interest in the local history of the various passes, routes, land features, flora and fauna and personalities associated with early discovery and development.

Stephen Hardman

Stephen has a background in hospitality, brewing and teaching hospitality studies in further education.

He enjoys outdoor activities; tramping, skiing, swimming and cycling.

Stephen says he gets a real buzz from introducing folk to our wonderful country’.

Nick Bray

Nick was born in Warwickshire in the UK, and grew up in Devon with its great coastal walks, Dartmoor and quaint villages.

His family were involved with hospitality from an early age.

He has always loved travelling and after a stint in the Middle East and Australia, Nick arrived in New Zealand in 1985, where he met a Kiwi woman and stayed.

They went back and forth between NZ and the UK a couple of times but eventually settled here permanently with a young family in 1996.

Nick has been involved in hospitality since his late teens, in New Zealand with a bed and breakfast and then later, cafes and short term accommodation. He enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and from different parts of NZ and the world

Nick loves the South Island and the great outdoors and he enjoys both tramping and mountain biking. He also has a great love of sports,  as a spectator, parent and participant and still plays squash and tennis and on occasion, golf.

Helen O’Dowd

Helen was born and bred on a Canterbury poultry and market gardening farm, in an area that during her youth was considered ‘in the country’, where no public transport would roam. Now, living a mere 2kms from where she grew up, urban sprawl has turned the many paddocks into just another north eastern suburb of Christchurch.

Her loves in life have remained the same. As a child she was completely at home when outside. She used to love running over the paddocks, building tree houses in the windbreaks, watching and listening to the birds, and floating self-made stick yachts in mini lakes when the ground was over saturated with rain.

Now, Helen still loves running around but in the form of Marathons, Ultra trails and multi-sport endurance events, her tree houses have become DOC (Department of Conservation) Huts, and she still marvels at seeing and hearing our native birds and the rain? It brings out the best of everything from waterfalls, photography, to the ‘most satisfying cuppa ever’ after a day tramping in the wet.

Helens early love of Geography graduated to working in the travel industry for 20+ years. And collating work with all her hobbies (travel, tramping, skiing, mountain biking and endurance events), which have taken her to wonderful places around NZ and overseas. Her goal is to walk all the Great Walks of New Zealand (she has her eye on the Australian ones too) and complete as much of the Te Araroa Trail possible – 3000km along the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

“Becoming a guide with Tuatara Tours since the start of the 2017/18 walking season, has been a dream. It is always a joy for me to meet and share my love of the outdoors with clients and my interests have extended to local history/Maori legends, flora and fauna.

I look forward to meeting you.”

John Lucas

Johns working life has been spent in the design sector of the construction industry before specialising in project management. The latter took him and his wife to Ireland where for 10 years this interesting work was combined with travel and touring.

He has always been passionate about exercise and after a successful long distance running career he found cycling provided fresh challenges. This combined with a love of the outdoors and a new awareness of the unique beauty of our country means guiding was a natural step into semi-retirement.

John really enjoys meeting new people and has a wide range of interests which include European and local history, travel, classic cars and all areas of sport to name but a few.

Tuatara Tours has given him the opportunity to pursue these interests, retain his fitness and meet and share the spectacular grandeur of the South Island with like-minded people.

Wanda Vivequin

Wanda is a Christchurch-based guide who has spent the last 20 years sharing her favourite places in Nepal, Bhutan and New Zealand with guests.

She began guiding in Bhutan in 2009 and has visited this incredible Himalayan Kingdom 5 times since then taking small groups of people to off the beaten track valleys and communities.

Wanda is also a strong supporter of fair trade and has run cultural tours that focus on providing travellers with an intimate look at a country whose people and landscapes leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all those who visit.

John Dunbier

John comes to guiding from a background in exploration, geology and teaching. He loves to explore new terrain and has a passion for prospecting in the West Coast goldfields.

To keep fit he plays tennis and likes to get out on cross country skis when the white stuff covers the hills.

As a hobby, John uses satellite data to track icebergs in the waters south of New Zealand and documents the drift of these magnificent Antarctic wanderers on the blog “Kiwi Icebergs”.

Neville Wilson

Neville has been with Tuatara Tours almost from the start. He is our driver for the Akaroa Walk and his demeanour and sense of humour are appreciated and enjoyed by all who have been on the Akaroa Walk over the years.

When he is not working for Tuatara Tours he is working  or playing golf at his favourite course or in his garden growing some top class vegetables and fruit that the office staff here are quite often the beneficiaries of.