New Zealand is renowned for its varied landscape, beautiful at every turn. Our Adventure Guide Program participants had a chance to explore this week with a classic road trip around the South Island. Ken, our ambassador extraordinaire was on the case to give us the lowdown...
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Week 8 was one big epic road trip around the South Island. We started in Queenstown and headed to the West Coast. The goal of this week was to take the guiding responsibilities off the instructors and shift this role to us. We split up into groups of 2 or 3 and planned an entire day for the rest of the team. Each guiding team would cook breakfast, lunch and dinner, get the crew from point A to point B, guide them through a hike or interpretation day and facilitate the team just as if we were clients on a paid job.
We spent the first night at Lake Peringa on the West Coast. I set my tent up only a few feet from the lake shore and snapped this photo of my tent that night. The next shot, is the incredible mirror lake I woke up to. The third shot is 4 hours later on the summit of Alex Knob at 1,303 meters and our hike destination for the day. It’s days like that that really stick with you.
Here's some shots of my crew walking down back through the clouds after after our epic summit.
On my day I took the crew through Arthurs Pass. One of my favorite places in New Zealand. I took them to Devils Punchbowl waterfall and then to Castle Hill. I had traveled here by myself a few years back and was super keen to share it with the group. Castle Hill is one of the most stunning and unique landscapes I have ever seen and it really had an impact on me. I love the opportunity to take them all there.
Castle Hill is known to have some of the South Islands climbing and bouldering. It was great see the crew to hop on some boulders and have a play around.
It was another epic day of exploring with the crew and sharing in everyone's excitement. For some of them, their first time truly bouldering.
We finished the week with some relaxed day hikes and local interpretation. Each team did really well leading. Each day starts at the crack of dawn, prepping breakfast for everyone, driving, guiding and cooking lunch and dinner. The night doesn't end until a debrief is had and a hand over to the next days team is complete. We finally climbed into our tents at around 8 or 9 each night. Long days, but packed with new knowledge and fulfillment.
The team and I got a nice day off to break up the training and went for a mountain bike around the hills of Wanaka with our head guide Ivor. After a long week it was nice to have a change of activity. The team crushed it.
It's pretty crazy how much we pack into each of our weeks, how much we do and see. We managed to drive 1,217 Kilometers that week. Along with hiking, bouldering, exploring and interpretations each day. It’s going to be hard to go back to real life after all this is over.
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Ken's loving New Zealand, we are really enjoying getting his updates and seeing firsthand how the group is developing, not only with their technical skills and confidence, but also as a team. These guys are a tight crew with friendships that we know will last well beyond their time here.
If you are looking for an experience like Ken's, then please do get in touch! We can email you a detailed itinerary about this program or one of our others. We'd love to share an epic adventure with you!