Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Queenstown guiding company up for best tour operator award

Media Release from Guided Walks New Zealand
3 August 2012

Queenstown guiding company up for best tour operator award

New Zealand’s oldest guiding company, Queenstown-based Guided Walks New Zealand (trading as Guided Nature Walks), has been named a finalist in the prestigious New Zealand Travel Industry Awards 2012.

Now in its 145th year, the company has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Tour Operator – domestic’ category, an accolade which has delighted owners Peter and Karyn Hitchman.

“We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved so far at Guided Nature Walks, and to be recognised by our peers who have voted us into the finals means so much,” said Mr Hitchman.

Travel industry members throughout New Zealand were asked to vote for nominees in a number of categories, and those which received the highest votes have progressed to the finals.

From here the finalists will be judged by a panel of expert travel industry judges and winners announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on September 8.

Guided Nature Walks is synonymous with back country guiding in New Zealand, having begun operations on the Routeburn Track in 1868. Since taking the helm of the company, Mr and Mrs Hitchman have gone from strength to strength through their commitment to adding innovative new products, including snowshoeing in 2009 and heli-snowshoeing in 2012.

Mr Hitchman said the New Zealand Travel Industry Award assessment and final judging was based on the company’s most recent successes.

“If that’s the case, because this year has been such a great one for Guided Nature Walks, hopefully we’ll do well,” he said.

“When we released our ‘You vs Wild’ product in May at TRENZ, we were so thrilled by agents coming by to tell us what a great job we’d done.

“They thought it was a totally new idea and raised the bar when it came to creating a uniquely Kiwi experience, so much more than just adding lunch to a trip.”

Led by Mr Hitchman, a former UK bodyguard and survival expert, You vs Wild gives clients a taste of what it's like to survive off the land, with nothing but a knife, a few things they might have on their person, or items discarded by others.

“Guests learn skills needed to stay alive if they’re caught out in the wilderness, like how to make a fire or build a bivouac shelter, what plants are safe to eat, how to make pain relief, how to find north the ‘celestial’ way, and how to harvest and filter water so it's safe to drink.

“All that probably sounds pretty serious, but we make sure our clients have a huge amount of fun as well.”

Mr Hitchman said the company took its position seriously as leaders in the New Zealand guiding industry.

“Our business philosophy is one of focusing on continual business innovation as well as staff satisfaction, and protecting the environment for future generations to enjoy.

“Our staff are the face of our company, so they have daily input into our business. If they’re happy and it works for them, then it works for us too.”

Mr Hitchman said Guided Nature Walks was also proud to operate a successful pest eradication program, which was maintained by staff.

“We’ll also be able to show sustainable business results to the judging panel, having seen continual year on year growth each winter season since 2009 and the introduction of new products.”

The New Zealand Travel Industry Awards celebrate and honour ‘exceptional people and businesses’ in the New Zealand travel industry.

Further information on Guided Nature Walks and its products are available on or
About Guided Walks New Zealand Ltd

Peter and Karyn Hitchman have been guiding and instructing in the mountains and forests of New Zealand for over a decade, taking groups deep into the lush forests and high above the snow line into the pristine, untouched world of the alpine region. They have a vast knowledge of the flora, fauna, history and geology of this beautiful region. With the on-going assistance of Richard Bryant, a fourth generation Queenstown local and the pioneer of Guided Walks New Zealand, they have a huge source of information and history that is unavailable anywhere else.

Guided Walks New Zealand is the only company permitted to guide ‘off track’, and it specialises in knowledge of edible and medicinal plants used by Maori and the pioneers of New Zealand. The company’s local, friendly and knowledgeable guides ensure guests have the time to enjoy the whole experience nature has provided. Guided Nature Walks is the original guiding company in Queenstown and possibly New Zealand – guiding since 1868.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>


Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>


Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>


MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>


NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>


Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>