What could be more fun for a former Coast to Coast adventure racer than guiding others through a similar but higher end experience? For me, the opportunity to share an experience of helibiking, sailing, sea kayaking, helihiking and helirafting through some of New Zealand’s best landscape with great clients from all around the world is the perfect job.
I still remember that first Coast to Coast race in 1983. Very few of us had ever done anything like it before, but were excited by the idea of racing from one side of New Zealand to the other across the Southern Alps. What an adventure it turned out to be, but the thing that stayed in my mind was the fact that you did different things to get there, cycling, mountain running, kayaking and more cycling.
Years later it was to be my inspiration for creating a multiactivity trip through the wilderness that any active person could consider in the top of the South Island of New Zealand.
There is something special about being in wilderness and travelling through it doing the optimum activity for that particular part, whether it’s walking on a remote trail beside a restless ocean, mountainbiking down a mountain on an old mining trail, sea kayaking past lush native bush, rugged limestone cliffs and golden sandy beaches, sailing in an expansive bay surrounded by mountains, or rafting the challenging boulder gardens of an isolated wilderness river.
While I’m always thinking about safety, timing and weather when I’m guiding, there is still time to appreciate the activities, the scenery and that special time as a guide where you are for a brief period, part of peoples lives in an intimate way and sharing the experience
As a former (and occasionally still) corporate facilitator, where you quite overtly intervene in the process in order to “change things”, it’s great on a journey to let the environment and activities create the experience, with the role of guide just to ensure it happens safely.