Rob Douglas and Sue McNulty with their small company Wild Broccoli Partnership own Simply Wild Journeys.
Simply Wild was originally formed in 2005 by four partners, and began operating in 2006. We now offer over 40 different adventure scenic trips across the wonderful landscape of the top of the South Island of New Zealand. Activities include walking and hiking, cycling and mountain biking, sea kayaking and sailing, rafting and scenic, plus combinations of all, by helicopter, boat and vehicle.
Our trips are often logistically complex over a wide range of landscape and activities, with discerning clients who have high expectations of us. We have a comprehensive safety plan which was externally audited when we began in 2006, and we continue to be audited by NZ’s quality audit programme, Qualmark, each year. We are currently graded Gold standard by Qualmark.
We aim to engage on a personal level with our clients, and because our trips are private, be spontaneous and flexible, while being highly professional in our preparation, presentation and organisation. We want our clients to feel like they have spent time with friends – who are safe, professional and knowledgeable about our landscape and culture.
Apart from Simply Wild Journeys, Wild Broccoli encompasses Broccoli Row Cafe, and Simply Wild Events, a corporate events brand.
Simply Wild Journeys – Our People
Rob – Managing Director & Chief Guide
Rob is CEO, part owner and chief guide, and had 22 years experience in senior market, management and governance roles in large multinational and national companies in New Zealand and Australia. Rob later set up Teamworks New Zealand, a corporate training and development consultancy offering organisational development, leadership and team development. The business operated for 20 years, with business partner John Stuart.
Rob has always been passionate about the outdoors, with 35 years formal experience in designing and creating safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences. Firstly for corporate leadership and team building adventure experiences across New Zealand and East Coast Australia, and for the last 15 years as chief guide for Simply Wild. He was a Trustee and Board member of the Whenua-iti Outdoor Pursuits Trust for 10 years, is now a trustee of the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trail Trust. Also Chairperson of the Nelson Bays Youth Team Racing Association (Secondary school sailing) he has extensive interests and experience in the outdoors.
He was a competitor in the original Coast to Coast multi-sport endurance race in 1992, and a number of times subsequently. Competing in multi-sport for over 20 years, he is also a keen hiker, skier, kayaker and mountain biker with experience in mountaineering, rock climbing and caving. Owning and operating Simply Wild Journeys is his happy place, with every day a different activity in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world with great clients from around the globe.
Sue – Director & Chef
Sue (centre) with some of her Broccoli Row team. Sue is Rob’s life partner, and she started the iconic Broccoli Row Cafe & Restaurant 27 years ago in Nelson. She graduated with distinction to qualify as a London City and Guilds Chef in 1988 from Christchurch Polytechnic and subsequently worked in senior chef positions in Christchurch, London, Perth and Nelson before establishing Broccoli Row in 1992.
Apart from being part owner of Wild Broccoli, Sue designs and creates with care all our food for our day and overnight trips. She’s passionate about food, family and flowers, and is a keen volleyballer and mountain biker.
Our guides Sally, (left) Emma (right) and Charlie have all travelled extensively and are experienced in guiding/hosting luxury level clients. Sally’s profession is as a physiotherapist, but she has always had a love of the outdoors. Her hiking experience includes many multi-day trips throughout the South Island, North Island Central Plateau, Annapurna and Everest regions of Nepal, Utah, Idaho, and Nevada in the USA. She has completed alpine mountaineering courses and Summited Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngaruohoe, Mt Tongariro, Tapuae-o-uenuku, Mt Philistine, Mt Murchison plus many smaller peaks particularly in the upper South Island. She also has experience in caving and has been an adventure racing and mountain bike race competitor.
Emma has guided with us for 10 years and had previously travelled widely and guided in South America. She has a small inbound travel business, New Zealand Travel Designers, was a national competitive mountain biker for a number of years, and also has a successful business called The Wheel Woman, teaching women and children how to mountain bike.
No story about Simply Wild would be complete without an acknowledgement of the three originals (and Craig Wilson who came later), whose energy, time and money helped to start Simply Wild with me. Tim (in the green) is a a senior financial accountant who kept us focused, created great systems and is an excellent team person. He also guided in early years.
You will see Andrew’s (on the right in white) superb photos throughout the website. He is a veterinary surgeon with his own large practice, however his passion and profession in Europe and New Zealand for some years is photography. He has captured some great images of the Nelson region. Jeff (on the left) is a real estate agent with a passion for mountain biking, and was ever enthusiastic about Simply Wild and its purpose. Craig who came later has a tourism background, and gave us in depth knowledge of the industry and how to market Simply Wild.
Most of our wonderful early photos were taken by Andrew Conway. Further images of Andrew’s can be found here.
The remainder have been taken by Rob. Our photos have been taken over the 15 years we’ve been operating, including helicopters or boats/yachts in the galleries below the products that we’ve used over the years, and may not use now. The photographs are designed to give you an idea of Simply Wild Journeys, and all are genuine photos of trips taken on our exploratory or real trips, and not posed for publicity. We hope you enjoy them.