Jon Imhoof

Jon Imhoof has a degree in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii, where he first began leading hiking and sailing trips in the 1980s. He moved to Queenstown, New Zealand, in 1989, and has since been an innovator in adventure tourism, starting the first river-surfing company in the world in Queenstown, and then also on the Zambezi River in Southern Africa. Jon began leading our hiking trips in New Zealand, and guides our snorkeling and whale watching journeys in Tonga. He loves to introduce people to the wonders of Polynesian culture. “Tonga’s Ha’apai islands are off the tourist route and not easy to get to, so the traditional Tongan way of life still predominates. When I lived in Hawaii, I always found myself thinking ‘I wish I had been here 50 years ago.’ Of course, you can’t turn back the clock—but you can go to Ha’apai!” Jon lives in Queenstown, with his wife and two children, and enjoys surfing, kayaking, kite-surfing, scuba diving, mountain biking, and just about anything else outdoors.

Upcoming Trips

Photo Blog Posts

Client Testimonials


Jon was a joy to travel with. He was very responsive to everyone's needs and was unfailingly cheerful and fun to be around.
— Jennifer M., Santa Rosa, CA
New Zealand: Off the Beaten Path
Jon is a very accomplished guide, very knowledgeable about geology, culture, and history, and everything New Zealand from politics to agriculture, fauna and flora, film industry, etc.
— Catherine B., San Francisco, CA
New Zealand: Off the Beaten Path
Jon is the best tour leader I have had the privilege to travel with. His knowledge of the history and geology of New Zealand was so enlightening and enhanced our appreciation for this wonderful country.
— Marlene S., Washington, DC
New Zealand: South Island Adventure
Jon is at the absolute top. It was like spending two weeks with a good friend with an extraordinary level of knowledge about the country.
— Bruce N., Oakland, CA
New Zealand: South Island Adventure
Jon's enthusiasm for his country was contagious and his gracious hospitality was quintessentially Kiwi. He was helpful in all aspects of our travel - from photography to culture to hiking tips - and his ability to deal with diverse personalities was remarkable. Love him!
— Bonnie B., Bakersfield, CA
New Zealand: South Island Adventure
Jon was the best tour leader I have had the priviledge to travel with. His knowledge of the history and geology of New Zealand was so enlightening and enhanced our appreciation of this wonderful country. I did not want our trip to end!
— Marlene S., Washington, DC
New Zealand: South Island Adventure
Jon is an excellent guide. He was very patient, helpful, and happy to share Tonga with all participants.
— Jeanne S., Charlotte, NC
Sea Kayaking and Snorkeling in Ha’apai
Jon is an extraordinarily able and knowledgeable guide. Information on history, geography, flora, fauna, etc., was deep and well presented. He is organized and exceptionally good at adapting to changing circumstances. He makes everyone feel special and he has a super sense of humor!
— Brenda J.
Jon was very knowledgeable about the Tongan people. He is very bright and a great joy to travel with.
— Cindy C., Santa Barbara, CA
Island Kingdom of Tonga
Jon was a great leader. Well organized, fun, and professional.
— A. I., Manhasset NY
Jon was our best guide ever. He did it all, including care and concern for each traveler. Truly amazing.
— R. K., Woodland TX
Jon is a joy—informed, involved, fun, and concerned about each trip member.
— S. B., Redondo Beach CA
Jon was patient with all and gave us his full attention. We all enjoyed his company and appreciated his excellent arrangements.
— Karen H., Albuquerque
Serious Fun in New Zealand
Jon is like Mary Poppins—practically perfect in every way. We covered an amazing amount of territory and did a lot in two weeks, but we never felt rushed. We may have been clients, but Jon treated us like friends.
— Lisa P., Falls Church VA
Trips with Jon are always a blast. He makes every activity fun.
— Stephanie G., Saddle Brook, NJ
Island Kingdom of Tonga