Imhoof jon

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 swimming with whales journeys in Tonga, as well as our exploration of the islands of Vanuatu. He loves to show off his adopted homeland of New Zealand.  Jon lives in Gibbston, a world renowned pinot noir growing area outside of Queenstown, with his wife Ali and enjoys surfing, kayaking, kitesurfing, scuba diving, mountain biking, and just about anything else outdoors.

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Client Testimonials


Jon was born to be a trip leader! He was personable, caring, enthusiastic, quick with a joke or smile and ready and willing to do everything. He biked with us, offered to take us snorkeling after swimming with the whales and was ready to fill all of our down time. We had one person that was sick on our trip and Jon was so patient, kind and considerate with her. Many guides would have just walked away until she felt better but Jon really looked out for her. I think what speaks the most about Jon is that my husband and I would gladly travel with him again—and would actually seek out a trip he was guiding, just to travel with him.
— Karen S., Gilmanton, NH
Swimming with the Humpbacks of Ha'apai
The experience was one of the top ten of my life. Unbeatable!
— Sally R., Dillsburg, PA
Swimming with the Humpbacks of Ha'apai
Jon is an excellent trip leader. He is passionate about his work, which shows in his interactions with the Tongan people and with the group. He is very knowledgeable and always had an answer to our many questions. Every evening at happy hour he would go through our photos for the day, editing them and giving us photo tips. Jon interacted well with all members of the group and is very easy to talk with. Would definitely do another trip with Jon!
— Maggie G., Tupper Lake, NY
Swimming with the Humpbacks of Ha'apai
Jon was fun and easy to be with. Was wonderful that he had us for dinner at his home.
— Sandy E., Boulder, CO
New Zealand: Off the Beaten Path
It was an absolute pleasure to travel with Jon! He is kind, organized, confident, flexible and calm on both land and in the water. He let us have our own zen experience while keeping us safe.
— Janet F., Garden Grove, CA
Vanuatu
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