New Zealand: South Island Adventure

A Dream Journey in Nature’s Wonderland


Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

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Peter Bersani

Departure Dates: March 5-17, 2023

We always love a good expat story and Peter Bersani is no exception. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Peter has made his adopted home in the adventurous country of New Zealand for more than 25 years. An avid skier, hiker, and mountain biker, he loves exploring ...

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Tony Buchanan

Tony Buchanan was born and raised in the Wairarapa in the lower North Island of New Zealand. In his late teens, he was drawn to Queenstown for skiing and never left. He started his guiding career as a whitewater "river surfing" guide in Queenstown in the 80s and later ...

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Chris Cochrane

Departure Dates: January 8-20, 2023, February 5-17, 2023

Chris Cochrane hails from Sydney, Australia, where he spent four years training as a chef. After graduation, he traveled to New Zealand to further his career. Upon arrival in Queenstown, he realized his chosen path was not the one he really wanted and set out to ...

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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 ...

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Zac Imhoof

Departure Dates: December 4-16, 2022, January 22-February 3, 2023, February 19-March 3, 2023, March 19-31, 2023

Born and raised in Tahuna (Queenstown), New Zealand’s adventure capital, Zac thrives in the outdoors and is the perfect travel companion on our New Zealand adventures. As the son of beloved WT Trip Leader Jon Imhoof, Zac takes to any adventure like a fish to ...

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Tony McCutcheon

Departure Dates: December 4-16, 2022, January 22-February 3, 2023, February 19-March 3, 2023, March 19-31, 2023

When asked what he likes most about guiding Wilderness Travel trips, Tony said, “I like the changes I see in people from the start of the trip when we first meet up and then how they are at the end, but mostly I like the friendships that develop during the trip ...

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Michael Queree

Departure Dates: March 5-17, 2023

Michael's love for the mountains and rivers that form the landscapes of New Zealand began at an early age. He is a “born and bred” South Islander and loves sharing his home country with travelers. Michael had a 25-year-long career as a New Zealand Native ...

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Rene Schwaller

Rene Schwaller is a Swiss adventurer who first moved to Queenstown 30 years ago to work as a ski instructor and has since become a heli-skiing and paragliding pioneer in Queenstown, the “extreme sport” capital of the globe. Rene is a wonderful mountain ...

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Karen Stuart

Departure Dates: January 8-20, 2023, February 5-17, 2023

As a fifth generation "coaster" (resident of the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island),  Karen loves introducing travelers to her home island and sharing her tūrangawaewae (Māori for place of being). With a background in the non-profit sector ...

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Ian Wilkins

Ian Wilkins was raised in the Hutt Valley near Wellington, New Zealand, and spent his early years hiking through the Tararua mountains. As a veteran heli-ski guide, he knows the Southern Alps from many different angles and also spent several seasons guiding in Canada. ...