Our People

We are a friendly and professional bunch who love Wanaka and can’t wait to get you out on the water in style!

Chris – The Boss & Guide

Born in the jungle suburbs of Nelson, moved to the southern lakes after his passion for the great outdoors, loves to walk on the beach telling stories of the past and dreams of the future. Chris has worked in adventure tourism from the day he left school, travelling the world as a skydiving instructor and kayak guide. He’s one extremely enthusiastic guide who will engage you with curious tales & capture your attention with his infectious energy. You’ll find him on the lake, the river, the beach and anywhere that sells good coffee.

Bex – The Other Boss & Guide

“A true McLeods Daughter” this NZ farm girl, bought up on one of Central Otago’s most remote high country farms is no stranger to the outdoors. As a young girl she would assist her father, on horseback, to heard some of 20,000 sheep across the tussock land, camping out over the nights, under the stars sharing stories of their adventures.  These roots have helped keep adventure in Bex’s blood, hiking and climbing in the Himalayas, kite surfing the islands of Greece, sea kayaking the fjords of Norway, surfing the beaches of Australia and snowboarding in the heart of the Southern Alps. You will find Bex (and her faithful Hungarian Viszla ‘Mahi’) at home frantically keeping up with the homemade brownie supplies!

Rhianna – Guide & Assistant Operations Manager

A maple syrup enthusiast born in the Great White North, started working with kids in the outdoors as a teenager and accidentally turned it into a career. She spent many years chasing summers between Canada and New Zealand (and a few other places as well), working as a paddling guide and running outdoor programs for kids before stumbling into Wanaka. With a job that combines her love of paddling, people, and brownies, she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else! She will instantly be your friend if you have a good pun, a bad joke, or have the same favourite dinosaur that she does (you’ll have to ask her to find out). You’ll find her hanging out on the beach with a good book and a smoothie.

Laurie – Guide

Born in the Northern English County of Yorkshire, who first went kayaking on a family holiday in North Wales when he was 7yrs. He has since travelled the world working as a paddle sports coach and guide in UK, France, Spain, Australia and now we add New Zealand to the list. Currently his favourite place is Wanaka (obviously) followed closely by Stradbroke Island in Australia because of the awesome marine wildlife. You’ll find him mainly on the river but anywhere you can get a good egg and avocado combo.

Kat – Beach Crew

A born and bred Wanaka local who luckily grew up surrounded by The Southern Alps. Following an upbringing in the mountainous outdoors she developed a passion for physical activity which led her to complete a BAppSci in Exercise Physiology. A love of conservation and the environment of New Zealand has brought her back to Paddle Wanaka for a second summer season, after surfing and exploring the exotic Costa Rica. You’ll find her on the lake front or munching mangos out at West Wanaka.

Erin – Guide

Hailing from the forests of the Pacific Northwest, USA, Erin recently moved to Wanaka to join the team at Paddle Wanaka as a SUP instructor. She was drawn to the area by the climbing and skiing opportunities, as well as the outdoor community that rivals the best of her hometown. With six years of experience as a SUP instructor, Erin is looking forward to exposing fellow Kiwis and travellers alike to the SUP culture endemic to the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll find Erin by looking up, or anywhere that sells cold iced coffee on a hot day.

Charlie – Guide & Beach Crew

Born in the South of England. She decided to leave her white stilettos on the sunny shores of the Thames Estuary in search of streams a little bluer. She stumbled across Wanaka and it did not disappoint. Charlie is a self proclaimed ‘Jack of all trades, Master of none’. Her passions include the water, mountains, kayaks, bikes, skis, ropes and she loves life. As a result, her enthusiasm goes a long way. With a keen interest in New Zealand nature she’ll deliver awesome knowledge of the local area. She’s equipped with the ‘gift of that gab’ that Essex folk are famous for. You’ll find her down at the lake, probably Beacon Point, eating a cheese and cucumber sandwich.

Andrea – The Marketing Chick

Originates from Newcastle, England and has been working in the New Zealand Tourism Industry for over 15+ years. With a background in Adventure Tourism, she’s more reliable than the world clock and still has time for her own passions which include her beloved Beagle, photography and belting out a solid tune! Our Andrea has yet to have been asked a question about beautiful Wanaka and NZ she can’t answer! You’ll find her here, there and everywhere but probably walking her hound down by the Clutha River.

Joel – Guide

Born and raised in the big smoke of West Auckland, this city slicker needed to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life and follow his passion for the outdoors. After completing his diploma in outdoor education Joel went on to doing a couple of seasons whitewater rafting and kayak/paddle board work around New Zealand, and outdoor instructing in Hong Kong and China. After travelling around Asia and Europe he’s settled for now in the beautiful town of Wanaka! With years of experience on some whitewater rivers you know your in safe hands with Joel on your next kayak trip. You’ll mainly find him on the river and anywhere that serves a decent veggie pie.

Cat – Guide

Originally reigns from the coastal city of Dunedin and is an absolute fiend for anything outdoors. This love for adventure and stunning scenery has meant that after years traveling and working all over the world, she has chosen Wanaka as her forever home. Cat has worked as a qualified professional in the outdoor industry for 9 years in a wide variety of roles from technical instruction, personal development, guiding, managing, pastoral care and everything in between. Some of her career highlights include working in The Arctic Circle of Norway as a kayak and husky guide, as well as showing local high school students all the secret local goodies in Mt Aspiring National Park. Kayaking is second nature to her and something she spends more days a year doing than not! You will find her with her bum in a kayak, on her mountain bike, skiing, hanging from a rope or surfing up a storm on the coast.

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