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.
“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 herd 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!
Hailing from the sunny South of England, she followed her lucky stars through Europe, the Americas and Asia, and found herself in little Wanaka. During a coffee detox and out on a run, she stumbled across the Paddle Wanaka beachfront van. ‘Any summer jobs going?’ she asked all sweaty. Four years later, she’s still here. And now Ops Manager. Her passions include water, mountains, kayaks, bikes, skis and ropes, so it’s unsurprising she never left. With a keen interest in all things Wanaka, she’ll help you out in any way she can. You’ll find her down on the lakefront, probably with a coffee in hand. The detox didn’t last long.
Originating from the Southeast of The States, Austin called the Carolina’s home for most of his childhood. Starting as a competitive swimmer, moving into canoeing and kayaking, he then pursued a major in Outdoor Leadership and Experiential Education. New Zealand was never really on his radar but coincidentally turned into the best accident of his life. Calling Wanaka home (mostly because it’s where all his toys are now) he is ready to share his passion of paddle sports and nature with everyone he can. Easy to spot, with his Lorax style moustache, Austin can be found high up on the rocks or kicking up dust on the local mountain bike trails when not in his kayak enjoying the lakes and rivers of the area.
Abby has been kayaking for longer than she can remember. At 13 Abby joined a kayaking club in her town and lowered the average age significantly! From there she started playing kayak polo, and eventually found her way to white-water paddling. She is now a permanent Wanaka resident but is originally a north islander (not that we hold that against her!) Being our resident Wellingtonian Abby is a self-confessed ‘coffee snob’ and when she’s not paddling, you’ll most likely find her coffee in hand on route to go climb rocks or hang upside down on some aerial silks.
Mahi – Enthusiastic support member. Of Hungarian decent, he managed to settle into the Wanaka lifestyle with ease. He is lively, gentle mannered, hugely affectionate & has a wagging tail that could slice the top off a pineapple! You will find him on a Stand Up Paddle Board or closely attached to Bex.