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Our Guiding Team     ( 24 June, 2017 )

On a Walking Legends trip you’ll find yourself hiking through some of the most beautiful places on earth with like minded people, but it’s a guide that can make or break your trip, so we’re pretty careful about who we accept in our guiding team, and we’ve turned away some pretty good people who’ve been keen to work with us over the years. But “pretty good” won’t cut it for us, so you can rest assured that your hiking trip with us is led by an amazing group of characters who are experienced, fun, knowledgeable, passionate and capable. Not to mention great cooks!

Sam Roil

Sam - guiding with a bit of comfort!

Sam - guides in comfort & style!

I really like Waikaremoana because it feels like one of the last places where civilisation/technology hasn't reached yet. I also like hanging out in huts which is lucky because I am very good at it and do it a lot. My most vivid memory is of when we went kayaking down Korokoro stream after a healthy rainfall. The lake came up a metre!

When I’m not guiding for Walking Legends you’ll probably find me watching swell maps in the forlorn hope that we will get surf here in the Bay of Plenty and trawling websites trying to find parts for my as yet un-built mountain bike...

Jamie Garrod

Jamie and new WL vehicle

Jamie and new WL vehicle

I love tramping because of all of the amazing places that it can get you, and being a guide for Walking Legends is like a dream come true for me. 

Waikaremoana is like a second home to me, and it never ceases to amaze me by how beautiful the place is. Every corner I go around I want to take another photo even though I have done the track 60+ times! Along with its beauty there is a lot of natural and cultural history that I just can't get enough of - there is always something else to learn!

When I'm not "at work" I do a lot of white water kayaking and mountain biking, but I'm very lucky because whether I'm out with a group at Waikaremoana or Tongariro National Park every day is packed with adventure.

I love it when I'm just chilling with a group whether it be on top of a mountain, in some hot pools, or on the side of the lake and people say to me, "and you call this work!"

Nigel Murray

Nigel, when short shorts were cool

Nigel, when short shorts were cool

I LOVE tramping. Almost anyone can do it , and in NZ there is almost nowhere that doesn’t have a track nearby.  I especially love Lake Waikaremoana. The mixture of lake and bush make it unique! Where else can you tramp all day then catch a trout at the end of the day??!  When I’m not guiding or driving the boat for Walking Legends you’ll find me camping, fishing, exploring areas in my little boat, traveling or doing a bit of DIY around my house.

On one of my first trips for Walking Legends I had a Canadian family - 2 young boys and Mum and Dad. They were a lot of fun. The parents were both Doctors and had decided to take a year off and travel the world. I really admired their decision to show the boys the world, and not spend the time in hotels and theme parks, instead they choose to see the real NZ, which is what I reckon Waikaremoana is!

Kristy Deadman

Kristy, at home in the Tongariro mountains

Kristy, at home in the Tongariro mountains

Kia Ora, My name is Kristy Deadman I have been guiding in the Tongariro National Park for 7 years now.  Not only do I guide the tracks but I play in every other area in the park and surrounding areas.  As a keen pig hunter and snow boarder this is the ideal place to be. My Maori ancestors are all from this area so I have a very close affiliation to the Maunga (mountain), and pass this through to the walkers on every trip so they receive not only spectacular sights but a trip full of local legends and history.  

My most memorable trip was the first time I ever did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.  It was a sunrise trip so I didn’t see any of the views until we got to the top and watched the sun rise from behind the Kaimanawa Ranges.  I asked myself then, “Why have I never been up here before?” 7 years later and I’m still here and loving it more and more everyday.

Brad Taylor

Brad - wooing the wild horses in Ruatahuna!

Brad - wooing the wild horses in Ruatahuna!

Brad has been a Walking Legends guide for 6 years, and has probably walked around Lake Waikaremoana more than any other human being!.....well pretty close.  A well-seasoned hiker, he lists his most memorable hiking experience as climbing Mt. Katahdin in Maine, USA in 2003. He did his adventure tourism training in Rotorua which included ice-climbing on Mt. Ruapehu and white-water rafting every raftable river in the Bay.

Brad is also an accomplished musician. He has produced two CD’s under the name Redwood Trail, is working on a third, and often takes his guitar on trips. He also enjoys a classic 80’s high five.

Rob Franklin

Rob guiding

Rob on the Waikaremoana Great Walk

Aside from being amongst awesome scenery every day I think the best thing about being a tramping guide is being away from the stress of the modern world.  Out on the track life slows down several beats to the point where you can get some time to have a chat, play some cards, take time to think and smell the proverbial flowers. Guiding sometimes feels like a stark difference to my other life with two young kids, and perpetual office work.

I’ll never forget the trip where we had an 84 year old bloke we took around Lake Waikaremoana. He smiled the whole way and thanked me about every km of the 46 km track. I always think of him as an example of perseverance and remember him when I'm feeling tired. He also cleaned up at cards!

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