Walker crossing the Kohaihai River swingbridge on the West Coast

A Guide's Perspective - Wild West Coast Trails

At the end of March this year, I was lucky to be given the opportunity to guide 18 guests on a brand new MoaTours trip, the Karamea & Wild West Coast Trails 7 day tour. In late March with a merry band of travellers we set off on our adventure to explore the northern end of the South Island's West Coast. I'm Andrew Wells, a Kiwi Guide with MoaTours and here is my perspective on this tour, from the point of view of the guide. 

Find out more about the Karamea & Wild West Coast Trails tour here.

A personal journey of discovery for the guide

I was very excited, and a little nervous, to guide this tour for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, family connections. Like many European New Zealanders I have family connections to the West Coast and thanks to my mother’s pre-internet genealogy research there was one family member I was particularly interested in on this trip, but more on that later. Having guided many quick trips through the Coast over the last few years, this time round with 6 nights to really go off the beaten track was going to be a real treat.

Secondly (and the reason I was a little nervous), all but one of the guests on the trip would be New Zealanders discovering their own country. From talking to other MoaTours guides I knew that we would have people with their own experiences and connections to the area, something we don’t usually have when we’re guiding overseas visitors. But I also knew this meant I would have to do a bit of extra homework, the normal commentary topics and talking points would be standard knowledge for these guests, many of them would know a lot more than me! Again, on the advice of some of our most experienced guides Matt and Em, I dug deep into some stories of the Coast that I didn’t know much about - the “Great Journey” of Thomas Brunner and his guide Kehu, I read the Denniston Rose to learn about life on “the Hill” at Denniston and of course revisited the Luminaries which is set in and around Hokitika and many of the places we would be exploring.

This was a real chance to dive much deeper into the stories and history of an area visited on a trip than we usually got the chance to.

So ended our wonderful Wild West Coast Trail, with all of us back home now we’ve heard from a few people on the trip and seen the photos and are exchanging some fond memories of the times we had.

For me, as the lucky guide, I’d just like to say how grateful we were for the clear skies clear but most of all thanks our wonderful guests on this trip, who made it all so special and were such a happy and positive bunch every single day. After many years guiding around our beautiful country what I love most about doing this is the people we meet as guides who make it a privilege to do this, so thanks to you all again.

He aha te mea nui o te Ao, he Tangata, he Tangata, he Tangata.

Here are all our trip pictures on Facebook and you can see more about the Karamea & Wild West Coast Trails 7 day tour here.

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