Guided Small Group Tours of New Zealand

Canterbury Trails Guides


New Zealand Tour Guides at Canterbury Trails

The most important asset of Canterbury Trails are the people who work for the company. All our guides are well travelled with a good understanding of cultures, world issues and current affairs. They take pride in surpassing the standards that have been set; in terms of passenger comfort & safety, their driving skills, route knowledge and tour management. All are passionate and knowledgeable about New Zealand, are considerate and display a high level of service and integrity. Our guides provide a full commentary in the vehicle as well as interpretation when on guided walks.

Current Guides:

Irene Hayward ireneAs co-owner of Canterbury Trails Irene is thoroughly enjoying taking on a new role as guide. Born in Christchurch but brought up on Banks Peninsula Irene looks forward to guiding in and around Akaroa. With her farming background and stories of growing up in “the bays” she will inform and entertain.
Irene has travelled extensively from living and working in the UK during her “OE” (Overseas Experience) in her early 20’s, back packing through the Middle East, and more recently sailing from New Zealand to Europe and back. She has a daughter and son in law and son who live and work in Christchurch. Now land based and responsible for two aging racehorses, and a Chesapeake Bay retriever called Jib, she looks forward meeting people who are also passionate about travelling and broadening their horizons. Irene’s hobbies and interests include reading, painting, yoga, squash and of course sailing.



Chris Plattchris Co-owner of Canterbury Trails and an engineer by trade Chris has also embraced becoming a guide for the company. Born and raised in Christchurch Chris has become our “Arthur’s Pass “guide. Chris enjoys the walks the tour has to offer as well the chance to get away from the city and into the mountains for the day. Chris’s engineering background gives him the knowledge for maintaining Canterbury Trails fleet of 4WD vehicles to a high standard.
Chris has previously raced Jet boats and Rally cars and sailing both racing and cruising has been a large part of Chris’s life.
Sailing around the world with Irene  (the sailing , not Irene) has been a life changing experience; it was an opportunity to visit so many different countries, experiencing alternative cultures and to lean their histories.
Chris’s hobbies centre mainly on fixing things and the enjoyment of the problem solving that goes hand in hand with that. Add to that the” joy” of owning a 5 acre lifestyle block with two aging racehorses and of course the dog.



Tia AreliIMG_2167 Tia was born in Christchurch and moved to the small West Coast town of Hokitika at the age of 9, this is where her love of the outdoors began. Her mother is a school teacher and a bilingual Maori teacher, her father is from Samoa and a wood turner which has made her very culturally aware. She has been managing and working in hospitality for almost 20years, is finishing diplomas in Reflexology and Nutrition. She loves meeting new people, traveling, spending time with her family and friends, creating, yoga, going to the gym for a work out, being outdoors whether it’s by a beach or in a forest, learning and sharing new experiences. You can take the girl out of the Coast, but you can’t take the Coast out of the girl.



Fiona Eunson Fiona has lived in Canterbury most of her life with the exception of early years spent in rural Southland. She joined Canterbury Trails as a guide in 2016 after a career in local government. Having lived, worked or travelled in parts of the UK, Europe, Asia and the Americas Fiona loves the opportunity guiding provides to introduce visitors to NZ’s unique natural environment, share travel experiences with like minded travellers and return the hospitality extended to her when visiting other countries



Mandy-MitchellMandy Mitchell Mandy (or Amanda if she’s in trouble) was born and raised on an arable and dairy farm in Southern England. She met her kiwi veterinarian husband in Newmarket England where she was working as a horse nutritionist. A love of horses and horse racing took them to Hong Kong and then on to a short stint in Qatar before settling in New Zealand with their two boys. Mandy has worked in recruitment and hospitality, and now runs a small wine business. She is passionate about local artisan food, wine and beer. Her happy place is trail running in the spectacular playground of the South Island.




Hugh Flaus Hugh lives in Akaroa and has been in the Canterbury area all his life. He spent 40 years in the photographic industry. Some as a photographer and also in the importing and distribution of photographic and optical equipment. This career took him all over the South Island of New Zealand. His interests cover many outdoor pursuits. Such as Trout and ocean fishing. Recreational hunting. Spear fishing and Golf at the beautiful Akaroa golf course.
He really enjoys getting off the beaten track and sharing our beautiful country with like minded people.




Viki Moore Viki was brought up in Canterbury and spent many years working in the Travel Industry and more recently – politics. She is passionate about exploring our beautiful country and ensuring that visitors all have a wonderful time during their stay in New Zealand. She is a keen sailor, photographer, and writes a sailing blog. She runs the office, manages all the bookings, marketing and operations.




Dave Sandford  Dave was born and has lived in Christchurch New Zealand for most of his life. He has a great love of the outdoors and has spent much of his years exploring the South Island participating in various outdoor activities and multi-sport races. You name it, Dave has probably tried it, from Coast to Coast races, paragliding and hangliding, to fly fishing, diving and skiing, tramping and surfing. Being a keen traveller, he has spent time in Europe the UK and the USA, Australia and the Pacific, pursuing adventure. He has worked for many years in the travel industry as Crew for Air New Zealand and in IT as a Reporting analyst for Telecom NZ. His hobbies also include painting and making beautiful jewellery.

“I love New Zealand and especially the uniqueness of the South Island. My passion is experiencing it while sharing it with others”.





Stuart Johnston Originally from Southland Stuart completed his education in Christchurch.  His early career was in Tourism and hospitality in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom returning to New Zealand to pursue a career in management within professional services. Tramping and day walks are a passion for him, as is road cycling.  Through guiding he wishes to share the unique New Zealand landscape and people with visitors to create memorable and lasting experiences for them.














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