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Melissa McArtney

New Zealand and Nepal Guide

Mel was born in Christchurch and is our latest recruit to take on guiding in Nepal. Each season we hand-pick a number of promising Kiwi guides and send them over to Nepal for extensive training and ultimately the responsibility to lead our hikers in the Himalayas. Lucky eh! Well actually luck sits a distant second to a 'deserving opportunity'. It takes a special character to handle the challenges faced with leading in a foreign country and Mel certainly ticked all the boxes. Before guiding for Active Adventures Mel spent plenty of time travelling and working overseas. After two years in Europe and the UK she knew it was time to come home and felt a deep sense of duty and pride to show off New Zealand! She credits her desire for adventure and travel to her family who encouraged exploration of the great outdoors from a very young age. 

Favourite hobbies? 
Getting outdoors, biking, running, swimming and sports. Exploring new places! And Cooking :-).

Melissa McArtner and Dan Keys

Testimonials

  • “Mel was a fantastic guide! Mel had a great rapport with all the members of the group and ensured we were all looked after with whatever circumstance arose. Mel cooked amazing food throughout the trip and always ensured we never went hungry. Mel also shared with us her great understanding on NZ culture. Mel was certainly a great personality to have amongst the group.”
    Matthew Hill (The Range, Queensland, Australia), July 2014
  • “Extreme patience - never flinches in the face of tour group needs that must get tiresome at some point. :) Just like Kate, we felt like Mel was just one of us except that when needed she had all the answers or required guidance. Seemed totally focused on making sure our trip was great.”
    Paul Markworth (Hillsboro, Oregon, United States) Tui Mar 6 2016
  • “Mel was great. She did a great job with the food and the big meals she made were excellent. Mel was low key and funny at the same time and it was a pleasure being in her company. She was knowledgeable about New Zealand and would often provide tid-bits of information about the geology, birds, history, etc. She also remembered little things about us individually which you would realize when she would bring you something that you didn't even asked for but she may have overheard you say something about it. For example; there was no water bottle cage on my bike and I asked her to hold my water bottle. A little while later, when we made a stop, she found a cage (I don't know where) and put it on my bike. Mel and Dani worked really hard ALL day and night to make us comfortable in every way.”
    Patty King (White Plains, New York, United States) Rimu Dec 5 2016
  • “I felt like Mel became a friend I was traveling with. She stayed behind and hiked with me when I lagged, never made me feel slow. Great cook. A warm and patient person!”
    Stephanie Hernandez (Wheat Ridge, Colorado, United States), October 2013

Trip Reviews

 4.50 out of 5 (from 14308 reviews)

LEGENDARY

“Travelling to New Zealand has been on my bucket list for nearly half my life, and I'm so glad I spent three weeks there with Active! I was a bit worried going by myself, but it turned out to be the best vacation of my life. They took us to so many spots that I probably would have never seen if I tried to organize everything on my own. It was great to have them feed me, drive me, hike me, and take me to our accommodations at night - not once did I have to worry about anything. The accommodations themselves were so fun and unique, staying in them was a highlight of my trip. Our guides, Kim and Ashleigh, were fantastic young ladies. Ash was an amazing chef and Kim rocked the in-bus narration. I also think we had a phenomenal group of people who clicked very well, and absolutely the best weather one could wish for.

Even when there were a few changes to the itinerary due to road damages, weather issues, or anything else, the guides were on top of it so fast that we barely even noticed there was a problem. We did miss out on snorkeling with the fur seals, and our Franz Josef Heli-Hike was cancelled, but we were still able to see seals and take a helicopter ride to a glacier at another time. No loss whatsoever.

I'm a fairly active person under thirty, who lives in an mountainous region, and I was still challenged by the hikes and activities they provided. I also have bad knees, and was still able to get up and down the more difficult mountains. For those wondering abut the multi-day hike, it's definitely a work-out, but totally worth it! And be sure to invest in a hydration bladder, you'll really appreciate it! If you're looking for an outdoor adventure with lots of activity and fun, this is definitely one of the better ways to explore New Zealand.”
Janine Carbone's Review Image
– New Hampshire, United States
Rimu, April 2017
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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

Everything is Included

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

A Sense of Achievement

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

Small Groups

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

Diverse Experiences

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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