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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


  • “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
  • “We hit a home run with the Mel - DK team. I can't believe you have anyone who can top Mel in the cooking department. I don't know how she pulls off those amazing meals and makes it look so effortless along with participating in all the activities. I was exhausted for her. I never picnicked in such style by lakes and streams. She remembered all our little nuances and likes and dislikes as did DK. Everyones coffee, tea etc would be just how they liked it in the morning and little extras i.e.: chocolate and crumpets for me. She has such a great personality and sense of humor, we so enjoyed her company too. With such a small number of people in our group the guides were such a huge part of our people experience. Just can't say enough about how special they were.”
    Nan Davison (Boothbay, Maine, United States), February 2014
  • “Mel was a super co-guide. Looked after us very well in many ways in terms of hiking, accommodations and food. I really enjoyed her spirit and competence. So glad that she was with us!”
    Rick Siedband (St. Louis Park, Minnesota, United States), January 2014
  • “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

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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