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Rachael McKay

New Zealand Guide

Rachael is from Ashburton on the East Coast of the South Island. She studied adventure tourism management, which inspired her to be an outdoors guide, and in turn has shaped how she views the world and her surroundings today. She's an avid snowboarder and kayaker and when she's able to grab a bit of time in town she likes to play tennis and netball. She's been lucky enough to see the endangered Kiwi in broad daylight (very rare!) and has also explored the Abel Tasman National Park, hiking and kayaking for four days. 

Rachael's favourite quote?
“Life is about Challenging Yourself, to take that jump, take that next step, do something different, make new friends, to explore and find a new adventure”.

Be sure to ask her to show you how to do the Tim Tam Slam!


  • “Rachael is a phenomenal guide! She is unbelievably organized, hard working, attentive to detail, and incredibly knowledgeable about the flora and fauna (especially bird life) of NZ. Because I like to learn about what I am hiking past, I often found myself with her and was truly amazed of her knowledge base. She is so passionate about sharing her beautiful country, I couldn't help but fall in love with it as well. I appreciate the knowledge and respect of the Maori culture that was brought into our tour. I also appreciate how much Rachael did prep-wise after dinner and before breakfast each morning. Food just magically appeared and all individually catered (and there seemed to be a LOT of crazy food accommodations on our trip from what I could tell!). As someone who's led trips, I know this doesn't happen without a LOT of work behind the scenes. I really appreciate everything Rachael brought to the team. This was an epic experience because of her hard work, openness, sincere caring, and amazing knowledge base!”
    Chris Gan (Seattle, Washington, United States) Tui Dec 18 2016
  • “Can't say enough about Rachael. A great people person and the patience of a saint with respect to a very difficult participant. She was our walking encyclopedia for all things NZ! Can't beat her upbeat attitude, humor and music selection at all the right times...very fun!”
    Don Sommer (Bellevue, Washington, United States) Rimu Nov 9 2015
  • “Rachael was very knowledgeable about the South Island, it is where she grew up. You can tell she really loves New Zealand and wants to share that love with the people that she meets.”
    Teresa Scott (Altamonte Springs, Florida, United States) November 2014

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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