Another of our famous Dans…
|Warming up on an Active New Zealand Weka trip!|
Right, so this winter you’re driving for Top Deck, slightly different from your summer job guiding with Active. Are you still going to some cool places?
For sure. I still get to visit many of the great places we visit with Active, but I also get to spend a couple of weeks each month up on the North Island, which I really enjoy as this is where I am from. The target age group for Topdeck is 18 to 30 somethings, which differs a bit from Active clients and it’s more of a coach tour than an active holiday, but I have plenty of room on the bus for my skis and my bike so I still get time to play in the outdoors as well.
How did ‘Duck’ come around? Is this a nickname that everyone uses?
It actually started on our training trip with Active NZ, while we were hiking in Nelson Lakes National Park in some pretty rough weather. While some of the others tried dodging puddles along the track, I just went straight through them knowing that we were all going to get soaked to the skin anyway so one of the other guides started to call me ‘Dan the Duck’. There are a couple of other Dans at Active so the name pretty much stuck straight away. Since then I have been introduced to a lot of people as ‘Duck’ and now there are some who don’t even know that my name is Dan!
I’ve asked a few people this: Marmite or Vegemite on your toast?
|High up in the Nelson Lakes National Park|
Best comedy movie of all time?
Anchor Man… Ron Burgandy is a legend.
When did you join the Active family?
What’s in your garage, if you have one?
I don’t have my own garage so my car lives in my parent’s driveway and their garage cupboards are full of my stuff —
from ski/snowboard and telemark gear to rock climbing and mountaineering gear. Not to forget my mountain bike, which also lives there when I don’t have it out somewhere around the country.
Everybody has a favourite Fergburger here in Queenstown, what’s yours?
I keep it simple and usually just go for a Ferg with cheddar cheese.
What’s the best thing about your job as an Active guide?
I am very proud to be able to guide in New Zealand. I spent several years guiding in the outdoors overseas, but I really love being able share my own country, my own mountains, lakes, rivers, stories, culture and history with other travellers. I take great pleasure in having the opportunity to present so much of what New Zealand has to offer to other people, and the joy that I see in people’s faces when they experience New Zealand makes my job all the more worthwhile.
What is your absolute, number one, favourite place in NZ?
Fiordland National Park. To narrow that down a bit I would have to say Doubtful Sound. Although I often say that Milford Sound is my favourite place that I can drive to.
|Dan T in Patagonia, as a guest on our Active South America Condor trip|
Do you have any exotic stamps in your passport?
That depends what you consider exotic? I have a Russian visa in there from years ago, as well as China, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand from a 10-week climbing expedition I went on in 2009. My most recent stamps are from Peru, Chile, and Argentina, from my travels late last year (including trips with Active South America).
“Outstanding! Dan was a great trip leader, always gave us the right amount of information at the right time. He set a perfect hiking pace… slower than I might have done on my own, but it helped me conserve energy and really enjoy the hike tremendously. I had a lot of confidence in his know-how and expertise in the outdoors and in guiding. He was extremely attentive to everyone’s needs, had a keen “radar”, i.e. always monitoring how folks were doing. Very upbeat, enthusiastic, and a great sense of humor. Really felt very lucky to be having him lead our group.”
– Alice Howard, Feb 6th 2012
|Everybody deserves a hero shot – here’s Dan getting his powder fix!|