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Ben Watkins

New Zealand Guide

Ben was born in the UK but has lived all his life in New Zealand - he grew up in a small South Island town called Temuka. When he's not guiding our guests around New Zealand on adventures of a lifetime, you'll find him surfing, diving, snowboarding, or mountain biking. He also tells us 'the banana dance' is one of his talents - we'll let you ask him what exactly the banana dance is.....!

What has been your greatest outdoor adventure?

There's been so many to reflect on, but one that comes to mind is a 10 day expedition into Marlborough Sounds, lots of swimming, hiking, mountain biking, and sea kayaking. I loved seeing a whole new beauty to Aotearoa and its flora and fauna. Great times with great people.

What did you do before you became a guide?

Before I started working for Active Adventures I was an adventure cave guide in Waitomo for 5 years, showing people around the caves and talking about the glowworms. Prior to that I was a rescue guide at adrenaline forest.

So you have studied beyond school..... What did you study?

I studied for 2 years to get my Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Management.

Do you have a favourite quote?

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" - Neale Donald Walsch.

Ben optimized


  • "I cannot say enough about our incredible guides - Ben and Lauren - they truly moved the bar for me from a great trip to one that will go down in history for me as the trip of a lifetime. They were so knowledgeable about the South Island. Ben was a terrific driver - I always felt safe. Both Ben and Lauren added those special touches from decorating the bus for the Christmas season, to organizing our secret santa, making a fantastic Christmas morning breakfast, and managing extra logistics like re-booking the paragliding for us, setting up the helicopter tour, taking the time and effort to help reconnect people with items they had left behind in accommodations or on their kayak. They really ensured that they got to know each person and took a genuine interest in each of us. They took kindness and customer service to a new level! This trip really was transformational for me on so many levels! My heartfelt thanks to Ben and Lauren and everyone at Active Adventures!"
    Sue Hazell (Ontario, Canada) December 2017
  • "I can't say enough good things about our guides Ben and Liana. They were enthusiastic about everything we did and full of information. They helped us push limits and get the most out of the experiences we had."
    Chris Busch (Pennsylvania, USA) November 2017

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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