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Jo McHugh

New Zealand & Europe Guide

Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I grew up on the Welsh coast; I've been in New Zealand for 5 years now.

Hobbies?
I'm a complete mermaid so I love anything water based (frozen water included!). Surfing is my number one, closely followed by diving and snowboarding.

What’s been your greatest outdoor adventure to date?
Fulfilling my lifelong dream of surfing and snowboarding in the same day, right here in NZ!

What did you do before discovering a passion for guiding?
I'm a bit of a Jack of all trades! From chalet hosting in Italy, to buyer for an Oil and Gas company, to surf inctructor, to diving instructor, I've done all sorts!

Do you have a favourite quote that you live by?
'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the things that you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.'  -Mark Twain.

Have you studied beyond school? If so in what field? 
I have a BA Hons Degree in Italian and Spanish with Business Studies.

Joanna and Andy

Testimonials

“Jo was spectacular from the first day when she met us at the hotel! Her attitude and enthusiasm were infectious!! She would always start the day with a huge smile and an anything is possible attitude. Put together a wonderful breakfast so we had the energy needed for the day. She would always be very patient and encouraging on every adventure we were on. After the morning activity magically a beautiful lunch would appear out of nowhere, and Jo would be grinning like it was no big deal, she does it all the time. Then after a hard day of hiking, rafting or biking she put together a gourmet meal in no time at all. She bent over backwards to make sure that everyone’s needs were being taken care of and that all were happy. Jo is very down to earth, easy going and a pleasure to be around!!! She helped make this an unforgettable once in lifetime experience and I thank her for all she did to make it a very special time for me!!!!”
- Dan Hatch (Reno, Nevada, United States), Kauri February 2018

“How can you not fall in love with Jo? Encouraging, fun, sociable. The guides (on both trips I went on) were part of the highlights of the trip.”
- Janet Pahima (Savion, Israel, Israel), Kauri October 2017

“Jo was fantastic. Very well organized and made sure everything went smoothly with the smaller details like meals and accommodation. She was always very attentive to every member of group and took time to talk to everyone to make sure they were getting what they needed and were having a good time. During one of our longer hikes, Jo arrived at the end with the lead group, than ran back up the trail, all the way to those in the back and carried their backpacks the rest of the way so they could finish the hike. This really stood out to me and showed me how dedicated Jo was to making this trip the best experience to all of the group members. Being 23 and traveling alone, knowing that I had someone like Jo to look after me made all the difference.”
- Cassidy Anderson (West Wardsboro, Vermont, United States), Kauri November 2016

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16021 reviews)

    Outstanding Adventure with the Best Guide Ever!

    The Tortuga trip was phenomenal. From the moment I arrived, my every need was met and all with grace and professionalism. The trip was well planned, we saw and did so many things, from adventures like hiking and biking, snorkeling and kayaking, to learning all about the Galapagos in a way a book will never tell you. What brought everything off the pages of a book, and from the land in front of us was the knowledge and the passion of our guide Pablo. What a treasure he is! He could answer anything, and it was all shared with enthusiasm, passion, caring, love for this land. I felt so honored to have had him as our guide. Thank you! The food was outstanding, the accommodations perfect. I could not fault a single thing!
    Laurie Kelley Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Tortuga, December 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16021 reviews)

    There is no way we could have planned all the adventures we had on this trip. The logistics and coordination efforts were well thought out. Our guide was very knowledgeable and a lot of fun to be with. The accommodations were wonderful, food fit for a king and animals to entertain us at every turn. It truly was a trip to remember!!
    Marianne Denniston Review Image
    – Georgia, United States
    Tortuga, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16021 reviews)

    A Great Eight Days

    My wife, Shanen, and I had a goal of running a marathon on all seven continents and our seventh took place on March 18, in Rotorua, NZ. So two days after completing our goal, we returned to Christchurch and met up with our guides, Hillary and Dan, along with our fellow travelers. As good fortune would have it we all clicked as a group and off we went.

    For the remainder of our journey it was clear that both Hillary and Dan took great joy in what they do. Furthermore, and of great importance to us, they ensured meals had met our vegetarian and vegan needs. We were never made to feel our dietary needs were inconvenient to them and they were handled in such a way that all of us were able to enjoy our group meals.

    The actual adventure was well planned out and the expectations of each day were always explained. Our group was one that started together, made sure all finished and enjoyed the adventure.

    John Edmundson Review Image
    – Arizona, United States
    Tui, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16021 reviews)

    5 day Kauri Trip

    Tongariro Alpine Crossing was the best hike of my life!
    Grace Zheng Review Image
    – Hawaii, United States
    Kauri, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16021 reviews)

    EBC 2017 Trip

    What an amazing experience! There was so much more to the trek than was advertised. The immersion into the Nepali culture was unexpected and a delight. DK and his crew are professionals! They kept us safe and got us across across the finish line. We had a blast while we were doing it. I can not say enough about our porter team too! What a terrific group of men. Whom ever does your hiring should get a raise. Keep up the awesome adventures.
    Jim Lauer Review Image
    – Ohio, United States
    EBC, May 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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