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Melissa McArtney

New Zealand and Nepal Guide

Mel was born in Christchurch and guides for us in both New Zealand and Nepal. It takes a special character to face the challenges of leading trips 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
  • “Extreme patience - never flinches in the face of tour group needs that must get tiresome at some point. :) Just like Kate, we felt like Mel was just one of us except that when needed she had all the answers or required guidance. Seemed totally focused on making sure our trip was great.”
    Paul Markworth (Hillsboro, Oregon, United States) Tui Mar 6 2016
  • “Mel was great. She did a great job with the food and the big meals she made were excellent. Mel was low key and funny at the same time and it was a pleasure being in her company. She was knowledgeable about New Zealand and would often provide tid-bits of information about the geology, birds, history, etc. She also remembered little things about us individually which you would realize when she would bring you something that you didn't even asked for but she may have overheard you say something about it. For example; there was no water bottle cage on my bike and I asked her to hold my water bottle. A little while later, when we made a stop, she found a cage (I don't know where) and put it on my bike. Mel and Dani worked really hard ALL day and night to make us comfortable in every way.”
    Patty King (White Plains, New York, United States) Rimu Dec 5 2016
  • “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?

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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