James Stephens

New Zealand Guide

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Timaru, and spent my first five years in Twizel (town of trees!), then move to Geraldine where my parents still live.

What are you hobbies?

I've been really enjoying building my own campervans. I'm on to my second one for the year and can't wait to finish it so I can travel around New Zealand in it!

What did you do before you became a guide?

I've just recently come back from spending a couple of years living in New York City in Brooklyn. I spent most of my time bartending while I was over there. I've also travelled South America,South East Asia, Jamaica, Canada and Australia.

Describe a life experience that has shaped you today?

I'd probably have to say living in New York. I met so many people from so many different backgrounds and cultures who I would never have met otherwise.

James Stephens optimised

Testimonials

“James was awesome! He clearly knows the route and many details for stops along our route. Everyone commented that even the smallest stops were camera worthy. He also did a remarkable job engaging every single different personality on the trip. James was part of what made the trip unforgettable. ”
- Melissa Reyes (Austin, Texas, United States), Jody Reyes (Austin, Texas, United States), Tui March 2018

“Couldn't fault him - enthusiastic, informative, accomodating, funny......”
- Babs Flower (Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom), Rimu September 2018

“He was great at reading people- knowing when they needed to be pushed or encouraged, always with a smile. Extremely genuine and down to earth, fun-loving, hilarious, and punctual. Did an amazing job with time management- making sure everybody stayed on shedule while always allowing plenty of time for everything. I never felt rushed. James really has a knack for reading people, understanding where they are at, and meeting them on their level.”
- Tiffany Dawson (Novato, California, United States), Rimu December 2017

 

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16217 reviews)

    Smorgasbord.

    A great way to explore the North Island and get a taste of different activities.
    Ineke van Hasselt Review Image
    – British Columbia, Canada
    Kauri, May 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16217 reviews)

    Tui Trip

    As seasoned travelers we know what makes a great trip. Our guides Nick and Mel were over the top with all aspects of the trip. From the minute of our pickup to our improvised departure, through cyclone Gita we never missed a beat. Wouldn’t change a thing. A true trip of a life time.
    Kelly Zeiler Review Image
    – Montana, United States
    Tui, March 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16217 reviews)

    Excellent Trip

    If you like outdoor activities this is your dream trip. The itinerary is very well planned. The scenery and landscapes are beautiful. Our guides Tia and Alex are fabulous. They are youthful, caring, knowledgeable, and extremely professional. Their hardwork made the entire trip smooth and enjoyable. Everyday is packed with interesting and exciting outdoor activities: multi-day hiking in Nelson Lake NP, kayaking in Milford Sound, biking along the shore of Wanaka Lake, and day hiking the Routeburn, Kepler, Sealy Tarns, Hooker Valley and many other beautiful short tracks in various NPs of the South Island. The group mates are very friendly and fun and the small group size made it easy to socialize. In addition, the food is healthy and very delicious. Thanks to every member of the group, in particular our great guides Tia and Alex, it is your care, warmth, encouragement, and tolerance that made this trip truly unforgettable.
    Siyuan Han Review Image
    – Kansas, United States
    Rimu, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16217 reviews)

    Kauri

    What an amazing introduction to the North Island. Every day was unique - starting with the hiking and boogie boarding on the sand dunes to seeing a kiwi released was exceptional. Walking through the rain forest and seeing the phenomenal kauri trees are memories we will treasure forever!
    Ben Thorlakson Review Image
    – Alberta, Canada
    Kauri, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16217 reviews)

    Outstanding Trip!!

    This trip was especially great because of our guides, Ben and Emma. I cannot say enough good things about those two. They were extremely patient, energetic, and very sincere.
    The trip has a wide variety of activities that allowed us to see and experience most of the South Island, keeping us away from the more congested tourist hangouts. I really felt like we saw the true South Island and not just the tourist trap attractions.
    The only reason I have not given it a 5 star rating is because my wife and I are very active and do very challenging trips that most people would never want to take on. It was not a trip of a lifetime for me only because of that. Take "trip of a lifetime" away from the 5 stars and just have excellent and I would mark that. Excellent trip!!!!
    Dave Mastolier Review Image
    – Alaska, United States
    Rimu, December 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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