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Ken Dixon

New Zealand Guide

Ken has been guiding Active Adventures in New Zealand for almost ten years now and is part of the furniture round here. He gets wonderful feedback from his clients and never fails to ensure his groups have the best possible experience. He is passionate about New Zealand, loves getting to know people and will ensure your trip is everything you want it to be and more.

Ken-BBQ-for-bio

Testimonials

  • “Ken is the best. He has ruined me for any future guided trips. He has boundless, positive energy. His laugh is a beautiful sound. He always makes you feel valued, and he makes you feel that you can achieve anything. Informative, encouraging, and constantly working to make sure you have a good trip. I feel so fortunate to have met him and to have had him as a guide.”
    Tanya Karimi (Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States) Rimu Feb 6 2017
  • You don't provide a high enough rating scale for Ken. He is probably one of the most remarkable guides, and finest human beings, I have ever met. His enthusiasm, zest for life, commitment to ensuring we had the best experience and overall sense of humor sets a bar that I doubt can ever be matched. I would book another trip with Active just because he was guiding. Cant say enough about Ken. He is a life changer.
    Chelle Porper (Swampscott, Massachusetts, United States) Rimu Feb 6 2017
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  • “I think that what made our trip so special were our guides. Ken provided leadership to the group in a way that made us feel like he was leading us in an adventure verses being our tour guide. He was knowledgeable of the places we went, the history, culture and all that, but also he helped us prepare to get the most of of each place we went. He carried his sense of humor with him and demonstrated extreme patients with all of us. We weren't a difficult group and I think we weren't a difficult group because it seemed that AA did a good job matching the participants together and dividing us up between the northbound and southbound trips. Ken paid close attention to everyone on the trip. He understood our level of fitness, capabilities and adjusted the plans along the way so that we as a group would get the most out of each experience. Ken and Elder worked really well together. They complimented each other and made a great team.”
    Mini Conway (Poolesville, Maryland, United States), Brian Conway (Poolesville, Maryland, United States)Rimu Dec 19 2016
  • “We've had probably a dozen+ guides so far travelling. Ken is the best by a long way. I wish we could ask for him specifically on future trips”
    Zena El Farra (London, , United Kingdom)Rimu Feb 6 2017
  • “Ken has set the bar very high for anyone to follow in his steps. He was such a positive, outgoing person. Making sure that everyone was having an excellent time. His laugh was contagious and his enthusiasm non stop.”
    Sandra Nicolaisen (Edson, Alberta, Canada) October, 2010
  • “Exactly what you want in a professional seasoned guide. Rare skill in being always laughing while rounding everyone up. Not a hint of commanding or school teacher type control. Always got the job done without any apparent effort (but it had to be massive!)”
    Jim Mills Jr. (Haslett, Michigan, United States) March, 2010
  • “I can't speak highly enough of Ken, he is the best tour guide I have had, honestly. He has done so much, he could run up the mountain if he wanted, but he had so much time for everyone and acknowledged everyone's strengths and weaknesses. He was very organised, had a great sense of humour, and it was great listening to his stories.”
    Leon Gammon (Perth, Western Australia, Australia) March, 2010
  • “Ken was a powerhouse. I don't know where he gets all that energy. Probably the best guide I've ever had. He went far beyond what was expected.”
    Bob Warden (Hamilton, Ohio, USA) February, 2010
  • “Ken was hands-down the most awesome guide ever! His knowledge, sense of humor, caring, comfort, flexibility, personality, and energy were just inspiring and ensured the trip of a lifetime. We really felt as if we'd won the lottery by getting him as our guide!”
    Lauren Edelstein (New York, New York, USA) November, 2009
  • “I've done many guided trips like this but never with someone as fun and knowledgable as Ken. He made the trip special.”
    Stuart Montgomery (Jupiter, Florida, USA) November, 2009
  • “Ken has a talent for inpiring people to have more fun. He was attentative, professional and genuinely enthusiastic. His laughter was infectious and his good nature set the tone for the trip.”
    Jean Prado (Oceanside, New York, USA) October, 2009
  • “I can't say enough good things about Ken. He brought the best out of everyone in the group and we all got along and enjoyed each other's company. Meanwhile, he encouraged us to keep pushing our limits. I felt safe when Ken was in sight either crawling into caves or hiking on slippery rocks.”
    Julia Chin (New York, New York, USA) September, 2009
  • “Ken was FANTASTIC, incredibly knowledgable, always making sure that everyone was involved and having fun and willing to help all the time. Ken put up with hundreds of questions being asked of him daily, his patience was unbelievable on some of the walks when a few of the travelers needed to take it slower (for example taking over 10-1/2 hours to walk up the Copland track with three of the clients and still smiling and helping out when he got to the top). I call Ken the fearless energizer bunny, he keeps going and going. Ken got along with everyone and spent time getting to know all the participants. Ken was also very flexible allowing us to add our own twists to the adventure.”
    Sarah Noorden (Unionville, Ontario, Canada) September, 2009
  • “Ken is hands down one of the best guides I've ever had. That's saying a lot because I've done quite a few guided tours. Ken took extra good care of us and his enthusiasm kept us moving through every adventure.”
    Paul Padia (San Francisco, California, United States) January, 2009
  • “Ken made this trip even more special. His enthusiasm and endless energy was transferred to all of us and gave us the extra kick to climb up the next hill, paddle an extra km or bike for another half an hour with headwind.”
    Matthias Bardorf (Wuerzburg, Germany) December, 2008
  • “Ken was amazing. He taught me so much about New Zealand and was so helpful in every little aspect. I was glad I had a guide with so much experience.”
    Peggy Huang (CA, United States) August, 2007
  • “Ken can write a book titled "How to be a GREAT guide." His informative facts during our hikes and bus rides were great! Very easy to talk to and more than happy to answer any question.”
    Alex Velasquez (IN, United States) July, 2007
  • “Ken was "quite amazing"! Having Ken as our Lead Guide made a "great" trip into a "super great" one. I cannot say enough good things about Ken.”
    Joaquin Sanchez (NM,United States) February, 2007
  • “Ken was great! He had never-ending enthusiasm for every activity. He was constantly telling us how "gorgeous and fantastic" the next activity would be. I loved his laugh, too. He was great at offering me alternative ideas when parts of the trip were too strenous - Hooker Valley at Mt Cook and the floatation pod in Queenstown, rather than some extreme activity. I learned a lot from him and wish him all the best!”
    Laura Ford (GA, United States) March, 2007
  • “Ken really did ensure that we had an awesome trip! His enthusiasm and passion were contagious! He is very knowledgeable about not only the history, of New Zealand, but the geology and local goings on as well. He was absolutely a pleasure to be around!”
    Bruce Flanagan (MD,United States) March, 2007
  • “I could not imagine the trip without Ken! He was great and went out of his way to ensure we were happy, well fed and taken care of. Provided history of NZ that was very interesting. He came every morning with a smile on his face ready to show us new and exciting things.”
    Amy Spieker (TX, United States) October, 2006
  • “Ken in his own subtle way challenged us to get the most out of every activity”
    Robert King (VIC, Australia) March, 2005
  • “Ken did a wonderful job. Made sure everyone's wishes were met if possible.”
    Celeste Breen (IL, United States) February, 2005
  • “Ken was BEYOND what my expectations were! He made my trip SO worth everything. His knowledge was incredible, his humor was fun, and his kindness exceeded both of those things. FUN guide. Wouldn't trade him for ANYTHING. He made sure the trip was perfect for us.”
    Kelli Musselman (GA, United States) November, 2004

Trip Reviews

  4.52 out of 5 (from 4872 reviews)

Trip of a Lifetime!

I am still basking in the glow from this remarkable trip! I admit that I was a bit nervous at first as I was the oldest person in our group and not as fit (for hiking) as some in the group, so I worried about 'keeping up' on the hikes - especially the steeper climbs. Ben and Lauren were very reassuring and encouraging and I felt that I was able to 'hold my own'. In fact, while the hiking was probably the most challenging I've done in at least 7 years, it was the most rewarding/exhilarating part for me. I loved our group - a very positive, health-conscious and fun group of people from all walks of life. It was also wonderful that we were only 12 people - it helped to create a much more intimate and personal atmosphere. I felt we bonded together well - again, thanks to Ben and Lauren's great skills with ice-breaking, fun games, and ability to set and maintain a positive atmosphere from the beginning.
From the moment we set off from the airport to the emotional farewells back at the airport at the end of the trip, this was a top notch adventure. Our transportation was comfortable, our accommodations were always different and unique and very comfortable - I loved that they weren't all in your standard hotel and that some of them were really off the beaten track. The food was amazing - from the snack basket in the van, loaded fresh every day with fruit and other snacks, to the amazing meals that Lauren and Ben created and the breakfasts and dinners that we had at various restaurants - there was a lot of variety, special dietary considerations were accounted for and there was lots of it!
I did the kayak option and it was outstanding. The B&B and our hosts were wonderful (the hot tub at the end of the day was most appealing!) and our kayak guide, Nick was terrific - very accommodating, skilled and he made it all very interesting and fun!
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 island - I loved listening to the legends/folklore and learning more about the vegetation, birds, etc. Ben was a terrific driver - I always felt safe. Lauren was terrific with her cooking and meal presentations - meals looked fantastic and tasted even better! Both Ben and Lauren added those special touches from decorating the bus for the Christmas season, organizing our Secret Santa, making a fantastic Christmas morning breakfast, complete with Christmas crackers and special hats, 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 either in our accommodations or on a hike/kayak. They even had the perfect music for when we went through the Homer Tunnel and down into Milford Sound - the combination of the music and the scenery was so moving it had several of us in tears! They really ensured that they got to know each person and took a genuine interest in each person. Their positive energy and enthusiasm was infectious. They took kindness and customer service to a new level! The scenery was breathtaking everywhere we went. It would be hard for me to say what the favourite part was or favourite view as the South Island is simply spectacular. I felt that the trip was organized in such a way that I really got a good feel and appreciation for the South Island. Truly New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places (both 'inside and out') that I have ever visited (and I've visited over 20 other countries around the world). I really loved the more laid-back way of life and the local people we met were so welcoming and kind. I would love to come back again and see the North Island but also re-visit the South Island!
I highly recommend this trip and have already suggested it to a number of my friends. It really was transformational for me on so many levels! My heartfelt thanks to Ben and Lauren and everyone at Active Adventures!
Sue Hazell Review Image
– Ontario, Canada
Rimu, January 2018
Read Reviews

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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