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Ruby Emanuel

New Zealand Guide

Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I grew up in a tiny seaside town in south-eastern Australia, on the border of Wilsons Promontory National Park. My father was a parks ranger and my mother taught physical education so we spent lots of time outdoors and they’re both very passionate about the natural environment. I moved to Melbourne for university and once I graduated I moved around a lot, working in Auckland, Perth, Sydney, Canada and throughout Europe.

What are your hobbies?
I love cooking (especially baking), reading a good book, getting out into nature and hiking. I especially like going on multi-day tramping adventures to stay at backcountry huts.

What has been your greatest outdoor adventure?
Working at a remote fly-in wilderness lodge in the far north of Canada - watching the aurora borealis around the campfire in -45 celcius is something I’ll never forget. We also did plenty of skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing, and went on overnight canoe trips once the lake unfroze. There was also a First Nations university in residence - we were able to join some of the classes and learnt some awesome outdoor skills.

What did you do before you became a guide?
After graduating from university I worked as a financial analyst in corporate restructuring for a few years before moving to Canada to pursue a more outdoors-based lifestyle. I have worked in a number of tourism roles over the past few years throughout Canada and Europe, mainly in remote environments. When I’m not working for Active I work at a hike-in teahouse near Lake Louise in Canada. It’s very rustic, without electricity or running water, but living in such a pristine natural environment is an amazing privilege.

Describe a life experience that has shaped you today?
In 2016 I left my corporate job in Australia to spend a month walking the Camino de Santiago, an 800km historic pilgrimage route across the north of Spain. I met some amazing people, enjoyed the beautiful scenery, and the food and wine was pretty amazing too! I have since walked two other Camino routes in 2017 and 2018 and would one day like to open my own hostel/kitchen on the Camino.

Have you studied beyond school? If so in what?
I completed an Arts/Commerce degree at the University of Melbourne, became a chartered accountant and worked as a financial analyst until 2016 when I left office life to go travelling and never went back!

ruby e


“Ah.. the Kitchen and Logistics Goddess! Ruby was such a delight, and her positive attitude quite infectious. I loved the music playlists she would put on during long van rides, and watching her learn how to throw a frisbee with Nick, as well.”
- Maggie Hopffgarten (Palisade, Colorado, United States), Rimu October 2018

“I still can't believe our Rimu was only Ruby's 2nd Active Adventures' trip because she was professional, organized, energetic and - I've written about this already - an amazing cook and meal planner. Case in point: on one of our last 2 dinners, after almost 2 weeks on the road, she remembered I don't like asparagus and served me string beans instead. How awesome is that?!! Plus, our bus snack basket always had fresh fruit and crunchy bars, etc. And she and Nick told great riddles. Ruby also had suggestions for eating in Queenstown that turned out to be great places. ”
- Marianne Wallace (Monrovia, California, United States), Rimu October 2018

“This was only Ruby’s second trip & she performed like a pro. She & Nick got on great, as if they’d been working together for years. She made a special effort to acknowledge & celebrate my birthday, decorating the bus, putting together a celebration playlist & creating a special dessert, complete with candle :-)”
- Peggy Ensign (Palisade, Colorado, United States), Rimu October 2018

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 reviews)

    Birthday we'll never forget

    We expected a great trip with where we were going, BUT Active Adventures guides (Michele and Rachael) made it that much more special. Their knowledge, expertise and storytelling abilities made it fun and engaging. Accommodations were better than anticipated, they were great.
    An absolute must for those thinking about this type of a trip.
    Liz Clapp Review Image
    – California, United States
    Tui, February 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 reviews)

    Guided Trips are the Way to Go!

    I had been wanting to hike in New Zealand for some time, and finally had enough time off. Trying to figure out the hut system, what to see and how to get around seemed a bit overwhelming. Even moreso since I was traveling solo. Active looked to be a great way to travel without having to stress about the planning, travel, etc. Though I had never traveled like this before, I saw the places I wanted to travel to, and others I would have likely not have found alone. Everyone on the trip was pleasant and easy to talk to, friendly and, like me had a great time. Our guides, Katie and Astrid, really made the trip with their upbeat attitudes, informative revelations on everything we saw, continual answering to our sometimes badgering questions and always being ready to help out.
    Henry Shenk Review Image
    – Louisiana, United States
    Tui, March 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 reviews)

    Amazing Trip

    This trip was amazing - the hikes took us to beautiful vistas, the guides were knowledgeable and fun, and the food was never in short supply ("Food is Fuel!" as one of our guides kept restating).

    Koru and Kim were great guides throughout and everyone had so much fun! I was traveling solo but 2 of the other 4 on my trip were as well, so nobody was ever left out! Having such a small group made the activities much easier to enjoy.

    The hikes, like I mentioned, were truly unbelievable, though somewhat more difficult than I expected. Everything was talked as 'full-on' or by time, but know that NZ hikes are up mountains then back down, so work on hills more than distance before you go! Even some of the small walks we did (Blue Pools, only 5 minutes from the road & the Chasm, 10 minutes from the road) were breathtaking. Kayaking the Milford Sound was another once in a lifetime experience we got to have on this trip.

    The only thing I would have liked (and got jokingly by the end of the trip) were straight communication prior to the hikes about how long they were updates mid-hike about how much longer/further. There was one day with miscommunications leading me to think the hike would be another 3+ hours uphill (nearly inducing panic) but was really only 30 more minutes.

    Overall, I really loved this trip!
    Taylor Ceithaml Review Image
    – California, United States
    Tui, November 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 reviews)


    What a great trip! The scenery exceeded our already-high expectations! And the guides were so good (plus the fact that we would like to see New Zealand in the winter), we are already thinking about our next trip with Active Adventures!
    Ron Clark, III Review Image
    – Virginia, United States
    Weka, February 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 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



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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