Originally from the Netherlands, Wendy immigrated to New Zealand with her family as a child and is now very much a 'kiwi'. With more than twenty years’ experience in senior management roles in leisure and corporate travel, Wendy is particularly passionate about inspiring positive culture in the workplace. She's a graduate of the University of Canterbury, a previous board member of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand, and a current board member of the Tourism Export Council NZ. At Active Adventures, Wendy leads the talented team to excellence and is super focussed on guest experience, satisfaction and loyalty. An avid runner, Wendy has completed five full marathons and loves to hike, bike and paddle-board with her family in all the beautiful spots around Queenstown.
Kasey was born in Alaska and raised in Billings, Montana. She graduated in 2011 as a Presidential Leadership Scholar at the University of Montana in Missoula with a degree in Education. Growing up in the world of adventure travel, it was only natural for Kasey to jump into the family business. Kasey works full time at Austin Adventures as the President. This allows her to work closely with AA’s U.S. and European guides as well as tour operators worldwide.
EJ has lived most of his life in the Philippines and Australia, but has travelled to over 40 countries across 6 continents around the world, with New Zealand firmly among his top destinations. A highly accomplished professional with a career spanning 16+ years — nearly a decade of which in travel, leisure, and tourism — EJ brings deep expertise in growth marketing, media, ecommerce, digital enablement, and data-led transformation to his role as Chief Growth Officer. The role and company are a perfect fit for EJ, who used to head up a mountaineering organisation in his University days, and is an adrenaline junkie who has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane 10 times in pursuit of a skydiving licence, and tries to squeeze in a bungy jump with every visit to Queenstown.
Tracy called Wellington home for over 30 years. After 20 years of holidaying there, the lure of Queenstown finally saw her join the Active team in 2022. Given her role, it's lucky Tracy is excellent with numbers, accounting and puzzles. She has over 25 years’ experience in accounting across many industries. Her cocktail-making and baking skills are also appreciated by the team.
Living in Singapore with her family was the start of her love for travel. Some memorable experiences have been getting stitches while camping in the Malaysian jungle, hand-feeding wild turtles scuba diving in Tahiti, and a lightning strike next to her in Costa Rica. Always keen on adventure, Tracy still has an extensive bucket list of places to explore.
Born and bred in California, Dan ignited his passion for adventure travel in 1976 as partner of a rafting company in the Pacific Northwest. His travels soon took him to Alaska, where he owned and operated a construction company. Looking for a new challenge and having experienced small group adventure travel as a guest, Dan and a partnership group bought Backcountry Tours of Bozeman, Montana in 1994. Later, he created Adventures Plus, which in 2000 officially became Austin Adventures.
A born world-traveler, Ben is passionate about combining education and travel, while also protecting the environment. He has worked in ecotourism ventures in Costa Rica, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru and Pohnpei, Micronesia. He has taken part in Climate Ride five times to help raise awareness around climate change, bike advocacy, and national park protection. Ben is also an avid hiker and thoroughly enjoys all the great trails around Missoula, Montana joined by his beloved dog, Vida, as much as possible. He has visited over 150 national parks and loves to connect travelers to amazing experiences in our national parks and public lands.
Sabrina grew up in Montreal, Canada, which early in life taught her a valuable lesson about the outdoors: if you don't move, you freeze! As any respectable Canadian she learned to walk, ski and ice skate before the age of 4, and after braving 25 winters in a row she decided that enough was enough and fled to New Zealand, with a Master in Communication and Marketing in her back pocket. After a few months hiking around, she landed at Active Adventures and is now Marketing Manager, making sure all our awesome adventures get the visibility they deserve. In her free time, she hikes, climb and is venturing further and further into New Zealand's backcountry.
Brian grew up in Colorado Springs, where his passion for the outdoors was born. Making the most of summer and winter trips around the States, he found a love for rock climbing, skiiing, hiking and playing sport. In 2016 he moved to Melbourne, Australia to complete a Master's Degree in Sport Business. He realised that what he really wanted was to follow his passion for the outdoors, so with a quick hop, skip and a jump over the Tasman, he landed in Queenstown. It’s fair to say he landed squarely on his feet! All of this effort has been rewarded of course, by landing a dream job at Active Adventures, continuing to forge new relationships by taking good care of all our partners and agents!
Beāte is from Latvia, a small country in the Northern Europe, which is known for its beautiful forests, rich culture, and flat landscape. During her master’s studies in International Economic Relations, she managed to go on a couple of international exchange studies and later lived and worked in 4 countries. The decision to come to New Zealand came naturally after living in Canada and discovering the love towards adventuring in the mountains. While her intention was to live in New Zealand only for a year, endless outdoor opportunities and meeting her kiwi partner was the reason why she decided to call New Zealand home. When she’s not working you can find her in the mountains rock climbing, trail running, photographing, skiing, mountaineering or ice climbing.
Eternally English at heart, Jack is never far from a cup of steaming tea or from his next adventure. Hiking, biking, and riding his way around the world, and encouraging others to do the same, Jack has made travel his vocation. Since the day he was lost in the desert aged 6 in Petra - returning to his distressed parents delighted atop a police camel - he has had the travel bug. Following a Master in Aerospace Engineering and moving to the USA and Canada, and then a lengthy period backpacking around the world, Jack has joined Active Adventures in his new home of Queenstown, New Zealand.
Kristie is from the Hawkes Bay, a beautiful spot on the East Coast of the North Island well known for the sunny weather, great beaches and world-class wines – Her three favourite things! She’s spent the last 8 years living abroad in Melbourne, the Whitsundays and most recently Edinburgh while working in the Travel industry. She’s now back in New Zealand after extensive travel throughout Europe, the US and Asia and is a Travel Specialist here at Active Adventures. When she isn’t planning your trips she is planning her own, ticking off her own travel wishlist as often as possible!
Jazz grew up in the Central North Island of New Zealand, moved to our capital city, Wellington (No, not Auckland!) to fast-track her study before moving to Florida, USA to pursue her passion for Travel and Tourism and further her education with the goal of 'trying something new' every day! With more than 10 years experience in the Travel industry, and travel all over the world under her belt (with plenty more to explore!) she has since moved back to New Zealand to raise her future-adventurers!
An example of the life-changing power of adventure, Brenon left the deep south to work a summer in Yellowstone National Park in 1993. It has been a great summer. An avid rock-climber, backcountry skier and mountaineer, he has embraced the pointy rocks of the Greater Yellowstone as home for over 25 years. Along the way, Brenon has guided tours in Yellowstone, taught young people perseverance in the mountains, and even rescued a few lucky adventurers. After working in mine reclamation and microbiology, being with Austin Adventures is the perfect way to connect the dots between his passion for exploration and a fulfilling career.
Ange spent her youth living in a small farming town in the South Island where she was introduced to the great outdoors. After training and working as a preschool teacher for 5 years she decided to retrain as an Outdoor Instructor. This led her to introduce an array of people from youth at risk to the outdoors and at times pushing their comfort zones. Ange decided she wanted to stay working in the outdoors but with a slight career change, which led her to Active Adventures. After guiding for a few years, the opportunity came up to work in the office with the operations team, where you'll find her today. When she's not coordinating trips, Ange can be found spending time in the hills, whether it's mountain biking, hiking, trail running and any event that involves a map.
Stephanie was born and raised in the smallest state in the United States – Rhode Island. With an official nickname of the Ocean State and 400 miles of coastline, it’s no wonder she spent all her summers growing up down by the water. She attended Rhode Island College graduating with a degree in Marketing and Economics. While she’s resided in the same state her entire life, she has spent a lot of time traveling around the U.S. and quite a few road-trips down the east coast. She maintains an active lifestyle, keep up with her Australian Cattle Dog, Dewey. On the weekend, you’ll find her scoping out new eateries in the city and chasing live music and a cold beer in the summer.
After moving to a new neighborhood at age five, Adam took off on his bike in search of new friends in Minnesota. More than thirty years later Adam still enjoys making friends on his bike while cycling around Europe. Adam has lived the life of a nomad, having taught English in China, managed a beach resort in Mexico, and now lives in the Netherlands with his wife since 2011, where they raise their daughter in the continued family tradition getting to know the world on the seat of a bicycle. Adam enjoys playing on local sports teams, adventure travel with the family, and continually learning new things from whichever culture he might be living or traveling in.
Valerie was born in San Diego, CA, she lived in New Jersey for 5 years, but has been in Montana since 2nd grade. Valerie handles most aspects of accounting. She loves where she got to grow up and considers herself a Montanan. She lives in Billings with her husband and her dog. She enjoys camping, cooking for friends, and playing board games.
Ryan was born and raised in Newtown, Connecticut where he learned to love running, hiking, camping, and sailing. In 2007 he moved to Billings, Montana. Shortly after moving Ryan got into rock climbing and fell in love with the mountains and trails of the Rockies. After attending the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Ryan pursued a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. He has worked as a rock climbing instructor/guide, zipline guide, college professor, and even a professional sewer. You can now find Ryan working alongside his wife Kasey running the operations of Austin Adventures.
Rhet grew up in Cave Creek, Arizona within the family business of training thoroughbred racehorses. However, Rhet greatly preferred taking long hikes in the desert looking for javelina or quail than cleaning horse stalls. He became the first member of his family to graduate from college with a degree in Wildlife Sciences. Rhet spent time working on research projects with black bears, California sea lions, black-footed ferrets, and platypus before taking his first guiding job in Grand Teton National Park. That one seasonal guide job changed his career trajectory as he found a deep passion for adventure travel and sharing the natural world with people from across the globe. In the 14 years since getting into the industry, Rhet has worked in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Florida, Arizona, Utah, Louisiana, Alaska, and Hawaii.
You’ll be inspired and exhilarated, enjoying mind-blowing scenery on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike - all at your own pace.
We're proud of our Kiwi roots and you’ll love our professional and warm style of hosting. We’re always here to help with planning... even hiking boot recommendations!
We've got everything covered – top-notch meals, comfortable transport, superb accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.
With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you'll get to know your fellow travelers and have the flexibility to go at your own pace.
All our carefully selected guides are highly experienced and have deep personal connections to nature and culture. You’ll enjoy an authentic local experience.
We could hang around all day telling you how wonderful our trips are... but the best people to hear it from are our guests themselves.