Southern Guides are a team of professional, friendly Wanaka locals who love nothing better than showing off our back yard whether it be by a luxury vehicle, foot, bike or skis.
SCOTT WEST (“WESTY”)
Owner , Chief Guide and “Fun Maximiser”
Scott or “Westy” as he is known locally has been skiing at Treble Cone, Wanaka’s local ski resort since he was 8 years old. He was once called King of the Mountain when he was skiing up to 90 days per year. Working as ski guide, Westy knows the Treble Cone ski area like the back of his hand and can find the best conditions for any level skier on any given day. That’s winter…. for the rest of the year, Westy guides clients on all the best mountain biking tracks in Wanaka or he’s travelling with his private tour guests to all the most unique and picturesque locations in New Zealand. As a professional biking, hiking and ski guide for over 20 years, Westy ensures that every trip is about maximising fun – giving clients a great day out on the bike or the ski slopes is what really spins “Westy’s wheels”.
Co-Owner and “The Motivator “
Megan’s career in Tourism began at Otago University when she was recruited to work for the then New Zealand Tourism Board (now Tourism NZ). After a number of years working overseas, Megan returned to Wanaka has been involved with many of Wanaka’s most successful social & environmental projects. Megan keeps the wheels of the West-Williams family turning, and is well and truly the team “Motivator”. Whatever project Megan is working on, she’s involved “boots and all”.
A busy mum to their two daughters, she loves to get out and explore Wanaka’s amazing backyard with her family and to share that extensive knowledge of all the “best places” to go with our guests.
Senior Guide and “The Busy Retiree”
“Well …..I’m retired when I’m not working!” quips our lead guide, Richard, when asked about what he does when he’s not busy working for us. With a geography and communication background Richard is a keen hiker and biker with his passion for food and wine helped by a stint living in Paris. Whether he’s guiding a fascinating bike track or introducing our guests to the unique wine varieties of our region, Richard makes every trip stimulating and informative. As he says “It’s really a priority for me that our guests not only enjoy the day but they also have the opportunity to understand and be inspired by the breathtaking landscape that is so integral to the wine they’re tasting.” His only limitation? His rugby team loyalties still lie to the north…. but we’re working on him!
Guide: “Wine & Music Master”
In 2014 David took some time out from his career in Auckland to come to Wanaka to learn to ski properly before his knees gave out for good. He loved the lifestyle and the wine so much that within three weeks of arriving he and his wife had bought a section here and started to build a home.
He never went back to Auckland and now lives in Wanaka permanently, splitting his time between working as a ski instructor at Cardrona Alpine Resort in winter and driving guests on wine and farm tours the rest of the year. A keen musician, he also plays keyboards with local singers performing at wedding ceremonies and in an annual musical show at the Lake Wanaka Centre, and throws in a bit of stage management on the side. All dirty jobs, he says, but someone has to do it!
Guide: “The fittest Granny in Wanaka”
Heidi has lived in Wanaka for over 40 years. Growing up on a farm in South Canterbury, Heidi is what’s known in NZ as a “good keen lass”. Originally trained as a nurse she has worked for many years as a voluntary ambulance officer and outdoor first aid instructor.
But Heidi is happiest when she’s outside. She is a relentless biker and hiker and there are very few places in the South Island backcountry that Heidi hasn’t explored on foot, bike or by 4WD. In more recent years, Heidi has also guided biking groups on long distance adventures in Australia, North America, Europe and Africa. As a beloved Granny, Heidi has now added running after her five grandchildren to her busy activity schedule.
Guide: “Mountain Man and Movie Star”
Well it’s not everyday we get a genuine movie star working as your guide! Callum appeared as “Alfred Gregory” in the 2013 movie, “Beyond the Edge” about Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary’s monumental and historical ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953. In real-life, Callum is an NZMGA Climbing, Trekking and Glacier Guide. When not guiding clients in the high mountains of the NZ Southern Alps, he works part time at our local Mt Aspiring College running biking, rock climbing and tramping trips for students.
Callum is a passionate biker and skier having worked as first responder at Cardrona Bike Park and as a Ski Patroller at Treble Cone since 2005. He has also worked as a bike mechanic around the Wanaka region. He loves the local tracks and exploring new regions. And he’ll also sign an autograph if you ask.
Guide: “The Covert Organiser”
Most people who live in Wanaka will not be able to tell you “Fly’s” real name. Everyone will recognise his face, his cheeky sense of humour and energy giving enthusiasm for all of life’s adventures…but getting Fly’s real name will be a challenge. Fly has been involved in the NZ Ski industry, as a guide and salesman for over 20 years. Add to that, with endless back to back seasons in Revelstoke Canada will give you an idea that he has a bad case of “Ski OCD”. While he tries to minimise his time away from the snow, Spring and Autumn sees Fly biking, hiking and enjoying Wanaka’s stunning outdoor pursuits.
But beware, Fly is a “covert organiser”, you won’t realise that during your trip with him he has organised the rest of your holiday for you, planned your trip to Canada and made a dinner reservation for you at his favourite Wanaka restaurant. You have been warned!
Guide: “Come on, let’s get outside”
John is an ex pat Pom, who is a now a New Zealand citizen, and is someone who has a penchant for the outdoor way of life and adventure with a capital ‘A’. Whether it’s mountain biking, running, skiing or tramping, John loves the outdoors and embraces the Kiwi way of life at every opportunity and knew he found his passion, working in the outdoors and with those trying to find it.
John is definitely a “people person” who loves nature, hiking and photography and some of his favourite ways to spend time is in the outdoors/enjoying hikes and exploring nature
He wants you to experience the great outdoors alongside him and to venture out all over the place to see as much as you can. Our client’s journeys are always exciting and interesting and make John want to get out there too.