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Ngāi Tahu Tourism buys New Zealand Guided Nature Walks

Ngāi Tahu Tourism buys New Zealand Guided Nature Walks
December 6, 2014

Ngāi Tahu Tourism has agreed to purchase Queenstown-based New Zealand Guided Nature Walks, owned by Peter and Karyn Hitchman.

The purchase will see the Hitchmans continue to operate the business over the 2014/2015 summer with Ngāi Tahu Tourism (NTT) completing the purchase on 1st April next year.

New Zealand Guided Nature Walks is the oldest guiding company in New Zealand, having been started by the Bryant family in 1868.

Peter and Karyn Hitchman took over from the Bryants in 2007 and it now consists of several guided hiking concessions including Bobs Cove (Half Day), Routeburn Track (One Day), and half and full day snowshoeing at The Remarkables.

Commenting on the acquisition, Ngāi Tahu Tourism Chief Executive Quinton Hall said the company was “delighted” to carry on the legacy of Queenstown’s oldest tourism business.

Hall stated “Peter and Karyn have done a fantastic job of building on the brand established by the Bryant family all those years ago.

“New Zealand Guided Nature Walks is a natural fit for Ngāi Tahu Tourism because we’re already one of the country’s largest guided hiking operators, with Franz Josef Glacier Guides and Hollyford Track Guided Walks in our portfolio.

“Peter and Karyn have worked hard over the years to build up a hugely popular and well-regarded tourism business, and we wish them all the very best for their new start in the North Island."

Co-owner Karyn Hitchman said she and Peter had very much enjoyed growing the business since they took over from the Bryants, stating “it was a successful business then and perhaps the oldest tourism business in the country.

“We loved the fact that we could go off-track with the DOC concession and do things a little differently to the norm.

“It was originally very much a summer operation but after a year or two we decided that we didn’t want to work for other people in winter. That’s when we started the snow shoeing which has built into a hugely popular business. In 2008 we only had five snow shoeing customers, but it’s grown substantially year on year since then.

“We are so pleased that Ngāi Tahu Tourism is taking it on. We’re leaving the business in good hands and we really respect what they do with their other businesses. We know it will grow and flourish in their care.

“We’re very much looking forward to finishing the summer out with bookings that are really strong, and our customers are still our one and only focus.”

Ngāi Tahu Tourism is one of New Zealand’s premier tourism operators and the parent company of an extensive portfolio of iconic eco-tourism and adventure experiences.

From high adrenalin thrills to remote and spectacular World Heritage locations each business offers a range of unique experiences for travellers to and around New Zealand.

South Island operations include Shotover Jet, Dart River Jet and Hollyford Track Guided Walks in Queenstown, and Franz Josef Glacier Guides and Glacier Hot Pools in Franz Josef.

North Island operations include Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park, the Agrodome in Rotorua and Hukafalls Jet in Taupō. 

Ngāi Tahu Tourism is part of the Ngāi Tahu Holdings Group which includes significant seafood and property businesses.

For more information go to www.ntttourism.co.nz

Click here for more information on Hollyford Track Guided Walks.

Click here to view the New Zealand Guided Nature Walks website.

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