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Private Walking Track New Zealand Guided Walking Tours Kaikoura

Come and join us on a path of discovery through primeval native forests, among pristine mountains, sparkling streams and dramatic alpine landscapes.

PROFILE: Nicky McArthur

Kaikoura Wilderness Hiking Guides | Nicky McArthur

I am the owner & manager of Kaikoura Wilderness and have been involved in my own journey of discovery here at Puhi Peaks in the Seaward Kaikoura mountains for the past 10 years.

I grew up playing in the hills of the Scottish Highlands for my summer holidays and it was there that I evolved a love for the raw beauty encountered in remote areas from the mountains to the sea.

The diversity of landscapes to be found in New Zealand captured me in my early 20' s in particular Central Otago where I learned my great grandfather had been the doctor. I married a kiwi and raised my 3 sons on a farm near Oxford, North Canterbury.

The beauty encountered in the Seaward Kaikoura Mountains attracted me to this piece of paradise and sharing it with visitors not only from New Zealand but all around the globe is what makes my life here as hostess, guide, cook and as an artist something I value enormously.

I bring to this experience a passion for the environment, people and food! Puhi Peaks is unique in every way, a rare gem hidden in an alpine valley where we talk about the "sheer delights" at Shearwater Lodge. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and our vision is "to inspire each and every one of us to honour our relationship with the earth and its people".

My three sons all share the passion for this extraordinary wilderness place and for me, learning, sharing and passing on "Kaitiaki" for future generations is at the core of what I believe in and what we are doing here. To have Sam on team with us is outstanding for all of the above reasons. This season we hosted three generations on one walk and that was great to see.

My role with the Hutton's Shearwater Trust takes me into the community and being able to spread this message of "care taking" throughout the schools is wonderful and rewarding on all levels. I sincerely hope we can share our passion with you here in Kaikoura.

Nicky McArthur | Kaikoura Wilderness Walks New Zealand

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks Guides

The guides employed by Kaikoura Wilderness Walks, on its exclusive guided hikes in the Puhi Peaks Nature Reserve, are local guides with expert knowledge of the New Zealand native species of flora and fauna to be found there.

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks guides are:

  • astute and competent with a professional attitude.
  • are passionate about New Zealand's outdoors and are able to interpret the surrounding flora and fauna, so you gain a better understanding.
  • are trained in first aid and carry radios and safety kits.
  • are looking forward to meeting you.


Hi guys,
Just a bit of background info for those of you who are interested. I have been involved here at Kaikoura Wilderness since 2008, with interests in all aspects of the business from marketing to guiding. This season I have taken over as Head Guide and Operations Manager and am really enjoying the increased responsibilty.

In the past few years I have had experiences in many different areas. After leaving school in Christchurch in 2006, I departed for Central America after a brief stint in the vineyards of Marlborough. Once in Central America I spent a majority of my time in Costa Rica with a 3 week period in Nicaragua. I participated in a range of activities from conservation and work, to trekking and even a spot of rafting. I then departed for the UK where I was mainly involved in Red Deer Management in the Scottish Highlands.

2008 saw the start of my university career where initially my goal was to study Vet Science, I ended up completing a degree in Zoology. The winter of 2012 saw a new chapter of work in a real interest of mine, skiing! I worked in ski patrol at Mt Hutt after some training down in Wanaka.

Now back at Kaikoura I am really loving being home and enjoying the beautiful back drop that is the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, in particular the Puhi Puhi Valley. So why don't you come for a walk and enjoy it with me.

Sam McArthur | Kaikoura Wilderness Guides New Zealand