Our local kiwi guides are the backbone of the experiences we offer. Their knowledge of New Zealand – be it history, nature or culture – is absolutely top-notch. Friendly, patient and with a deep affinity for all things outdoors, our guides help to bring Fiordland’s stunning landscapes to life.
Trips & Tramps is a family run, small business based in Te Anau. Owners Steve and Kate Norris are involved in daily operations. Steve is out and about most days guiding our guests, while Kate works back at base running all things behind the scenes (not to mention being an awesome mum to four gorgeous kids). Committed to conservation and the local community, Steve and Kate like to 'keep it real' and believe in providing unique and genuine kiwi outdoor experiences.
Our Local Guides
Owner and Head Guide
Steve is a dedicated, long term employee of Trips and Tramps. Coming to Te Anau to guide on the Milford Track, he has worked in the tourism sector for over 20 years both in New Zealand and abroad. A well known community figure he enjoys sharing Fiordland’s special places to visitors from all over the world. In 2009 Steve's commitment to conservation efforts were formally recognised when he received the Department of Conservation Southland Individual Services to Conservation Award “for his consistent and dedicated leadership in community conservation efforts, his tireless enthusiasm as a keen conservationist influencing tourists, Kepler challenge runners, friends and family, and for being instrumental in pest-trapping programmes".
Co-owner, Author, and Mother of four
Kate graduated with a Parks and Recreation Diploma from Lincoln University and moved to Te Anau to work on the Milford Track for the Department of Conservation. For the last 20 years she has worked in the tourism field in a reservation and information capacity. Currently with a growing family, Steve and Kate combine the demands of four active children with managing the business and getting into the outdoors as much as possible.
Named after one of Fiordland’s highest peaks, there’s no guessing where Madeleine is from! Madeleine has strong family connections to the area and has grown up amidst the outdoors and the tourism industry. Having ditched teaching and counseling for the quiet life of a guide, she couldn't’t be happier working in the Trips & Tramps team! Madeleine supports Kate in the background answering phones and emails, and even gets out and about guiding in the summer.
Geoff is a born and bred local and has spent many years guiding. Recently returning to working with us, he is loving being back in the Trips & Tramps team. Last season, a Trip Advisor review said that "Geoff is the man!" – we would have to agree!
Becs joins our team with years of experience traveling, tramping and teaching. A born and bred Southland girl she happily calls Te Anau home and loves being able to get out on the lake for a paddle at lunch time, run up a mountain after work and enjoy a nice cold beer with mates at the end of the day.
Kate has lived in many different countries including Russia! But she calls NZ home. Growing up in an 'outdoorsy' family in was inevitable that Kate would get into hiking, travelling and other adventures. She is currently studying ecology and geography at University of Otago and is looking forward to sharing this special part of the world with oversees travelers.
Neil hails originally from Kent in the UK and as well as being very knowledgeable and passionate about Fiordland he is a twitcher at heart! Neil has a lifetime of experience watching and studying birds, this has taken him to some amazing places including most recently Madagascar. He has spent the past 10 years guiding in Fiordland and has enjoyed the move to New Zealand. He is very generous with the use of his binoculars and the incredible knowledge he has of the area.
Douglas is young, fresh faced and has been walking in the hills from a young age. Full of energy, he is also a very keen photographer and has an eagle eye for finding the things you might otherwise miss - like a bellbird covered in pollen, a trout catching dragonflies, or a kea in flight.
Jill is the friendly person at the end of your chat, email or phone call, always willing to help out and go the extra mile for guests. Living in Fiordland since a child this area is her playground. She enjoys the relaxed place of living Te Anau offers, the many walks on her back doorstep and amazing landscapes. She is often seen out along the lakeside enjoying a leisurely stroll with her dog, friends and family.
Originally from Auckland, Stephen saw the light and moved to Te Anau. An avid naturalist (not to be confused with a naturist) Stephen has an incredible knowledge of the flora and fauna in the area. He also has an aversion to getting his feet wet and will stop at nothing to stay dry! He is a hard man to get a photo of as he is always taking the photos - here is one of his favourite plants - Aciphylla horrid.
Andrew is Welsh by birth but a Kiwi at heart. He has tramped and climbed the hills and mountains of Fiordland for many years. He is also mad keen about regaining and orienteering. Andrew serves the Fiordland community as a Search and Rescue volunteer, which also involved raising and training search dogs. He’s an interesting fella to be around!
Caitlin grew up camping, cycling and hiking in the mountains of West Virginia and Hong Kong, but truly fell in love with the outdoors in New Zealand and chose to study Environmental Management at the University of Otago to be able to spend those four years tramping in Otago, on the West Coast and Fiordland (and some studying). She spent 4 years working in environmental education and conservation for Isabel Island National Park in Mexico, and started guiding hikes and whale watches in Juneau, Alaska, a similar lush temperate rainforest and fiord ecosystem.
Renee has made her way down to Fiordland from the North to explore more of New Zealand. Having studied Outdoor Education at the Auckland University of Technology, Renee spent the following years working with schools through the Duke of Edinburgh, Hillary Award and school camps. Now she happily spends the winter working on ski fields and summer exploring the South Island. Renee just enjoys being outside, whether it be snowboarding, hiking, kayaking or biking!
Ross is a long-time local and there isn't much about Fiordland Milford Sound that he doesn't know. With a history working as a ranger for the Department of Conservation, Ross is an expert in an expert in natural history and flora/fauna. Ross also manages a consultancy company who provide Nature Guides aboard the international cruise ships that visit Fiordland each year.
Michelle comes from Dunedin and has a passion for sharing amazing outdoor places with people. She has a rich background in outdoor eduction and guiding, careers which have taken her all around the world - including Antarctica! She first started guiding in Fiordland in 2005. Michelle loves living in this area and reckons it's the best part of the country to live in - she hopes you will see why after spending some time here!"
Yuka, Yoshi and Masako
Japanese Speaking Guides
Yuka, Yoshi and Masako also all join us on a regular basis.
Trips and Tramps enjoy a close relationship with the community, Fiordland Conservation Trust and local Te Anau Department of Conservation team. Personally and as a company we provide both logistical and financial support. Recent significant donations have been made to local events and community groups, including the Kepler Challenge Mountain Run, Fiordland College, Te Anau Scouts, Fiordland Squash Club, Te Anau School, and Fiordland Trails Trust.
At Milford Sound we have been involved in a stoat trapping project since 2003 (even before it was the thing to do) and recently expanded this to the Delta are in conjunction with the Fiordland Conservation Trust, more information available here.
We are also enthusiastic supporters of the Local Kids Restore the Kepler project. This project aims to help Fiordland's young people, from pre-school through to college, develop knowledge, values and skills so they can be confident, connected and actively involved in caring for their environment.