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
Co-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.
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 a fun, outgoing guide full of information to share. Kate loves sharing Fiordland with oversees travelers, it is a special part of the world!
Helen Dodson is getting back into the bush again, where she prefers to be! After years of working with the Department of Conservation in various roles, including with the Takahe Recovery project and in the Fiordland Visitor Centre, we are now fortunate to have her join the Trips & Tramps team as a guide. With a love of the outdoors, specifically tramping (ask her about her adventures on the Te Araroa Trail) she brings great passion to her work. A friendly face and awesome host, Helen always goes the extra mile to ensure everyone has a memorable experience when they join her group.
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 has a huge passion for the outdoors and Fiordland National Park. He grew up here in a family of conservationists and has always been involved in learning about our country's unique flora and fauna. Over the years he has developed an even larger passion and love of photography. "I love guiding people as it is a combination of my passions. Photography in Fiordland is utterly a one of a kind experience compared with the rest of New Zealand. Nowhere else could you easily have the opportunity of capturing lush forest, endemic birds and gushing waterfalls all in one day." He has learnt to carry his camera wherever he goes, as you never know what the day will bring.
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.
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!
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.