A New Zealand native, I grew up in Otautau, a small town of about 800 people in Southland. I moved to Queenstown when I was 19, and although it’s only 2 hours from where I grew up, Queenstown is a different world, also known as the Adventure Capital of New Zealand. I did a short stint in Australia, living in both Sydney and Melbourne for a while, before returning to New Zealand.
In 1999 I was fortunate to work as an extra on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. I am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, and it was such an exciting opportunity to be involved in this epic trilogy. I played an Uruk-Hai – one of Saruman’sorc soldiers, who fought at the end of the film in a place called Amon Hen. I didn’t know it at the time but this was the catalyst for me starting a career as a tour guide – one who gets to share my love of The Lord of the Rings on a regular basis.
My life as a tour guide began in Queenstown in 2002, where I first worked as a 4×4 tour guide for Nomad Safaris, showing off some of the world’s most beautiful scenery to visitors, including Lord of the Rings filming locations and historic gold mining settlements. When I moved to Wellington in 2010, I worked for a couple of local day tour companies, before setting out on my own and forming Mike the Guide.
With my private tours, I’m able to tailor each tour to suit your needs and wishes during your time here. I also offer custom private tours of New Zealand for individuals, couples and small groups. Here too, we can write an itinerary to suit your specific needs and wants, and work within the time you have available for your trip to New Zealand.