In December of 2002, after 3 years working at the local video store in Queenstown (a job I loved as it confirmed me as a lifelong film geek), I convinced David and Amanda from Nomad Safaris to hire me as a driver/guide. I had no experience, but possessed a passion for Lord of the Rings and a good banter (says me!). They figured I was worth a shot. I initially worked two years at Nomad Safaris, before running off to Australia for a couple of years. When I returned to Queenstown, I came back to Nomad and worked another 3 years, both as a driver/guide and in various other roles. I can honestly credit Nomad Safaris for giving me both the love of the tourism industry, and a solid grounding in what it takes to be a professional tour guide, both on the road and behind the scenes.
Nomad Safaris began operation in 1988, running Land Rover tours into Skippers Canyon and Macetown. The current owners, David and Amanda Gatward-Ferguson had been operating tours in the same area since 1994 and bought Nomad in 1997. Only 2 years later, Peter Jackson decided to film some of the most spectacular scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the remote areas around Queenstown – areas Nomad visited daily. Fast forward to today, and Nomad runs a fleet of 16 Land Rover Defender & Toyota Land Cruiser 4WD trucks on a variety of tours in the remote back country around Queenstown.
Born of Gold