This post – in fact this whole situation has been years in the making. It is with great pleasure that I announce myself open for business as MiketheGuide. I have resigned from (full-time) employment at Wellington Rover Tours and Flat Earth New Zealand Experiences and as of the 18th of August 2013, I will be available for private tours of New Zealand.
I have dreamed of doing this for years, since I left Queenstown for the first time in 2004. I love spending quality time with quality people,and I love showing off this amazing country. I bring nearly 10 years of experience with me, including off-road driving, Lord of the Rings film location tours, small group tours and personal one-on-one tours. I am hugely grateful for the support of my beautiful wife Nicole, who will be the primary breadwinner while I get this up and running (I guess that makes me head housekeeper & cook on the home front now too!), we are both pursuing our dreams this year but we decided it was me who got to go full time first.
As well as providing information and activity booking options on miketheguide.com, I will be offering my services as a guide to clients directly or through their travel planner. I can assist with itineraries, bookings, all driving duties, and of course being your very own guide for the duration of your stay. Our time together will be sociable, flexible, fun, and at whichever comfort level suits you best. We can tailor the tour to suit your specific interests (adventure, food, wine, beer/breweries, motorsport/classic autos, nature/scenic, fitness) and timeframe. I may end up setting a minimum duration just to make it worth my while, but we’ll work that part out later.
I am going to cater my services mainly to single travellers (corporate or leisure), couples and families, however I will be hosting group tours from time to time. You might be:
- recently retired
- recently graduated
- on sabbatical
- considering relocating to NZ
- taking time after a business trip
- competing in a sporting event, or
- simply recharging your batteries.
I can help to make your trip to NZ one of the best and most memorable experiences of your life. You are definitely looking for a local friend more than a friendly local and although I will do all I can to take care of you, you would be wasting your time and mine if you only see me as the bag boy. We are on this adventure together!
Vehicles – I have decided initially that I will be renting vehicles to guide these tours. That way we can ensure we have the right vehicle for our needs and I don’t need to rush out and maintain a half dozen different vehicles (when I can only drive one at a time!) I’m licensed to carry up to 11 passengers at a time. We could take more, but I’d then hire a driver to join us. In NZ there is a huge range in prices for rental cars, from a $30 a day economy hatchback to one of these. I will happily drive anything I’m allowed to.
Accommodation – We have an amazing range of options in New Zealand, from fully self contained beach houses, to luxury lodges. If you prefer to stay in hotels, motels or hostels, we have that covered too. I can either stay on site, or find a place nearby if you want privacy at the end of the day.
Price – I think the fairest way to charge is by offering my services at a flat day rate of NZ$500 per day (including GST), plus expenses incurred (including but not limited to travel, meal and accommodation costs). As I want to offer my very best on each tour, I will not run tours back to back. I need some down time to remain fresh and I want to ensure I get quality wife time as well, so this is all factored into my rate.
I will follow up soon with details, if you can’t wait – contact me now and we’ll take a road trip together.