Jul 29th, 2020

Kath Watzig:


Kath originally hails from Oregon on the west coast of America. Soon after stepping off the plane when she arrived New Zealand in her early 20’s she knew she would make her home here. These days it is a beautiful organic farm shared with 6 other families in the winterless Far North where she grows most of her own food and has recreation on her doorstep. Kath’s love of nature and a practical outdoor life have seen her work range from landscaping to running a small tree nursery, and nowadays guiding to which she brings an infectious enthusiasm for all things ‘kiwi’.


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What do you get up to when you are not guiding? 

I love a winter kayak trip, and catching up on farm work. Some years I go visit family in Oregon and of course head for the mountains hiking with nephew and nieces.

As a guide what’s a top tip you’d pass on to our hikers?

Travel light but don't skip on food. It's your evening entertainment. A little treat goes a long way.

Sharing a laugh is such a benefit of group travel, share with us one of your funny moments on a trip?

On one trip we were having a high altitude fancy dress dinner party. The night was in full swing, a light snow outside the alpine hut and a warm fire inside. Most of us dressed in some pretty funny looking get-ups. And who arrives in the dark of night, two very professional looking mountain climbers. After our first embarrassment, they joined the party and had a fantastic time.


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What is one of the things you love most about your job? 

What I love most about my work is watching a new group of people become friends so fast.

Favourite place to hike and why? 

Kahurangi National Park. It's a place that you can create endless routes and round trips. It seems easy to get off the tracks and explore remote areas.



"I first tramped with Hiking New Zealand in October 2017. We were unable to do some of the hikes at the time but I vowed to come back. In December 2018 I had a few days after Christmas. I was delighted to have the same wonderful guide, Kath. The trip culminated in the Tongariro Crossing which was the main hike we missed on the first trip. It was challenging, but I'm really glad to have done it.

- Pater T, January 2019


"My two grown daughters and I had a wonderful trip with Kath as our guide. We simply cannot recommend her highly enough to anyone who is considering hiking in NZ. She was extremely informative about the local topography and botany in addition to having a constant smile on her face!"

- TallOne65, January 2019, Trip Advisor 


"Beautiful country, challenging yet manageable hikes, nourishing food provided, breathtaking vistas, and Kath was a great guide! Highly recommend.."

- Anne H, January 2018, Trip Advisor



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