Sep 25, 2019

Kathryn Richards:


Kathryn almost has a love of the outdoors imprinted in her DNA. Her upbringing on a rural New Zealand farm fostered a life of outdoor adventure and travel. From her treasured memory of her first overnight hike at 9 years old, through work as a teacher in England and some big European hikes, Kathryn now indulges her passion with guiding in the summer, volunteering on conservation projects and mountain biking in her spare time. She enjoys the opportunity guiding gives her to share her enthusiasm for nature conservation, knowledge and appreciation of our flora and avian fauna, and culture with other adventurous people.


KAthryn banner 2


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

During the offseason, I work as a preschool teacher. My spare time I enjoy catching up with family and getting out on my mountain bike.

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

Try and travel light it makes things easier without skimping on the warm waterproof layers. New Zealand weather can throw everything at you even in summer. Use drawstring bags in your pack to keep things organised and plastic bag free. 

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

One New Years Eve a client opened the wrong bottle of bubbles from the campground fridge. He had bought an expensive bubbly and opened up someone else non-alcoholic grape juice. He felt so bad that he left a note on his remaining bottle gifting it to the other traveler. Turned out this traveler didn't realize he had bought non-alcoholic wine so was very happy with the swap.


KAthryn banner 3


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

I love that I get to visit an area more than once and see the changes through the seasons. I also enjoy the opportunity I have with guiding people from so many different cultures and countries, learning about the places they come from the jobs they do and how they see the world.

Favourite place to hike and why? 

I really enjoy Kahurangi National Park our 2nd largest park. Over 80% of New Zealand's Alpine plants can be found here. There is so much to do from hiking to multi-day mountain biking opportunities. It's spectacular in all seasons.



"I was on the Ultimate South Island Adventure in February and really enjoyed the whole of it, including the rainy days! The communication and organisation leading up to the trip and on it was very good. Our guide for the 2 weeks, Kathryn, was excellent and I think really made it work very well, keeping us informed and organised as to what was happening all the time, was a wealth of knowledge on what we encountered and was a very nice person to spend 2 weeks with, as was all of the guests on the trip. It's a great way to sample New Zealand and you see a lot and the few people who took the North Island part as well enjoyed that as much. I would certainly use Hiking NZ the next time I am going on holiday there."

- Chris_netbuzz, March 2018, Trip Advisor 


"I just finished two great weeks traveling with Hiking New Zealand across the south island on their "Ultimate South" trip. Our guide Kathryn was a wealth of knowledge and kept our unruly bunch on focus. The trip was an incredibly efficient way to see most of the top sites of the island, get in some great hikes and overnight trips without any of planning or driving you would need to do on your own. Highlights were two nights overnight camping in Abel Tasman National Park, an overnight hike to a lodge in the Aspiring valley outside Wanaka and even the sitting out the rain at Mount Cook national park. This is a very active trip and group participation in food preparation and clean-up is mandatory, but this also keeps the price down and makes you feel more connected to the group. There were 11 people on my trip ranging in age from 19-65 and it offered a great opportunity to get to know a diverse crowd. I would highly recommend it for the active traveler who wants to see a lot in a short amount of time."

- Mospicy, February 2018, Trip Advisor



You may also like

11880649 991040740918031 2836898849507842330 n 1

Bird of the Century

Arguably, the outcome of Aotearoa’s most important annual election amongst our feathered friends hol…

Street Art

Things to do in Christchurch

Heading to Christchurch for a weekend away, visiting a friend or family, or as part of your travels …

P1080920 RT

Best time to hike

Sometimes you wonder if the weather actually cares what season it is in New Zealand. We have some lo…


Poles Apart

Did your Leki poles weld themselves together again? 

I (Malcolm) went to use my alloy Leki walking …

To Top