OUR TEAM

Our team is made up of mature NZ professionals, well-known in their respective fields, all bringing a delightful mix of dedication, passion and ambition to deliver the finest arts & culture experiences to our clients

So when you book a tour with us, you can be sure you’ll be hosted by professional local guides who have passion for New Zealand and special interest areas. We’re all experienced travelers and are able to provide in-depth advice and knowledge both before and during your travels. Our tour guides are first aid trained and focussed on the safety and comfort of our guests at all times.


Jacqui Wilkinson

Co-founder & Director – Sales & Marketing, HR
Tour Guide – Auckland, Nationwide

Jacqui is a well-known figure in the New Zealand tourism sector having started 3 different tour companies since 2006. She’s also an active volunteer in the sector, giving her time for leading not-for-profit industry organisations, tourism training institutions and strategic government and local government tourism projects. She has hosted thousands of international and domestic visitors on guided tours around New Zealand since 2011, with a particular focus on hosting visitors from North America. She’s maintained a personal visual arts practice since graduating from Art School in the early 1990’s and continues to exhibit her work around the country. Other education includes a Bachelor of Business (Marketing & Advertising) and a Post-Graduate Certificate (Advertising) from AUT as well as completing Philosophy and Classical studies at Massey University. Her interests include contemporary art, NZ history, cooking, hiking, biking, sewing, wine and learning to life a more sustainable life.


Chris Daya

Co-founder & Director – Operations, Finance, IT
Tour Guide – Auckland, Nationwide

Chris has a background in IT within corporate environments where he worked for over 20 years before joining our team full time in 2022 as Operations and Finance Manager. He managed complex operational requirements for a wide range of clients including Government departments and major NZ infrastructure companies. Prior to working in IT operations, he worked in customer service roles. This frontline experience allowed him to develop a deep appreciation for customer experience and the importance of implementing systems and processes that work first and foremost for the client. Born and bred in Devonport, Auckland; Chris is a proud Aucklander who loves showcasing his hometown to international visitors during the busy summer months.  He enjoys travel, hiking, cooking, technology and volunteers his time for a wide range of community events including local conservation projects and art and music awards that support youth across the Auckland region.


kim cormack

client relations – B2b
tour guide – wellington

Kim has worked in the tourism industry for over 20 years and holds qualifications in hospitality and tourism. She’s experienced in luxury travel planning, hotel event management and worked in product development at Tourism New Zealand for several years before joining our team in 2022. She’s travelled the country extensively, but Wellington will always be home. An avid foodie, she was awarded Mindfood magazine’s home cook of the year for her submission of a delicious lamb rump recipe. Kim lives in the leafy suburb of Ngaio with her husband, five year old daughter, elderly cat and rambunctious puppy. 


Lynn Huhtala

experience designer
Tour Guide – Auckland

Born in Canada, Lynn has called New Zealand, and Auckland, home for over 30 years.  She has an Hons. BA in History from the University of Alberta and an MBA from the University of Otago in Dunedin. She has been involved in the tourism in New Zealand throughout her career, and combined her love of food and tourism when she started an Auckland-based food tour company a number of years ago. Now enjoying traveling overseas herself, Lynn has been an integral part of our team since 2016. She loves to share her knowledge of Auckland, including foodie tips, with visitors. Waiheke Island, a beautiful island of wine, olives, and stunning beaches, in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, has been a second home for her for many years, and a day tour there hosted by Lynn, is a highlight of many visitors to New Zealand.


Dr Sara Cotterall

Tour Guide – Wellington

Sara is an editor, language coach and academic. She was born in Wellington, where she has lived and worked for over 20 years. Sara spent much of her academic career working in Europe, the Middle East and South-East Asia giving her a deep appreciation for other cultures and independent travel. During her leisure time, she loves walking around the beautiful Wellington coastline, and enjoying the city’s cinemas, cafés and galleries. Her knowledge of Wellington and New Zealand culture is extensive, providing curious visitors a rewarding experience on the tours she hosts across the region. Sara is fluent in French and speaks conversational Spanish.


Louise Pagonis

Tour Guide – Auckland

Louise is a tour guide with a passion for New Zealand culture and history, cycling and travel. She enjoys showing visitors around the hidden corners of Auckland city and sharing her tips for the best restaurants, shopping and places to visit. A keen e-biker and traveler she has a special passion for France and can converse in French if needed. Louise was a well-known broadcaster in New Zealand for many years and when she’s not guiding, can still be heard on National radio where she is a part time newsreader. This helps keep her up to date with New Zealand news and current affairs. Aside from her work interests Louise has a tropical garden which takes a lot of her time and she also volunteers for a food charity.


ATHOL PARKS

TOUR GUIDE – DUNEDIN

Athol Parks has been leading guided walks in Dunedin since 2006. A graduate of Dunedin’s Otago University (Political Studies), Athol is daily inspired by his city’s beautiful natural and built environments and colourful early history. He’s also inspired by the renaissance which is transforming Dunedin now. Athol’s other passion is writing – he has written and self-published two books and is working on a play. He is also learning the trumpet. Athol is married and has a soon-to-be-adult daughter.


Louis Tait

Tour Guide – Wellington, Nationwide

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, double-majoring in International Relations and Political Science, Louis sailed the Pacific on cruise ships serving as an Entertainment Officer for several seasons. On his return to Wellington, he became involved in acting and comedy. He has worked as a quiz host and MC for many local and touring shows since 2013, and also as a Visitor Host at Te Papa (the national museum of New Zealand). Around the same time, he joined the Te Rakau Theatre Company, led by well-known Maori actor and director, Jim Moriarty and his writing partner, Helen Pearse-Otene. Louis began work as a tour guide with Fine Art Tours NZ in 2018, hosting international visitors on guided tours of Wellington. Since that time, he has travelled around New Zealand, discovering the regions and enjoying hikes around the country. He has confidence in the outdoors and is experienced on mountain, bush and coastal trails.


Trisha Blik

Tour Guide – Christchurch

Trisha has a degree in art history and has worked in graphic design, carpet design and other creative fields throughout her career. Born and bred in Christchurch to Dutch parents, she was brought up to love travel and appreciate guided experiences when visiting foreign cities. Having lived through the devastating earthquake events in 2010 and 2011, she is extremely proud of how Christchurch has emerged as a modern, resilient city and she loves sharing her stories with international visitors on the guided tours she hosts. When not guiding tours, she enjoys keeping fit with Pilates and Tai Chi and is a member of a local tramping club. She also loves her coastal Canterbury lifestyle, reading, knitting and cooking.


julian o’brien

tour guide – wellington

Julian originally studied Journalism at Massey University’s Wellington campus, and later did a degree in Political Science at Victoria University of Wellington, a city he has called home most of his life. His study and long professional career in the New Zealand media have provided him with comprehensive general knowledge of our history and culture that he loves to share with the visitors he hosts on tour. A keen walker, he knows the laneways, back streets and hidden gems in the capital intimately. 


louise keen

tour guide – auckland

Louise Keen, an Auckland-born Artist, is known for her captivating mixed media artworks. With a studio in the historic Victoria Park Market precinct, Louise’s creativity is fueled by the city’s vibrant energy. Her unique perspective, influenced by her early involvement in the Auckland punk scene, adds depth to her understanding of the city’s rich heritage. Passionate about music, art, and fashion, Louise loves sharing recommendations for local galleries, eateries, and hidden gems. Through her art practice of sewing, stitching, and patchwork, she breathes new life into reclaimed objects, creating contemporary pieces that resonate with a profound sense of place and time. Guiding visitors through Auckland’s beauty and cultural richness is a joy for Louise, as she showcases the city of sails.


clark pollitt

tour guide – christchurch

Clark has been a primary teacher and teacher trainer, lecturing at Canterbury University. His curriculum strengths were health education, outdoor education and professional studies. He changed careers in 2007, swapping the lecture theatre for tour guiding. For several years he led small groups on multi-day soft adventure tours throughout New Zealand – hiking, sailing, caving, kayaking, rafting and cycling. Clark joined our team in 2023 and loves sharing his passion and knowledge of Otautahi Christchurch with the visitors he meets on walking tours of the city.


mark snoad

tour guide – auckland

Mark Snoad lives in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland with his wife, two 20-something daughters, and rascal dog Wilbur. Mark has worked as a secondary school teacher for the past twenty years and is currently completing a Masters in Education. He loves football, a sport he has both played and coached, and he also loves acting, a hobby that has seen him perform in many local community theater productions and professional children shows. Mark is also a published author with his debut Middle Grade novel, Maggie and the Mountain of Light, launched into the world in April 2023.


david maskill

tour guide – wellington

David is a former academic, having taught art history at Victoria University of Wellington for over twenty-five years. He has also worked as an art specialist for Webb’s auction house and as an art dealer specialising in works on paper. David knows the Wellington art scene and enjoys sharing his knowledge with international visitors who are keen to know more about the arts and culture of places they visit. He lives in Dobbie House – a mid-century modern house designed by Anthony Treadwell and Allan Wild in the bushy suburb of Wilton.


patricia santos

tour guide – whangarei

Originally from Brazil, Patricia moved to New Zealand after developing a strong interest in its landscape and culture while living in Sydney. 20 years later she now calls NZ home and has worked in areas ranging from hospitality, the arts sector, education, and tourism as well as travelling the country extensively. Northland is now home and Patricia is heavily involved in the community, currently working part-time as a community navigator for Volunteering Northland as a community advocate. She likens volunteering to abundance “as you receive so much personal gain through the power of giving” says Patricia; she finds it extremely beneficial to her mental health and strongly believes in the “power of community-led social change”. Patricia works alongside her partner, who is a professional landscape photographer, to nurture her passion for art. In one of their projects, they are involved in activating empty spaces through pop-up stores. She believes that art has the power to connect people in profound ways through storytelling and advocates for art that nurtures accessible, joyful, and transformative human connections.


sue wright

tour guide – auckland

Sue started life as a Science and Biology teacher in South Auckland before moving into the business world. Over the past 40 years she has worked in health-related businesses in New Zealand and overseas and has also led several not-for-profit organisations. In her leisure time, she guides on conservation island Tiritiri Matangi, is President of an organisation leading Masters rowing in New Zealand and is actively involved in her rowing club as a rower, coach, fundraiser and historian.


anja schacht

tour guide – christchurch

denise snoad

tour guide – auckland

diana burns

tour guide – wellington

joe bleakley

tour guide – wellington

gabby lawton

marketing & operations assistant