About us

Our Story

How it all started…

Altitude Tours was founded in 2017 based on one simple premise to create the best wine tour in the world.

With a few friends, we got together (wine in hand of course) and planned what we felt would be an epic wine tour. Looking at each component of the tour in detail, our goal was to personalise the ordinary and systemise the extraordinary through every step of the tour to ensure we could deliver consistent, top quality and unique wine tours daily.

After a bit of trial and error within six months of launching, we had created the top-rated (Trip Advisor) Queenstown wine tour boosting the most 5 star reviews that year, we knew we were onto something!

With the same eye for detail, we started penning ideas (wine in hand of course) for creating or re-creating existing tour offerings and adding our own flare… fast forward 18 months and Altitude Tours was not only a wine tour company, we were taking guests sightseeing to Glenorchy, Paradise, around the Wakatipu basin and providing private charters and transport – we were becoming a ‘small group big adventure’ company.

More tours mean more staff and more space so we moved from our home lounges/kitchen benches into our own offices and operational base and soon after were presented with an opportunity to acquire the top-rated small group Milford Sound coach operator called ‘The Milford BBQ Bus’ which had been operating for over 25 years and had carved out a very unique and personal offering with a cult-like following. This acquisition was a natural addition to our own small group travel experiences and gave us an introduction to sightseeing tours into Fiordland.

Throughout our rapid growth we committed to continually making sure our tours were delivered in line with our original vision and have spent an enormous amount of time and money training our guides, creating systems and maintaining a high level of product delivery.

Our commitment to detail extends to the creation of our own Altitude wine and beer accreditation which we established with an external consultant. All our guides must have taken and passed this course (theory and practical) to be able to guide any of our wine tours.

Covid19 has been a challenging time, so while we were either in lockdown or twiddling our thumbs with little to no customers, we have been head down tail up creating new experiences and are always in search of new adventures which sit within our vision and mission… standby for more Altitude experiences coming soon!

Our vision
To make our guests holiday awesome.

Our Mission
To provide unforgettable, epic and unique small group New Zealand experiences.

We love creating and crafting tours, if we aren’t in the office, we are on tours constantly discussing and working out how to make them better. If you’ve been on any of our tours and have any ideas or feedback (no matter how big, small or crazy) please feel free to email or call us directly.

Founders

Nigel Hobbs  – nigel@altitudetours.co.nz
Heidi Farren – heidi@altitudetours.co.nz (maternity leave)

Travel with purpose!

HUMBLE BRAGS

Multi-award winning tour operator.

We are proud to be a Qualmark Gold awarded company with many of our tours being rated and awarded top within their categories.

See all awards
Best Queenstown Wine Tours
WE CARE MORE

Sustainably conscious experiences.

It’s important to us Altitude Tours is an environmental and economic sustainability business.
READ OUR ETHOS

The Altitude Team.

ALTITUDE CO-FOUNDER & INTERIM GENERAL MANAGER
NIGEL
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg Nigel is a born and bred southern man who has travelled all over the world for the last 20 years exploring and working in locations such as Russia, China, Indonesia, France, Singapore and Australia. He has a huge passion for all things tourism and is focussed on creating world class travel experiences. BIO
GROUP GENERAL MANAGER
& ALTITUDE CO-FOUNDER (MATERNITY LEAVE)
HEIDI
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg Heidi is a born and bred kiwi girl who hails from the North Island. After finishing school, she moved to Queenstown where she studied Tourism Management and has called this beautiful region home ever since. Having worked in tourism for her entire career in various guiding and management roles, Heidi was looking for a new challenge and after a few months of planning and discussions Altitude Tours was born! BIO
SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
KIM
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg Kim’s our sales gal, sharing the Altitude Tours joy around New Zealand and beyond, working with our wonderful booking partners. Originally hailing from Warkworth, north of Auckland, Kim is a converted South Islander having enjoyed the Queenstown lifestyle for over 10 years. A lover of travelling, languages and meeting new people, it’s a no brainer she joined the world of tourism, an industry she has called home since she was 17. BIO
SALES MANAGER
TAMIE
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/oz-flag.svg Tamie grew up in country South Australia - thankfully not too many people have held that against her. She first visited Queenstown in 2009 and fast realised what all the fuss was about! Once university was complete, she packed her bags and found other like-minded adventure lovers back in Queenstown. Since then she's lived and breathed tourism and believes there’s no better place to showcase than New Zealand! BIO
RESERVATIONS & LOGISTICS MANAGER
SAMMY
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg Sammy is originally from Auckland, and after spending 5 years living overseas she decided to move back home and settle in beautiful Queenstown. She loves the outdoors and in her spare time you'll find her skiing or hiking on one of our local trails. She has spent most of her career working in tourism, planning itineraries for people around the world and throughout New Zealand. She has a passion for this region and for helping others get to experience it which made Altitude Tours the perfect fit! BIO
RESERVATIONS & LOGISTICS
MEG
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/usa-flag.svg Originally from Lake Tahoe, California, Meg fell in love with New Zealand back in 2009 during her travels. In 2015 she returned to New Zealand and quickly made Queenstown her forever home. With a background in events and tourism, Meg found settling in Queenstown the perfect fit. Her love for sharing the outdoors and authentic experiences with people is what led her to the team at Altitude tours. When not in the office you can find her out on one of the amazing trails Queenstown has to offer. BIO
GUIDE
TANIA (FLUFFY)
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg Tania is a born and bred kiwi who grew up in the mighty Naki (Hawera, North Island) and spent 8 years living abroad before settling in the beautiful Wakatipu region over 10 years ago. Tania has a huge passion for animals (some call her Fluffy- the crazy cat lady), wine, Lord of the Rings, and this beautiful region. Having been in various guiding roles over the past 10 years Tania will ensure you have an epic experience with Altitude Tours. BIO
GUIDE
ALIA
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/oz-flag.svg Alia has joined the Altitude team from Mornington Peninsula, Australia. Having grown up in a prominent wine growing region of Australia and with experience working at multiple wineries, she is excited to share her knowledge and love of wine with our guests. After travelling North America, working in the outdoors, tourism, and recreation, Alia had found herself here in Queenstown. It’s the perfect location where she is surrounded by her favourite things; lots of wine, mountains to snowboard on, and lakes to float on in the summer! BIO
GUIDE
ROLAND
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg 15 years local, Roland knows Queenstown and it’s surrounding areas like the back of his hand! Having worked extensively in Fiordland and Milford Sound, as well as Stewart island, over the last two decades, his wealth of knowledge makes him the perfect guide. Priding himself on delivering comfortable, safe and informative tours, he joined Altitude believing small group tours offer the way forward – with personalised interaction, greater convenience, and more time to have fun, he’s certainly happy to be a part of this great little team! BIO
GUIDE
MICK
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/oz-flag.svg A self confessed ’wine geek’, Mick has been a part of the local wine industry here in Queenstown for over 15 years. Originally from across the Tasman, Mick’s background as a sommelier at Australia’s top restaurants was perfect grooming for his role as a wine guide. His extensive knowledge of the local region and it’s wine has earned Mick the reputation as the guide for the rich and famous, and former clients include some of the world’s hottest celebrities! Mick’s easy going nature and cheeky sense of humour provides a relaxed and friendly tour experience for all involved. He loves to chat and he’s great at tailoring the dialogue to benefit all comers, irrespective of wine knowledge. Mick loves golf! BIO
GUIDE
BEAU
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg Where do we even start with Beau? Beau is a native to the Southern Lakes - born and raised, in the now Gibbston wine region. He is passionate about the South Island, especially his local region of the Southern Lakes. Beau’s interests are skiing, biking, hunting, fishing and travel and having been heavily involved in the adventure tourism and guiding industry for many years, he brings wealth of knowledge to each Altitude Tours experience he guides. BIO
GUIDE
ANDY C
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg With over 40 years of experience in the tourism industry, not enough can be said about Andy C and his knowledge and enthusiasm for providing an outstanding guiding experience to each and every guest he meets. When he’s not guiding with Altitude Tours you can find Andy hiking, biking, boating fishing and playing golf (not at the same time). His perfect day is getting outdoors and being active, followed by a glass of local red wine. BIO
Guide
ANDY M
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg Andy is a born and bred kiwi whose greatest passion is the great outdoors and adventure sports. Andy has been tour guiding in and around Queenstown and NZ since the mid 80’s including 4WD, motorcycling, skiing, hiking, gold mining, nature tours and now adding wine tours to his repertoire. His extensive knowledge, fun personality and love of people makes Andy an amazing tour guide for the variety of tours Altitude Tours operate. BIO
GUIDE
GRAHAM
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg Adding a little silver to the team, Graham joined the Altitude team from Milford Sound BBQ Bus. Born and bred in Central Otago, he is an ex-farmer who has holidayed in Queenstown for years and now resides here permanently. The master of spinning a yarn or two, he will be sure to make sure you have a memorable trip with Altitude tours! BIO
GUIDE
ERIK
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg As Kiwi as they come, Erik oozes enthusiasm and passion for Lord of the Rings, wine, beer, and the beautiful Wakatipu region. Originally from a farming background, his entrepreneurial streak shone through and he has dabbled in various business ventures before settling in Queenstown and starting the famous Erik’s fish and chips. His wife Anna now runs this freeing up Erik to share his wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm about the region to Altitude Tours guests. BIO
GUIDE
BEN
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/uk-flag.svg Ben is originally from the UK but has called Queenstown home for the better part of a decade after falling in love with a gorgeous Kiwi gal… His energetic zest for life and a love for the outdoors is evident through his own local business Paddle Queenstown! When he’s not out on the lake you’ll find him guiding one of our amazing tours with his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm that can’t be matched! BIO
GUIDE
KIM
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg What a star! Not only does she run her very own private company, but has made the time to step in and help out the Altitude team. A southern girl through and through, Kim has spent all of her life around this region and has spent the last 20+ years showing locals and international tourists alike an epic Queenstown experience. Lord of the Rings guru, wine lover and an encyclopedia of local knowledge. BIO
GUIDE
PODGE
Originally from Ireland, Padraic, affectionally known as Podge, has been living in the region for over 8 years now, mainly working in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry. With his laid back, fun, and friendly personality paired with his knowledge and love of the Queenstown and wider region, Podge will make everyone feel welcome and entertained on any of our Altitude tours! BIO
GUIDE
WATTSIE
https://www.altitudetours.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nz_flag.svg Wattsie spent many years living overseas, having travelled extensively and visited 47 countries. He grew up holidaying in Arrowtown before making the move to live here 27 years ago. During his time here he has been a ski instructor, canyoning guide and rafting guide as well as being a nature guide in Milford Sound for many years, having clocked up over 2,500 trips! In his spare time Wattsie loves to ski the local mountains, play golf and spend time in the local Arrowtown cafes. BIO
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