Hitchman business snapped up by Ngai Tahu

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Ngai Tahu Tourism has bought one of Queenstown’s oldest tourism businesses, New Zealand Guided Nature Walks.

It’ll take over the business in April next year, from owners Peter and Karyn Hitchman. 

Ngai Tahu already operates the Shotover Jet, Dart River Jet and Hollyford Track Guided Walks in Queenstown.

Started by the Bryant family in 1868, New Zealand Guided Nature Walks was believed to be the oldest guiding company in New Zealand.

The Hitchmans took it over from the Bryants in 2007 and ran several guided hiking concessions including Bobs Cove (half day), Routeburn Track (one day), and half and full day snowshoeing at the Remarkables.

Ngai Tahu Tourism chief executive Quinton Hall says the company was delighted to carry on the legacy of Queenstown’s oldest tourism business.

”New Zealand Guided Nature Walks is a natural fit for Ngai Tahu Tourism, because we’re already one of the country’s largest guided hiking operators, with Franz Josef Glacier Guides and Hollyford Track Guided Walks in our portfolio.”

The Hitchmans worked hard over the years to build up a popular and well-regarded tourism business, and Ngai Tahu wishes them the best for their new start in the North Island, he says.

Hitchman says they enjoyed growing the business since they took over from the Bryants.

”We loved the fact that we could go off-track with the DoC concession and do things a little differently to the norm.”

The couple incorporated snow-shoeing into the business, expanding summer business into the winter.

”In 2008 we only had five snow-shoeing customers, but it’s grown substantially year-on-year since then.”

Otago Daily Times