‘Lonely Planet’ founder brings his adventures


One of the world’s most famous travellers is coming to Queenstown for a highly-anticipated public talk. 

Multi-millionaire Tony Wheeler, the founder of backpacker bible company Lonely Planet, has been named as the keynote speaker at the inaugural TEDxQueenstown event, next month. 

Indian-born Wheeler was raised in Pakistan, the Bahamas and the USA before eventually settling in the United Kingdom and latterly Australia. 

Wheeler and his wife Maureen wrote their first Lonely Planet book, Across Asia on the Cheap, in the early 1970s. 

Wheeler has been to Queenstown before but his upcoming visit will be a whistle-stop tour: “Right after Queenstown I’m departing for Europe for four months. So apart from TEDx talking I’m not going to be doing anything I suspect. I’ll have to come back won’t I?” he tells Mountain Scene

At TEDxQueenstown, Wheeler will talk about his travels through the “Bad Lands” – countries perceived to be extremely dangerous and repressive. 

Other guest speakers include local film-maker Mathurin Molgat, professional aviation daredevil Chuck Berry, Te Reo Maori teacher Jeromy van Riel and scientist Ella Lawton, with the theme of “The Next Adventure”. 

TEDxQueenstown is an independently organised event associated with the global internet phenomenon TED (Technology, Education and Design). TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to ideas worth spreading. Speakers at a TED conference or TEDx talk have the chance to be exposed to millions of viewers worldwide.

TEDxQueenstown will be at the local Hilton hotel on April 5. Tickets, limited to 100, are yet to go on sale.