Guide at a Glance
Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
Lifestyle, Private Tour, Sightseeing, Wine Tour
Martinborough Wine tour
Get To Know Wellington Guide John Barry
When I was working at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, one of my more interesting jobs was picking up visiting central bankers from the airport in Auckland and touring them through the North Island for a few days before their formal meetings began in Wellington. I decided there and then that when I finished my banking career I would look to move into personalised tours.
How did you make the transition to becoming a tour guide?
I worked on a project that outsourced my banking role to Sydney and set about getting the licenses and training required to become a tour operator.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day involves collecting my guests from their hotel and spending the rest of the day with them showing off our city. When I don’t have tours to take I’m often promoting the company via social media.
My style of guiding is professional but relaxed. By the end of the day, my customers have invariably become my friends.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is interacting with my guests during the day. It’s amazing where a conversation can lead and the knowledge that can be obtained.
And are there any aspects of your job that you aren’t that keen on?
The usual housekeeping required when running your own business can be onerous.
One of the more interesting requests I had on a tour was from a Swiss man who insisted we drop into a liquor outlet to pick up a hip flask of whisky before he boarded the interisland ferry. He had heard the prices at the bar on the ferry were high.
As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are?
I believe hiring a guide is particularly beneficial for visitors to a city who are on tight timeframes. This particularly applies to cruise ship passengers. A guide can take them to all the best places in a day plus impart useful information about the city and its people. A personalised tour guide is on hand to attend to any requirements they have and answer any question they may have.
Tell us something about Wellington that only a guide would know…
In Wellington, Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop tour is in great demand and if you want to avoid a lengthy wait on the day you should pre-book your tour.
A good tour guide enjoys his job and is skilled at picking up on the interests and needs of his customers to ensure they get the most out of their visit.
And finally, have you got any tips for people who are interested in booking a guide like yourself, but aren’t too sure what to look for?
Personalised tours are a growth tourism area as many visitors prefer touring in smaller groups. Those seeking the personal touch should search for tour guides with star reviews.
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Born, bred and schooled in Wellington, John then began working in banking. In his time at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, John was involved with hosting overseas bankers. This included trips around Wellington and allowed him to get a glimpse into guiding life.
John opened Capital Personalised Tours in mid-2013, to meet the increased demand for tourist services in the area. A nature lover as well as a wine enthusiast, John provides insights into Wellington’s spectacular scenery as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the Wairarapa wine region. He offers personalised tours showcasing the attractions of the Greater Wellington region and Wairarapa that are targeted to smaller groups using an high-end 4-wheel-drive. With that being said, John can provide tours for up to 12 people in a larger vehicle when given sufficient notice.
John has traveled extensively overseas and is well aware of the requirements of visitors to New Zealand. He continually strives to exceed his clients expectations.