Get to Know Adventure Guide Sheldon Lye

Sheldon Lye of Southern Hunting Adventures has been hunting and adventuring in the wilds of New Zealand for more than two decades.

Here he shares a little about his passion for the great outdoors and, more specifically, New Zealand’s great outdoors.

How did you become so interested in the great outdoors?

I began hunting and adventuring in the outdoors as a small child with my father over 30 years ago. This led to my passion for hunting, fishing and the outdoors.

I’m not an expert, I still learn every day. I learn from clients, from nature and from other guides.

How did you make the transition to becoming a tour guide?

I was taking so many people on excursions into the outdoors that I had no time to work, so I decided to create a business around my hobby.

What does a typical day look like for you?

No two days are the same in New Zealand, our scenery is amazing and the people are great to deal with.

There are views of pristine lakes, snow-capped mountains and amazing New Zealand wildlife.  Our views are unbeatable. Every day looks awesome for me.

Have you got a certain style of guiding, or do you just run with it on the day?

Every day is different and every client is different so we adapt to suit each client and the changing weather all the time.

We concentrate on hospitality and ensure that our style is one that our clients love. Most of our people visit us every year, so we must be doing something right!

What is the best part of your job?

New Zealand is the best part of my job but our visitors are always great fun and we love them too!!

What’s the most bizarre experience you’ve had on a guided tour?

Too many bizarre things have happened on our tours to even begin to pick a story, but we’ve got some outrageous stories to tell around the campfire!

Ever had any odd requests from clients?

Every client has their own odd request. We cater for almost anything that involves adventure in New Zealand.

Every job has its ups and downs. Are there any aspects of your job that you don’t like or aren’t that keen on?

I love every moment of my job apart from bad weather that stops us from guiding. The bad weather can sometimes help create some pretty memorable days off with our visitors though.

As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are?

A guide has local knowledge and we know all the secrets and will show you things about an area that you would never find or experience yourself.

Tell us something about your field that only a guide would know.

We can show you where to find the biggest and most beautiful animals when we are hunting.

In your view, what makes a good tour guide?

Hospitality, empathy and a willingness to learn from the customer.

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?

Look for someone that’s not too flashy or too expensive. We all sell the same experiences here in New Zealand, some just charge more than others.

Look for great photos and smiling faces, you will know that they are a great guide by the smiles.

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