Escape with us.

Our Team

Passionate outdoor educators who have your safety and well-being at the top of their priorities.
Tim Bell- Lake Tarawera Guided walks

Tim Bell

Growing up in Rotorua the bush and the lakes were always my playground.

After completing a Bachelor of Physical Education at Otago University, I travelled overseas and spent a number of years finding outdoor adventures around Europe and South-East Asia.

I returned to New Zealand to train as a teacher and have spent the last 10 years involved in outdoor education. From coaching a number of different sports through to managing students camping and tramping in the beautiful New Zealand outdoors.

I have now been back in Rotorua for the last 5 years with my young family and am loving giving them the same childhood that I had, surrounded by lakes and native forests.

In a world that is increasingly spent indoors and online, I am proud to be part of an organisation that provides young people with the opportunity to challenge themselves while immersed in some of the world’s finest landscapes.

Mark Chapman - Lake Tarawera Guided walks

Mark Chapman

The outdoors has always been a part of my life from a young age.

Early hiking trips in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District National Park with my father.

Once arriving in New Zealand to play cricket in Hawkes Bay, I realised quickly the stunning outdoor environment on my doorstep. This lead to my passion becoming my profession. I have now worked for the last 12 years as an outdoor education teacher in Rotorua.

This has given me the opportunity to gain a wide range of qualifications and experience in MTB, Orienteering and Tramping.
In 2017 I was lucky enough to receive a National Award for my work in Outdoor Education. 

In my spare time I coach football, touch, cricket and futsal teams and take my family into the outdoors with tramping and mountain bike adventures.

Mark Gatens - Lake Tarawera Guided walks

Mark Gatens

From 9 years old I was exposed to the outdoors by my family who were keen trampers; having enjoyed many long trips camping and walking these adventures lead to the completion of the Bronze and Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards

I was then hooked! Whether it be in the mountains, on a river or at sea, it has been that craving that has driven me to pass on my passion to others.
28 years instructing in the outdoors has given me opportunities to gain a wide range of qualifications and experience in climbing, tramping, kayaking, orienteering, mountaineering.

After all this time, I still get a buzz when I start to pack ready for the next trip.

My spare time is spent managing a light rescue team in Rotorua, and for the past 18 years I have taken a leading role as team leader on many deployments within the community. This has included being involved in the Christchurch earthquake and Edgecumbe flooding events. I have also participated in dog rescues for the SPCA.

Weekly training in first aid, rope skills, and swift water safety helps keep my knowledge and practice current.

Rod Hill- Lake Tarawera Guided walks

Rod Hill

From an early age, I have been fascinated with the world around me. I continue to consume National Geographic magazines from a young age to this day.

I grew up in the Auckland region and quickly became familiar with the Waitakere Ranges and completed many day and overnight trips.

During my time in High School I was exposed to rock climbing and abseiling which led to bigger and better trips throughout New Zealand in particular, Mount Aspiring National Park including one summit of the South West Ridge.

I have backpacked extensively throughout the world, including the Nepal Himalayas – primarily the Kangchenjunga region. I have climbed in Scotland and Wales, Chamonix in France and the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. One of my all-time favourite trips was cross country skiing during winter in the Arctic for 4 weeks of perpetual darkness.

My love of adventure travel and photography has led me to explore some of the more remote places including China, Pakistan, Iran south and central Africa and many eastern European countries.

Lossie Maafu- Lake Tarawera Guided walks

Lossie Maafu

I come from the land down under, I am a wildling at heart, and I love Nature.

I have 3 wildling girls who are being raised to have grit and independence. They have had the privilege of growing up in a household that loves to adventure.

I am an adventurer through and through – but it wasn’t always so. My journey in the outdoors started 15 years ago. As a young mother I had found myself directionless and isolated. I have always been into sports growing up and loved getting out and being a “busy body” but my responsibilities had changed drastically, and I wasn’t sure where to go. One day I saw a brochure for an outdoor adventure guide course and thought this could be good while I wait for my daughter to grow a bit before I go back to my studies.

I enrolled, and the journey that I have embarked on since then has been too powerful to break away from. This path has led me to push my boundaries, to step into fear, to learn to trust others, to hold on to the things that I value most and to be in harmony with it all.

Fast forward 15 years and I am still doing many of the same things I did then, but with an emphasis on helping others grow in a similar setting. I have been teaching, guiding and instructing in Rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking for the past 7 years with schools all around NZ and the Bay of Plenty.

I believe our future adults need nature and recreation in their lives. It teaches them to be strong, aware of danger, aware of themselves and to begin their growth into finding what they are truly capable of.

Escape with us.