Our Story

OUR STORY

Franz Josef wilderness Tours is locally owned and operated business. Bronwyn and Dale have built Franz Josef wilderness Tours (formerly Franz Josef Tours) up to the well- recognized business it is today.

Bronwyn, originally from Canada, has been kayaking for many years including multi-week trips around Vancouver Island. Dale has been an outdoor guide for over 13 years with 6 years spent as a Glacier Guide for the Franz Josef Glacier Guides, and a few seasons spent kayak guiding in Canada. Dale has spent his life as an outdoorsman in New Zealand, and is a qualified Maritime NZ Skipper. He is one of our lead guides and you might find him paddling, fishing or cruising on the water most days.

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While guiding in Canada over a summer period, Bronwyn paddled into Dale. Bronwyn and Dale continued guiding in Canada and Stewart Island NZ, before taking over Franz Josef Tours in 2013 and Franz Josef Tours in 2015 and have brought them together to now be Franz Josef Wilderness Tours.

Franz Josef Wilderness Tours is teamed with an awesome crew from a range of backgrounds who have a wealth of knowledge and experience.

We can’t wait to show you our slice of paradise.

Safety

At Franz Josef Wilderness Tours safety is our top priority and is integrated into every part of our organization. Our paddling tours are audited by Outdoors Mark Safety, ensuring that only the highest standards of safety are implemented throughout the business. Our boat tours are full MOSS accredited and adhere to all of Maritime NZ regulations. 

We proudly hold the Qualmark Silver award which represents a high level of quality, service and environmental sustainability.

SUSTAINABILITY

We love our natural environment and have a passion for conservation and sustainability. Lake Mapourika is situated in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park and is also part of TeWāhipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. As well as this, the rarest Kiwi in the world, the Rowi, lives here so we try to ensure our trips have the smallest impact on our environment as possible.

Being the only approved commercial business operator on Lake Mapourika, part of what you pay for your trip with us goes to the Department of Conservation, who are responsible for protecting New Zealand’s unique natural, historic and cultural heritage.