Our team

All of us here at Abel Tasman Canyons are dedicated to giving you an experience of a lifetime from start to finish. Our friendly voice on the other side of the phone, our positive words of encouragement to help you push your limits, our passion for our work and the place we work in, our commitment to your safety, our bad jokes but our good looks are some of the key qualities you’ll experience when you join one of our adventures.

Please meet our awesome team members

Toine Houtenbos

Managing Director, Senior Guide and Instructor

Dutch born canyoning enthusiast, Toine is both the founder and the managing director of Abel Tasman Canyons, New Zealand Canyoning School and owns the first canyoning centre affiliated with ICOpro in New Zealand. Every chance he gets to leave the office you will find him in a canyon either guiding, instructing or doing first descents. Prior to moving to New Zealand Toine has guided in canyons throughout Europe and South Africa. In 2010 he travelled to Japan to train with the Commission International de Canyon (CIC). In 2017 he trained with the International Canyoning Organisation for Professionals (ICOpro) team in Bali to become an ICOpro Trainer. Toine is an active member of the New Zealand canyon scene. He wrote the Code of Practice for Recreational Canyoning in New Zealand and he is a canyoning assessor for NZOIA. He was also a member of the NZ canyoning expedition team that explored new canyons down the West Coast, Wanaka and Fiordland in March 2015. Warning: when Toine stops smiling put food in his mouth immediately, those thunder thighs are not going to feed themselves.

Eva

The Oracle

Eva (Dutch) (Toine’s partner) is back for year seven. Eva, also known as ‘the real boss’, has been getting more and more involved over the years and is the one that holds it all together. She basically does heaps of behind-the-scenes stuff in the office to keep things running smoothly. When she needs time out of the office she’ll get out in the canyon for fun, squealing her way down the slides. Her PhD in Medical Anthropology translates into her interest for people’s stories, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself telling her your life story at some stage. True to her Dutch heritage, Eva is a keen cyclist both on the road and down the local mountain bike trails.

Andy

Manager

Andy (UK) left the hustle and bustle of Birmingham and decided to make the big move to sunny Nelson (should have done that ages ago mate!!). He's stoked to have the ultimate playground on his doorstep now. Sharp as a tack after years of running a real estate business and passionate about anything that goes on in the outdoors. It might take him a few years to tune into the Kiwi lingo but he'll get there! Sweet as bro...

Camille

Marketing Manager, Bookings and Guide

Camille (Kiwi) was our office superstar last year, taking care of all the calls, bookings, social media and behind the scene stuff for the guides. She is back for another season. Keen as on the outdoors, climbing and mountaineering she's now also caught the canyoning bug and is keen to join the guiding team, she'll be both in the canyon and in the office this year. In the meantime she’s just completed her second year of a Bachelor of Counselling. If you want some advice on how to get most out of life, talk to Camille!

Celine

Office All Rounder / Guide

Celine (Kiwi) is new to Abel Tasman Canyons and it will be her first year guiding. In terms of tourism and specifically the Abel Tasman she’s a bit of a veteran with quite a few years in the office under her belt. Celine joined the ICOpro CA123 course with us last year and has been honing her canyoning skills in Europe during our winter. Celine will be another versatile superstar as she will join both the guiding and the office team.

Oscar

Assistant Operations Manager and Senior Guide

Oscar (Ozzy born Kiwi), local lad from up the valley. Keen on anything that goes on in the outdoors, especially kayaking and canyoning. Back for year two at Abel Tasman Canyons. Before becoming a canyoning guide Oscar spent a few years sea kayaking up and down the Abel Tasman coastline blowing visitors’ minds. This winter he has been putting the local youngsters through their paces and inspiring them as outdoor instructor at Motueka High School. This man knows a thing or two about showing people a good time in the canyon. Pick his brain!

Adrien

ICOpro Center Manager, Senior Guide and Instructor

Adrien (French), second year guiding at Abel Tasman Canyons and many more seasons guiding and instructing all over the world. Adrien has been ticking off an impressive list of canyons in Europe, New Zealand and Indonesia. He’s been training with the ICOpro team, to get up to the ICOpro Trainer level. Adrien will be looking after the ICOpro side of things. Very handy with a camera too, he’s an ICOpro Canyoneer Photographer. Skiing, graffiti, making music, this guy does it all!

Juri

Guide

Juri (Latvian born Kiwi) switched over from the dark side (caving) after years of guiding in Waitomo. Juri joined us at the end of last season as a guide and did the ICOpro CA123 course. This summer he is back on board as a full time guide. Canyoneer, surfer, caver, civil engineer, snowboard instructor, ice hockey player, tiler and surfer, could his skills be any more diverse??

Mark

Guide

Mark (Kiwi) is a mad keen rugby player / allround adventure guide. This will be his first year at Abel Tasman Canyons but definitely not his first rodeo as a guide. Mark has been guiding and managing at the caves in Waitomo for years and then hit the road to blow visitors minds driving them around Aotearoa on tour busses. As a driver Mark got his passengers all excited about our trips and he got to join a few himself, which is how he ended up keen to come on board! For hot tips on where to go in NZ, Mark's your man!

Jake

Guide

Jake (USA) loves ice cream but hates guinea pigs. He’s mad keen on canyoning and has been leading the charge with his canyoning posse in the Northwest of the states, exploring new canyons all over the place. Recently Jake became an ICOpro Instructor Level 1 and is more than ready to rip into his first guiding job. First time in NZ too, so he’ll have to be taught the kiwi lingo. Jake’s other passion is photography and filming, I’m sure he’ll be keen to show you his work.

Lee

Casual Guide (former Operations Manager)

Lee (Kiwi), back for year 6. Lee’s been dominating the canyons in the Abel Tasman and knows them like nobody else. Lee’s seen it all as a seasoned guide and Operations Manager. Lee’s got super solid canyoning skills that he’s gained guiding in Japan, Nepal and here in New Zealand. He's trained heaps with CIC guides and he got his NZOIA Canyon 2 last year (one of the very few in NZ!!). Lee is training to become a paramedic in Wellington so we won’t see him much. He’ll pop around when things get really crazy and we need more hands on deck. Enjoy him while you can!!

Mark

Casual Guide

Mark (Kiwi), back for year 4, and a bit. Markie P is a local boy. Pretty handy in the kayak and on the rock, he picked up his canyoning game like a natural over the last three or so years. This year Mark will be on the casual guide list next to his full time job as Outdoor Instructor at one of the local High Schools, why not?

Sam

Casual Guide

Sam (Kiwi), local Geologist, landscaper, and keen outdoorsman. Second year at Abel Tasman Canyons, he’ll be on the casual guide list. Snowboard instructor, Tennis coach, keen biker, climber and tramper, and with his circus training he might be able to add some skills to our freestyle canyoning game!

Dan

Casual Guide

Daniel (Swiss/Kiwi) is also a casual guide who loves helping us out in the canyons. As a full-time UIAGM Mountain Guide he’s in popular demand as a canyoning guide, kayak guide, heli-ski guide, raft guide and outdoor instructor… You name it, Dan does it! Also if you need a bit of advice on living off the grid or brewing your own cider, Dan is your man!

Richard

Casual Guide

Richard (kiwi) has been lurking around since the start. This local boy is an economist by trade and a canyon guide by passion. Over summer Richard manages to sometimes put his desk job aside to come out playing in the refreshing rivers of the Abel Tasman National Park. Three years ago he gained his NZOIA Canyon 1 qualification. Richard is coming from a caving background, but we like to think that we have converted him. As a keen adventure racer; the tougher the mission, the more excited Richard gets. Richard was both the organiser and a member of the NZ canyoning expedition team that explored new canyons down the West Coast, Wanaka and Fiordland in March 2015. Last summer Richard was particularly busy organising the Canyoning Festival at the Nelson Lakes!

Lana

Casual Guide / Office Staff

Lana (Kiwi) is back for a third season. Lana finished off her second season with us in 2016 and she’s back for some more action! You may find her in the office or in the canyon as she’s both multi-talented and can’t make up her mind. Lana gained her outdoor qualifications at Aoraki Polytechnic, she loves white water kayaking, climbing and is trying her luck in the hunting scene. On top of that she’s just complete her second year of a Bachelor of Education. Whether you’re out with Lana or have her on the other end of the phone, her bubbly and positive personality is sure to rub off on you!

Jeff

Designer

Just like the nocturnal kiwi bird, when it is night-time in New Zealand Jeff comes out to work his magic. Based in the Netherlands, Jeffrey from Rydestyle looks after all our design work. He does an amazing job building our websites and designing our brochures, posters, adverts, sign writing etc. Our long-term friend rides downhill bikes like a maniac and works the computer like a braniac! No job or trail is too difficult for this guy.

Snoef

Branch Manager

A few weeks after she was born at a high-country sheep farm near Mount Cook, Snoef was abducted by us to become the best pet in the world. Compared to her mum (a sheep herder), Snoef went on to a slightly different career path. Here at Abel Tasman Canyons she is probably our most reliable staff member. Just whistle and she will be there. She is always wagging her tail and never too lazy to lend a paw during the wash up at the end of the day.

This could be you!

Guide / Operations Manager / Apprentice / Office Assistant / Trainee / Office Manager / Instructor

Our main staff intake is just before the season starts in October. However, we're always on the lookout for fun-loving super star guides and office gurus. So if you're interested in a position send us a kick-ass cover letter and CV. For guide positions add your relevant logbooks (rock, water, ropes) of your personal and professional experience so we can see what adventurer extraordinaire you are!

“Amazing All-in-One Adventure”


Tripadvisor Review

1) Best way to explore and experience Abel Tasman
Hike through the forest to the starting point, then swim/ slide/ abseil/ zipline/ leap downstream, in NZ’s favourite national park. Pure beauty.

2) Adrenaline achievement unlocked
Action and fun packed – the “itinerary” was very creative and you never really know what to imagine or expect at every turn. Peppered with interesting stories and facts the guides shared.

3) Professional, caring and super fun guides
Whom you can count on to feel safe, upbeat, looked after and game for any (if not almost every) challenge. Kudos to the awesome Toine, Lee and Mark for spending Day 1 of 2016 with us (:

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