Support Guide


Seasonal, from October 2023 to April 2024 - must be available for the full period to benefit from training. 

We only want serious applicants, suited to the position and who are going to stay for the full season.  

  • Opportunity to work and live in Stewart Island / Rakiura away from the crowds.
  • Be part of a small positive team where your contribution matters.
  • Experience New Zealand’s outdoors, varied work and develop new skills.
  • Come on some of our tours, see wildlife, nature and stunning scenery.
  • Interact with visitors from around the world. 
  • Receive training about our location, overnight tours and customer service.


Assist our lead guide for our overnight hikes with preparation work, packing, transporting gear, assisting during trip briefings. Assisting during the guided walks - primarily on the Rakiura Great Walk, hiking with the group, helping to entertain clients, prepare and serve meals and clean up afterwards.  Help out with other reasonable tasks when there are no overnight hikes including: distributing brochure, cleaning vehicles / boat, light gardening duties and running errands. 


Pay is negotiable subject to skills and experience.

LOCATION: Stewart Island / Rakiura.  

Stewart Island is a largely unmodified Island, almost entirely in wilderness, except for Oban Township and the surrounding 28 kms of road.  Approx. 400 people live here permanently. 

Daily flights occur to / from Invercargill, with daily ferry services to / from Bluff.  Locals and residents receive a discounted service on both forms of travel. Some of our key amenities include: a restaurant, cafes, grocery store, library, garage, tourist booking offices, museum, Department of Conservation visitor centre, nurses clinic, volunteer fire brigade, golf course, community centre / gymnasium, kindergarten, primary school. 

Stewart Island is a wonderful place for anyone who thrives in a semi-remote location, enjoys nature and the outdoors. The are opportunities to, hike, fish, dive, hunt along with a variety of indoor activities. 

Accommodation is limited in Stewart Island. We aim to source accommodation for our staff. 


Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience is a small owner / operated nature tourism business, operating entirely in Stewart Island since 2000.  Our customers are New Zealanders and internationals from over 40 countries.  We are Qualmark endorsed. The business was started by Furhana who works full time in the business as the key guide and in a multiple number of other roles. 

During the past busy season we have had up to 3 staff and 1 casual - mainly seasonal. During the off-season we have been operating with one staff.  As international markets open up again, and demand increases, we are seeking to employ several permanent and seasonal staff.

Nature, wildlife and the environment are our key focus and trying to operate sustainably.  The business actively seeks to develop a positive team, with supportive, caring, reliable and competent staff, so that our customers are able to undertake our tours, are treated as individuals and get the best possible attention and service we can offer.

We offer: Day and overnight guided nature walks, bird watching and kiwi spotting, scenic and birding road tours, boat cruises, wildlife, scenic and historic, water taxi service and a road shuttle.  The business operates its own boat: Aihe Wildlife Cruises & Water Taxi along with a small Outdoor Shop (located within the booking office). 

We operates all year round, however, the majority of the work is highly seasonal,  driven by visitor demand.  Key tourist months are October through to April / May.  During the off-season tours are intermittent.  Demand varies from year to year. 

Overnight hikes mainly take place from November through to March with occasional enquires during October and April / May.  Our main overnight hikes are on the Rakiura Great Walk with some ad hoc trips to Mason Bay. We may have anywhere from one to three overnight hikes on the Rakiura Great Walk each month.  Demand is variable. 

Our minimum number of people to guide on the Rakiura Great Walk is 8 persons, with a maximum of 12 persons with two guides. 


  • During overnight hikes, you will report to the lead guide. All other times you will report to and provide support to the Owner.
  • Your commitment and positive can do attitude in doing all reasonable tasks required will ease the workload off the lead guide allowing them to focus on other key aspects of the tour.  Your contribution will allow for an easier, smoother running overnight hike.
  • Your input will help increase customer satisfaction, improve feedback and recommendations for our tours and services, along with repeat business.
  • Other duties you undertake will allow the Owner more time to run tours and manage key aspects of the business and for other staff to focus on core areas of their work. 



  • You will be provided training on the tour, 
  • Other training will include: health and safety, first aid and emergency drills, VHF radio use and customer service.


  • Assist in preparing / packing / unpacking food and equipment
  • Assisting during trip briefings
  • Assisting with loading and unloading gear into van / boat and transferring to and from huts / shelters
  • Helping to prepare and serve meals and snacks to a good standard
  • Helping to clear up and clean 
  • Assisting clients during their walk
  • Helping to entertain clients and provide basic information


  • Cleaning and fuelling vehicles.
  • Distributing brochures at ferry arrival points or accommodation venues.
  • Basic gardening (e.g. weed eating). 
  • At the discretion of the Owner, providing lunch cover in the booking office, taking messages.
  • Attending relevant staff meetings
  • Carry out any other reasonable task to support the business.


Minimum 30 hours, but approx. 10 hours a day on the three-day Rakiura Great Walk.  


As a tourism business we are required to work during the spring, summer and autumn season. Staff are not required to work on Christmas Day and may get some other public holidays off work. 


  • An interest in the outdoors with hiking experience essential. 
  • Good food preparation, food hygiene and ability to cook well. 
  • Fluent and accurate spoken and written English.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent customer services skills (friendly and outgoing).
  • Full NZ Driver’s Licence preferred but not essential. 
  • Current First Aid (valid for at least 12 months at start of employment).
  • Organised and orderly. 
  • Punctual with good time keeping.
  • Ability to promote our tours and services.


Position is predominantly outdoors based on hikes.  Therefore, a high level of health and fitness is required.

We prefer non-smokers.  Personal presentation and hygiene are important in this front of customer role. Staff are provided with a uniform. 

Due to booking patterns and late reservations, at times our work can be hectic and a bit stressful. At other times it can be slow.  Flexibility and a positive “can do” attitude is helpful, along with willingness to help with reasonable tasks when work may be slow.


We are professional and hard working, focussing on quality, small group tours with opportunities for customers to interact as individuals. We are not a mass tourism business. 

Our priority is to provide excellent customer service, to maintain high standards and ensure the safety and well being of staff and customers. 

A positive working environment with a loyal team are essential to our success. Each team members is encouraged to be understanding, kind, supportive and loyal. Honesty is important for along with communication.

The business fosters a genuine appreciation and respect for our environment, its nature and wildlife through tours that have a high educational content.  Sustainability is important for us. 

Our tourism industry can be challenging and competitive, at times we are very busy due to peak bookings and / or last minute bookings. On other days we may have quieter times to get other work done. Whatever, our day brings we encourage everyone to work together to get any essential work done.


  • The opportunity to learn - you will do and see more.
  • Opportunity to develop into other roles with more responsibilities subject to skills and aptitude.


To set up a time to discuss the job vacancy or for an application form and detailed job description, please email: