New Zealand Tour Company
A small team with a big heart
More than just a New Zealand tour company, Volunteer Voyage create adventures that count. With real wanderlust and a passion for protecting the world around us, we believe travel and caring for our environment go hand in hand.
We have developed a unique tour itinerary that gives us the privilege to work with local communities all over New Zealand to preserve natural habitat and support the lives of endangered and native plants and animals – while enriching our own. But that’s not all! Our tours are packed with must-see destinations and adventures that New Zealand is renowned for as well as a few hidden-gem highlights along the way.
The VVNZ team is a tight knit group of Kiwis who know and love their own backyard and want to share it with others. We make conscious decisions to support locally owned businesses and choose environment and indigenous friendly operators wherever possible. We feel privileged to be guardians (Kaitiakitanga) of this incredible country and honour its natural and cultural heritage in all that we do.
Ahakoa he iti he pounamu – although it is small it is a treasure.
What's in a logo?
Ours begins with a passport stamp; redesigned to capture the wanderlust of travel and built on the ideas of adventure, on rich and unique travel, on experiencing a redefined journey across the ocean to New Zealand shores. The bird, a Royal Albatross, is a New Zealand native, a renowned ocean wanderer that, after all its worldly travel, returns home to Aotearoa. This graceful giant (with a wing span of over 3 meters!) represents our passion for conservation, and our love of travel.
Meet the Team
Liz Callinan, Managing Director/Tour Leader
While standing on top of a ladder at sunrise, picking apples on a working holiday in Israel, Liz made the decision to dedicate her career to the outdoors. Nearly twenty years on, Liz has gained extensive experience and qualifications in conservation, tourism, and environmental education in New Zealand and recognises the potential of the natural environment to bring people together from near and far. Naturally then, Liz has developed the Volunteer Voyage Tour Programme as an opportunity for people to get active, travel, learn, get lost, get found, get excited, live an adventure and, of course, give back to the environment they visit.
My favourite quote: “When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Hayley McElwain, Programme Manager
International jetsetter, foodie, gym junkie, booklover, and a whizz with the written word, Hayley expertly manages our Operations, Communications and Marketing portfolio (so just about everything really!). As a New Zealander born and bred, Hayley is passionate about showcasing the ‘real’ New Zealand with its raw beauty, unique culture, and boundless opportunity for adventure. Hayley helps manage our social media presence and loves connecting with the VVNZ community to share experiences, opinions, travel tips, and all those postcard-perfect pics of New Zealand.
Rob Channing, Tour Leader
Father, surfer, writer, comedian and a really good bloke. Rob currently resides in the ‘winterless North’ close to where he grew up in Whangarei so he is the perfect fit to lead our Hauraki or North Island Tours. True to his Parks, Tourism and Recreation degree from Lincoln University, Rob has spent much of his working life within the local government scene protecting and maintaining Auckland’s Parks and Reserves at an operational and also policy level. On the road, Rob has a huge amount of knowledge to share around how our green spaces are managed and used and can always find the best coffee and surf breaks!
Kristy Nichol, Tour Leader
Kristy is our South Island specialist and all-round, natural-born entertainer. While she’s not singing, dancing, or both, Kristy takes immense pride in making people feel welcome and at home. Kristy was born in Greymouth on the South Island’s wild West Coast, grew up in Invercargill and has lived and worked all over the South Island (and the world!) so her local knowledge is super impressive. Combine this with her depth of experience in travel and accommodation management and we certainly know how lucky we are to have her on the VVNZ team.
Ginny, Chief Morale Officer
Ginny Pup has perhaps one of the more challenging jobs but still handles it with ease. She provides countless hours of hilarity (without even trying), regularly shows us how to embrace mud and dirt, and reminds us on a daily basis to stop, breathe, and just enjoy the view.