Banner photo credit DunedinNZ
“This is a great country and I have a great job – showing off New Zealand to people who appreciate it as much as I do. I get a real buzz out of making each tour an exceptional experience for each guest.”
Mark established Awesome Tours, after recognising that people valued having a personal, well-informed local guide, who could safely drive them around and – if they wanted – put together a tailor-made tour. Before Awesome Tours, Mark had a long and successful career in corporate sales and marketing management. He spent five years working and travelling in Australia, Japan, Europe and the United Kingdom, before the pull of home brought him back to New Zealand. He returned to Dunedin in 1997 and has spent fifteen years in the tourism industry – including five years as an account manager for AA Tourism. It was during this time that he saw the need for an informative and safe alternative to large coach and self-drive tours.
With his own extensive travel experiences behind him, Mark understands what is required in a guide – that some people want time to explore on their own, while others are looking for a fully-guided package.
Pat lives on the famous Otago Peninsula, where – in addition to driving for Awesome Tours – he operates a sea kayak and mountain bike tour business and runs a bed-and-breakfast. Before taking on the good life, Pat was a policeman for 28 years, “retiring” in 2002. He has a love of the outdoors and its wildlife and, as a consequence, enjoys his time with the Awesome Tours’ guests. Pat is the driver most likely to be able to quote you the scores of famous All Black victories (and losses).
Mark’s son Dan is a key part of the business. He has been on the team since the beginning and is responsible for developing the Awesome Tours marketing material and web presence.
Dan has lived and worked in Brisbane and Ireland , and plans to return to New Zealand to take up a hands-on marketing role with Awesome Tours as a driver/guide. As a Karate black belt, Dan travels regularly to Japan and speaks some Japanese – a skill he is looking forward to incorporating into his driver/guide role. He graduated from Otago University in 2004, with a bachelor of Consumer and Applied Sciences (double majoring in graphic design and marketing).