Lonely Mountain Tours is a small family run business operated by John and Julie Wellington. Both avid travelers themselves, after touring the world for almost two years John and Julie decided to set up home in Wanaka in 1998. They have combined their joint passion for Central Otago’s stunning scenery and the great outdoors with Julie’s fondness for quality local produce and John’s love of movies and rolled them all together to create a selection of tours that they hope will inspire and give visitors a true taste of Central. John and Trish are our enthusiastic, fun and knowledgeable guides…

John exploring the Stone Forest in Yunnan, China

John is an import. He was born in Exmouth, Devon in the UK but is proud to wave both British and New Zealand passports (especially when travelling to confuse immigration!). He studied Geography (which is possibly where his love of mountains comes from) before working for several years for some large property management companies in the UK (something he prefers not to talk about!).

John is a keen traveler and has spent a fair bit of time over the years exploring Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America and Australia but there are still lots of places left on his bucket list. When he is not travelling overseas (or working!) he is often found with his nose in a book, watching a movie or roaming NZ’s back country/scouting for local trails.

In 2004, John began guiding local Lord of the Rings tours and was thrilled to discover that he could combine his passion for the outdoors and Central’s magnificent scenery with his love of movies, books and mountains resulting in his dream job! Since then he has guided many visitors both locally and around New Zealand. In his words… “I love my job, I get to meet new and interesting people from all over the world, find out about their interests, have fun and share my knowledge and enthusiasm… it’s very rewarding when guests leave feeling as passionate about Central as I do”.

Trish demonstrating at a LOTR location

Unlike John, Trish is a born and bred New Zealander, a fourth generation “kiwi”, and that is about as “kiwi” as you can get!

Trish is a talented performer and enjoyed a long and successful career as a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher, before she and her husband decided to move to Wanaka, their favourite part of NZ in 2005.  Trish is also passionate about the great outdoors and loves hiking and skiiing in our wonderful mountains, and kayaking our beautiful lakes. Since arriving in Wanaka, Trish has transferred her talents and great people skills to tour guiding. As well as guiding visitors around the district, Trish also spent four years as a Lord of the Rings movie location guide, so as with John, if you are a LOTR fan, she has some great stories to share with you!

Trish has a real passion for Central Otago and loves to share her knowledge of this region’s colourful history, it’s dramatic landscapes, geology and diverse vegetation with travelers. In her own words…  “I love to share my beautiful country and to help visitors get the best out of their time here”.

Lonely Mountain Tours ~ John Wellington, Tour Director ~ Wanaka, New Zealand
Freephone: 0800 663 7464 ~ Mobile: +64 (0)21 027 90039 ~ Email: tours@lonelymountain.co.nz