Our guides have been chosen for their unique personalities & knowledge of their country. All are 100% kiwis, & love the work they do. We made the decision to keep our company small & personalised, employing just a selected number of guides which enables us to ensure our visitors receive an incomarable & quality experience.
Doug Johansen & Jan Poole – Owners/Directors
They have both independently received Queen’s medals for their contribution to nature, New Zealand Tourism and education & are regarded as two of New Zealand’s foremost guides. Doug has been in eco-tourism since 1975, and in 1992 won the New Zealand inaugural Eco Tourism Award. Jan & Doug formed their new company together in 1994 and decided to use “Kiwi Dundee” for their company name. [Doug won a New Zealand wide competition to find New Zealand’s equivalent to Crocodile Dundee!]
Jan & Doug have a warm rapport with people and a deep love & understanding of nature.
Doug Johansen AKA “Kiwi Dundee”
Doug, known as the pioneer of Nature Tourism in New Zealand, has been guiding tourists on hikes and walks since 1975. He has an ability to enthuse people from all walks of life, all ages and nationalities, with his love and passion for New Zealand and its nature.
Born in Paeroa, Doug spent his childhood exploring the mountains, rainforests and old goldmines in this area, which instilled in him a passion for the natural world. This passion led him to becoming an Honorary Wildlife Ranger and Forests Parks Ranger for over 23 years.
In 1975 Doug led a successful three year fight against the Government to stop all felling of native forests in the Coromandel. Doug is also a leader against gold mining in the Coromandel.
Doug served on the Coromandel State Forest Park Managements Committee for 18 years and is past Chairman of the region’s New Zealand Historic Places Trust and the Royal Forests and Bird Society.
Highlights of Doug’s career include:
• 1975 – rediscovered the Paton’s Creek Kauri Dam, the most complete Kauri Dam in New Zealand
• 1976 – found four of the very rare Kokako bird
• 1978 – discovered two of the largest Kauri trees in NZ, number 9 and 15 in the top 20
• 1988 – Doug received the New Zealand Guide of the Year award
• 1990 – won the Queen’s 1990 Gold Medal for Services to Nature and New Zealand Tourism
• 1992 – won the New Zealand Eco-Tourism Award, awarded by Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and The Royal Forest and Bird Society
Kiwi Dundee Award 1988
In 1988 Doug won the title “Kiwi Dundee” in a nationwide competition to find NZ’s answer to Crocodile Dundee. Doug was given the title of Kiwi Dundee because more than once he had put his life on the line to rescue lost and injured hikers out of the rugged Coromandel mountains. In 1981 he had to rescue 50 people, trapped by a raging flood, by swimming rivers and bringing food to them and keeping them in a safe location under giant rock ledges for two days until the flood had subsided enough to let them wade the river to safety. Also, Doug regularly dived 90ft to 100ft on snorkel, spearfishing large kingfish and was once attacked by a large shark but managed to fight it off.
Jan, born and educated in Wellington, enjoyed family camping holidays all over New Zealand giving her a deep love and understanding of her country.
Jan raised four children on a dairy farm in the Bay of Plenty, and then developed a horticulture block growing kiwifruit, avocados and export flowers.
She has received a Queens Medal for services in education and tourism.
Jan has enjoyed 20 years as owner/professional guide of Kiwi Dundee Adventures with Doug Johansen.
We are both extremely proud of our own private conservation project here in the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. Every winter we plant another 1000 native trees supported by visitors from all over the world. We have a continuous pest control programme in place resulting in a wonderful increase of native birds on our property