Our Guides

THE BEST GUIDES IN THE BUSINESS

BRAD DEAN
Senior Guide

Brad brings a passion and understanding of the Australian wilderness to his tours that’s been developed from many years leading some of the toughest treks in Tasmania and the Northern Territory. His qualifications in eco-tourism and remote wilderness first aid ensure a safe and professionally managed trek; his enthusiasm and love of the bush guarantees the trip of a lifetime. When he isn’t leading treks for us you will find Brad exploring the deepest most remote wilderness regions he can find. A truly inspirational guide and an awesome bloke.

KATE BROWN (KT)
Guide

Kate is a country girl with a corporate city life, well that was until she discovered her love of trekking in the Andes. Since completing her Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and remote wilderness first aid qualifications, Kate has led treks in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Nepal and New Zealand. A Larapinta specialist with a beautiful nature, exceptional knowledge and leadership skills, Kate is an awesome addition to our guiding team.

CLARE DRABSCH
Guide

Inspired by trips through the Kimberley and Kakadu, Clare decided to turn her love of the outdoors into her lifestyle. Studying a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation in Cairns with remote wilderness first aid qualifications, she has spent the last few years taking students on outdoor adventures, hiking, paddling and rock climbing in Australia and overseas. Having lived in Alice Springs in the past, Clare has explored and enjoyed the Larapinta and Jatbula Trails and is now looking forward to sharing her considerable experience and leadership skills with our guests.

BEN AULBY
Guide

A native of Tasmania, Ben grew up in the foothills of Mt Wellington, where he spent his formative years exploring the wilderness and developing a passion for the outdoors. The past few years have seen him guiding treks in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Victoria. A professional trekking guide with remote wilderness first aid qualifications and a love of nature, Ben is a great asset to our Trek Tours Australia team.

SEAN WHITEHILL
Guide

Sean started his working life as a landscape designer and gardener before turning his bushwalking and trekking interests into his profession. His personal trekking missions include: the Camino. Mont Blanc, Annapurna Circuit, Everest Base Camp, and most of the big walks in New Zealand. In the UK he walked from Land's End to John O'Groates, the Coast to Coast Track, West Highland Way, and summitted Ben Nevis. In Australia Sean has explored the Top End, the Larapinta, the Bibbulmun Track and most of Tasmania's great walks. With qualifications in Eco-Tourism, Adventure Guiding, Outdoor Recreation and Wilderness First Aid, Sean is a passionate and professional wilderness guide, who is a great asset to the Trek Tours Australia team.

JOEL KOVACS
Guide

Joel is blessed with an infectious friendly nature and a passion for the outdoors. His explorations have seen him trekking in Patagonia, New Zealand, Nepal, India, Tasmania and more recently specialising on the Larapinta Trail. With a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and remote wilderness first aid qualifications; Joel is a professional wilderness trekking guide who brings bundles of enthusiasm and knowledge to all the treks he leads.

ANN GRAY
Guide

Ann has been a trekking guide for 8 years specialising in the Larapinta Trail. Her favourite walking places are Tasmania, Northern Territory and Nepal. When not walking the Larapinta, Ann enjoys bird watching, botany, mountain biking, rafting and discovering remote geological formations. In between treks in Nepal, Ann has enjoyed spending time volunteering on community projects. With a Certificate III in Eco-Tourism, Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and remote wilderness first aid qualifications, Ann is one of our most experienced guides bringing a great sense of humour along with a deep knowledge and passion to her treks.

JACOB ROBINSON
Guide

Jacob, the newest member of our team is a Tassie born and bred wilderness explorer, blessed with an easy going and caring nature. He has just returned from a year tramping, skiing and cycling in the wilds of New Zealand. Having completed an expedition leadership course in college, Jacob trained with us on some of the toughest treks in Tasmania and he joins us as a walking guide on our Australian treks.

MATTHEW SYKES
Guide

Matt originally discovered Trek Larapinta and his passion for the Larapinta Trail while participating in the 2013 pre-season Volunteer week. In fact, this experience inspired him to get off his laptop and re-train as a Tour Guide. Matt gained a Certificate IV in Guiding and Outdoor Recreation along with Wilderness First Aid qualifications from Tasmania Tafe. Originally trained as a landscape architect, Matt finds his design background still coming through in his guiding style and interests on the trail.

JOHANNA McCORMACK
Guide

Jo joins the Trek Tours Australia team with many years of industry experience and a passion for sharing wilderness trekking adventures. With a Certificate III and IV in Tour Guiding and Outdoor Recreation along with Wilderness First Aid qualifications, Jo is an outdoor guiding professional. Blessed with an engaging, friendly nature all of Jo's guests enjoy an insightful and informative experience.

WARRICK DANIEL
Guide

Warrick is a native Tasmanian who cut his teeth on some of the hardest treks the Apple Isle has to offer. With Outdoor Recreation/Tour Guide and International White Water certifications combined with his Wildereness First Aid, Warrick is a professional, passionate, yet easy-going wilderness guide. A self-confessed hard-core bird spotter with three years experience guiding on the Larapinta Trail, Warrick is a great addition to the Trek Tours Australia team.

DAN KEYS (DK)
Guide

Dan is a Kiwi born adventure seeker with a passion for taking the path less travelled - ``a camp fire under the stars with a guitar and good company is my idea of a great night out. The past 8 years have been spent traveling the globe leading world class trekking expeditions throughout Australia, New Zealand and Nepal. Good planets are hard to come by, so lets enjoy what ours has to offer!``

NICOLE JENNINGS
Guide

Nicole's love for discovering wild places, combined with her sense of adventure has seen her explore many remote parts of the country in recent years. Joining us on the Larapinta Trail, Nicole's positive attitude, local knowledge and passion for cooking bush cuisine ensures an amazing trekking experience.

ELISE VAYNE
Guide

Elise makes regular visits to join us on the Larapinta Trail from her home base of Coonabarabran, NSW. In her younger years Elise was an elite figure skater before discovering the call of the wild - mountaineering in New Zealand and Nepal along with extensive travels in South-East Asia and the US. With a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation, Training/Assessment along with Wilderness First Aid qualifications - Elise continues to broaden her skill base by studying a Certificate III in Health Services. Blessed with an infectious positive attitude, dynamic leadership and a commitment to excellence; Elise is a great asset to our team.

STEVE TRUDGEON
Guide

Steve is a very experienced and enthusiastic bushwalker and paddler with over 12 years experience in wilderness guiding across Australia. Steve has explored Kakadu, Arnhem Land, the Kimberleys and Tasmania extensively and led many guided treks in these locations. With a passion for the Top End of Australia, Steve has been instrumental in introducing many people to the magnificent Jatbula Trail and Kakadu regions. His extensive experience and comprehensive knowledge of Australian flora and fauna, combined with his profound understanding of indigenous culture; make him a much respected and valued member of our team. Steve holds a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and has remote area first aid wilderness qualifications.

JULIAN WISSMANN
Guide

Julian’s passion and enthusiasm for Australia’s wilderness and its wildlife, his impressive bushwalking experience and his Qualifications in Adventure Recreation, has seen him fast becoming one of our top Guides.

It will be Julian’s third season with Trek Tours Australia, after spending the summer guiding trips in Tasmania, and hiking in Nepal.

For those lucky enough to have Julian as one of their assistant guides, his energy and knowledge will make for a memorable walking experience.

STEPHEN JACOBS (STEVE)
Guide

Steve is a wanderer and adventurer with a passion and philosophy for the pursuit of challenge, journey and self-reflection in a safe supportive environment. Steve's love of the outdoors will provide our guests with an opportunity to recharge away from busy lives. Steve is a current outdoor educator, with a teaching background in three states of Australia, a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership, remote wilderness first aid qualifications, and is currently involved in rafting, caving and bushwalking around Australia. He is also a passionate wildlife supporter and volunteer. Having just returned from Nepal over the recent summer, we welcome Steve back to the Jatbula and Larapinta Trail's for his second season and look forward to him sharing his spirit of adventure.

ANDY SZOLLOSI
Guide

Andy Szollosi is a mountain guide, story teller, photographer and writer, who regularly ventures into wild, mountainous areas to discover his sense of place in a quickly evolving world. He has walked across the entire length of the Australian Alps and has spent a continuous month mountaineering in Tasmania's highlands, during the heart of winter. Armed with a Science Degree from Melbourne University and Wilderness First Responder qualifications, Andy is joining us on the Larapinta Trail for the 2016 season - where he hopes to hear a new set of stories from all the wonderful people he will meet. Andy's guiding philosophy is simple: to create a safe and memorable trek in which all participants may develop a deeper connection towards Earth's wonderful natural areas.

HAYLEY KINGSLEY
Guide

Hayley grew up in the Dandenong Ranges in a little town called Belgrave, loving the outdoors and adventuring with family and friends. After graduating from high school she spent the next three years travelling and studying psychology, but decided that it wasn't for her and that adventures could be sought through work and play. With a Diploma of Outdoor Recreation and Leaders Wilderness First Aid qualifications, Hayley made her way to the Larapinta Trail through a study placement four years ago, and fell in love with the rugged beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges. A guiding professional with a love of being ‘out there’, Hayley brings experience and passion to every trek she leads.

JOSH MORETON
Guide

Josh is a Kiwi with a degree in Outdoor Education and Leaders Wilderness First Aid qualifications, who has a passion for taking people out bush. A rural upbringing in NZ helps him to feel comfortable taking people into remote locations. He started his guiding career in Australia's Northern Territory and has been answering the call of the outback ever since. A guiding professional with a love of the environment and indigenous culture, 2016 will be Josh’s 5th season guiding on the Larapinta and Jatbula Trails. When he isn’t guiding treks (and sometimes when he is) Josh loves to cook, climb and take awesome photographs.

ROB SHAW
Guide

Rob comes to us from Tasmania where he has spent the last six years dividing his time between guiding in the wilderness and working with young people. Raised in remote North Queensland, he has a love of Australia's wild places and sharing stories about their rich natural and cultural histories.
Rob has Leadership First Aid qualifications and brings experience both from his background as a science teacher and his love for bushwalking and rock climbing to ensure a safe, enjoyable and memorable trekking experience.

STELLA THOMAS
Guide

Blessed with a confident and outgoing personality along with tertiary qualifications in Geography (Conservation Management/Botany) and Wilderness First Aid, Stella is passionate about the conservation of natural areas. A fanatical botanist, she can talk about plants until the early hours. Her hiking obsession has taken her to the Himalayas, Black Sea coast, North America, NZ and to many remote corners of Tasmania and mainland Australia. As a child growing up in a remote region of the Northern Territory, she was infused with a deep appreciation for this wild and beautiful part of Australia. Stella was drawn to the West MacDonnell Ranges last year and was taken aback by the beauty of the ancient land formations and the sacredness of the area and feels privileged to be sharing this incredible region with her guests on the Larapinta Trail.

TRISTAN FORWARD
Guide

Tristan grew up in a Tasmanian valley captivated in his youth by the journeys of Les Hiddins on television and later by the writers of great mountaineering books. He has always found balance, perspective and adventure in the outdoors and loves to share his passion and experience in advanced rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and multi-day hiking. He has walked significant trails in the Himalaya, Tasmania and Victoria. A motivated and experienced outdoor adventure guide, Tristan has Wilderness First Aid qualifications along with Tertiary degrees in Architecture and Environmental Design.

ASHLEY KESTLE
Guide

Ashley hails from country South Australia and joins us with a raft of experience from her years as a National Park Ranger. Ashley has been fortunate to work on Kangaroo Island, along sections of the Heysen Trail and in various other remote wilderness locations, which have only deepened her connection and passion for the outdoors. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Science (Natural Resources), First Aid qualifications and a love of exploring - Ashley is commencing her guiding career with a perfect blend of experience and enthusiasm. Providing an awe-inspiring journey on the trail by allowing guests to unwind and helping to deepen their appreciation and understanding of the natural environment, is what Ashley is all about.

ROB KIRK
Guide

Rob grew up on the shores of Lake Macquarie but now calls Far North Queensland home. His quiet confidence and knowledge stems from many years in the Adventure Tourism industry. With a degree in Adventure Ecotourism and Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and Emergency Medical Response, you can rest assured that you are in safe and competent hands. Rob has found himself leading treks all over Australia and leading rafting trips all over the world. The 2016 Larapinta Trail season will be a welcome return to the centre of Australia for Rob, who first guided on the Larapinta nearly 10 years ago.

LAUREN BURKE
Guide

Lauren grew up on Sydney's northern beaches before studying Environmental Science and Geography at Macquarie and Tasmania Universities. She spent several years community campaigning on climate change in Hobart, but realised that understanding the natural world and its systems all starts with getting people outside and developing an intimate connection with what's around us. Lauren completed her Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation and Certificate IV in Adventure Guiding in 2014, along with Wilderness First Aid qualifications - before commencing her wilderness guiding career on the Overland Track and the Freycinet Peninsula. Joining us for her first year on the Larapinta Trail, Lauren is keen to share her passion for the outdoors whilst creating magical moments for her guests.

guides-deanella
Deanella Mack

Cultural Connections NT is a leading force in raising cultural awareness. Deanella Mack is a local Arrernte woman who was born and raised in Alice Springs.  Standley Chasm/Angkerle Atwatye is part of her dreaming and connection to country and where she lives with her family. She works with organisations, businesses, groups, and individuals to deliver a wide range of cultural services.

Having lived and worked in Alice Springs all her life, Deanella has gained a wealth of experience and knowledge that will benefit those who are wanting to gain some insight into local culture, or for business and organisations that are working towards delivering culturally appropriate services within the region.

Armed with a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and studies towards a Bachelor of Psychological Science, Deanella brings a fresh and modern day perspective to cultural awareness training and support.  She is approachable, articulate and loves sharing her knowledge in order to facilitate understanding across cultures, considering herself to be a ‘Facilitator of Understanding’.

Trek Larapinta and Cultural Connections are entering their 3rd year of working together to deliver Cultural Conversation insights for our 9 day and 16 day End to End groups.

For more information or to contact Deanella visit her website – www.culturalconnections.com.au