Meet Chris Riley – Owner Eco Wanaka Adventures

about_chrisSince 1983 I have been involved “hands on” in Tourism, Ski Guiding and driving in the South Island at Mt. Hutt, Queenstown and Wanaka Areas. My summers were spent doing sales In Melbourne and Sydney, and raft guiding on the East Coast of Australia. Also I led treks and raft guided in Nepal, based in Kathmandhu for 2 seasons, in the Annapurnas, and Everest Region to Base Camp. I was in awe of the resilience of the Sherpa people in these harsh environments.

My childhood was spent in, on ,or under the water, in the far North of New Zealand, which has stood me in good stead for my experience of ice diving in Antarctica for Documentary filming with N.Z. Natural History Unit. I have been at Scott Base twice as a lighting Diver, camped in tents, and dived through the 2metre thick Ice to the most amazing gin-clear -2deg.c spectacles I have ever seen diving. Also I have been fortunate to sail from Cape Horn to the Antarctic Peninsula on a 61ft. Yacht to film “Crystal Ocean, Iceberg”, and also from Hobart to Commonwealth Bay (AustralianTerritory-Mawson’s Hut.)” The windiest Place in the world.”

Blue water sailing also with documentary making has taken me to the Subantarctic Islands off New Zealand’s south, to Auckland and Campbell Island, up to the Kingdom Of Tonga, the remote Islands of Fiji, from Sydney to Tasmania, via Bass Strait islands, then across the Tasman to Clear customs in Milford Sound. On the same Yacht, “Evohe”, eight of us left The Aleutian Islands and headed up around Alaska ,across the top of Canada,to Baffin island, down the Greenland Coast, then back across to Newfoundland, and on to Halifax,Canada.-The notorious Northwest Passage. We hit an Iceberg, had to change the boat’s propeller, lost an anchor in a huge storm off Northern Alaska, met Inuit hunting whales, had exciting encounters with Polar Bear and Cubs, found possibly an early grave of the ill fated Franklin Expedition. An arduous journey, one I would not like to repeat.

Now, living here in our “Slice of Heaven” I want to show you some of our secrets here in Wanaka.

Chris has been skippering boats on Lake Wanaka, leading trips on the lakes islands and working as a fishing guide on the lake and surrounding rivers since 1991.