"...Steve provides outstanding informative tours. Doesn't get any better than this!"
Hildegard and Ralf Lübcke and their three daughters arrived in Dunedin in 1985 on what was supposed to be a 2-year stay while Ralf was conducting research at Otago University. They soon fell in love with the country and made it their home.
Hildegard, principal guide and director of Nature Guides Otago, trained and worked as Biology and Chemistry teacher in Germany taking a keen interest in environmental education. In 1989 here at Dunedin University the opportunity for a Post Graduate Diploma in Tourism presented itself with Hildegard taking up this challenge focusing on interactions of wildlife and tourism. This lead to the establishment of a small-group nature guiding business, initially called “Wings of Kotuku” and renamed “Nature Guides Otago” in 2000. Hildegard is passionate in her guiding, concerned about conservation and particularly the Yellow-eyed Penguins. There are tremendous management challenges like predator control and habitat improvement for these increasingly rare birds which has prompted active involvement by Nature Guides Otago.
Ralf is co-director of the company, he is semi-retired and works part-time as a consultant at Dunedin Hospital. He used to be an active rower, loves the outdoors, and rides his bike to work in the morning. A researcher at heart, Ralf has taken on the ‘Close-up’ penguin camera project. This takes him to the nesting beach regularly to download footage of penguin breeding activity and check on the equipment. More importantly he will inform the Department of Conservation in case of any abnormalities in the health or behaviour of these rare birds.
Our commitment to the environment is rooted in our personalities and we contribute as much as possible to global sustainability. We encourage our guests to support us in this effort. Read more