"We feel like we have come to know the Otago Peninsula thanks to the fantastic guidance Steve gave us."
D. Coast, USA
"...Steve provides outstanding informative tours. Doesn't get any better than this!"
M. Voegele, USA
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. Ralf is responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles and is now also getting more involved in nature guiding.
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
Steve works full-time at the University as director of the Advanced School Sciences Academy. He is chairman of the New Zealand Sea Lion Trust and is contributing to research into these rare marine mammals. We are fortunate that Steve is available for occasional guiding on Saturdays.
“Tour guiding is the best job in the world. What other job allows you to visit the wild places you love AND share your knowledge, experience and passion with visitors from all over the world, while at the same time contributing to the conservation of those places”