Lodge Director

Russell has been working at the Lodge for over 10 years now, and has enjoyed every minute of it. He has raised his family in the National Park, and loves waking up to the sound of students laughing in the buildings nearby.

Most used piece of equipment:

Nissan Safari. Russell is often recognized by the sound of his truck rumbling into the carpark, before he’s seen at the Lodge. He uses it to access some remote parts of the country.

Best part of working at the Lodge:

Getting to raise a family in the quiet little community of St. Arnaud. Adventures aplenty.


Senior Instructor 

Kia ora my name is Ben. I grew up on the west coast looking for any excuse to be outdoors doing something cool, I then studied outdoor instruction and guiding so I could get a job doing something I’m passionate about, now I’m out here living it up

Most used piece of equipment:

Most used equipment is my rpm max white water kayak

Best part about working at RLOEC:

Helping people enjoy the outdoors and getting to inspire the next generation of outdoors enthusiasts to get out there and enjoying their surroundings




Safety and Operations Manager 

Anita has worked here for a few years now, she started off here as an instructor fresh out of studying Outdoor Education at Aoraki Polytech down in Timaru. She loves the outdoors, so how cool is it to be able to work and play at the same time in an awesome environment.

She loves winters out here in the Nelson Lakes as she will be hitting the piste at Rainbow ski field whenever there is a day off.

Most used piece of equipment:

Her climbing gear. Anita just likes hanging around, preferably half way up a rock face. She’s always getting tied up in knots.

Best part about working at RLOEC:

Living and working in the national park. Every day is different. You might wake up to snow on the hills (outside the house is even better)  or a mini flood running past your door but the scenery is always great.



Hi there, Kim here, grew up around Horowhenua and then studied at Whitireia Polytech, loved it! Then went over to Australia for some work in the outdoor industry but missed New Zealand, so came home.

Most used piece of equipment:

Kim never goes anywhere without her galaxy buff. Its been on so many trips and normally found somewhere on her. Can you spot it in the picture of Kim above?

Best part about working at RLOEC:

There is a lot to do in St Arnaud and work feels like hanging out with family.


Shepherd (Shep)


Kia ora, my name is Shepherd. I’ve recently finished two years studying adventure tourism and outdoor instruction, and now I’m working here at the Rotoiti Lodge. I spent my childhood here at Nelson Lakes, so I have a strong connection to the area. There is almost nothing I don’t enjoy doing in the outdoors, so you’ll often find me outside doing something fun!

Most used piece of equipment:

My most used piece of equipment is my wetsuit. I’m often doing things in cold water, like rafting, canyoning, and freediving, so a wetsuit is essential!

Best part about working at RLOEC:

My favourite parts about working here are that I get to be outside all day in one of the most stunning parts of the country, and that I get to give people fun experiences that will hopefully stick with them throughout their life.

We also have other part time outdoor instructors and contractors that join us every now and then when needed. 

All our instructors are highly trained for the activities we offer.