Lake District Adventures is a growing outdoor adventure tourism business based at the southern end of Lake Karapiro in the Mighty Waikato. Our family owned and operated business has been running since 2012 and we have 6 family members involved in different capacities, we also have 4 future managing directors - all still under the age of 3 ½ years. Staff members include:
- Ann and Mike (the parents, the big bosses and their wonderful property)
- Amelia and Lofty (daughter and son-in-law) with 1 young rascal boy – they are the story tellers and the kayak and bike guides.
- Sally and Steve (daughter and son-in-law with 3 boys aged 3 and under), they’re the ones you are likely to see or speak to as they run the day to day operations.
The idea for the business came from sitting round with friends and family after a day of adventuring, we were bouncing around ideas of how we could ‘share our awesome backyard’ with other people. We are privileged to live in such a beautiful area, and we have some really spectacular scenery close by. We took the plunge and got a few bikes, kayaks and a shuttle van and away we went… it was seat of the pants stuff, just learning as we went. Our location right on the shore of Lake Karapiro at the start of the 107km Waikato River Trail meant it just had to happen!
We began by offering the hire of bikes and kayaks and doing a few small tours. As time has passed we have upgraded equipment, purchased a larger shuttle van, and expanded into e-bike and stand-up paddle-board hire. As off-road biking has gained in popularity our hireage has increased, and we offer guided tours on many trails in the central North Island. All our equipment is of a high standard with a focus on safety and comfort, especially suitable for those with limited experience. But the best part of our jobs and our ‘hero’ product is our guided kayak glowworm tour! We offer tours every evening, and as you can only see the glow worms by kayak it’s pretty special. Our tour is very different from many others around NZ. Firstly, we don’t go into any caves. “What…” you say? “But how…….” We kayak along the lake and up through the Pokaiwhenua Canyon while it’s still daylight – this alone is especially unique and you feel like you’ve been transported back to a pre-historic age. Once darkness falls we float silently back down through the canyon where you are surrounded by the twinkling of the glowworms all around. It’s a truly magical experience.
We are passionate about what we do and we love meeting the diverse range of people that visit us. From locals down the road who never knew what is in their own area, to international travelers from the other side of the world looking for something ‘different’ from the standard touristy offering. Our focus as a business is to get people to become active and engaged in our amazing environment. We strive to keep the business as a less overly commercial option while maintaining an authentic family operated vibe. We want to know your name, not treat you as just another number.
We also have some exciting news – we are on the move! We have secured an amazing location just down the road from our existing base, which will allow us to construct a purpose-built facility with plenty of room. We will be operating from our new headquarters later in the year with a lot of exciting plans to come… the hard work is finally paying off! Our goal is to attract more visitors to the Waikato region with an emphasis on getting people to stay overnight. Lake District Adventures is really excited to be a part of the booming tourism industry.