Meet the guides

Our canyoning guides all have many years of experience in the outdoors. Meet the fun and friendly team who look forward to sharing the experience with you.

Wayne Darlington - Weno

Wayne started training in vertical rope systems & guiding in the Summer of 1995 and began taking crazy but willing participants into the vertical caving environment of the great Waitomo Caves.This saw him guiding some of New Zealand's most spectacular cave systems and various canyons in NZ and Europe. It wasn't long before Wayne was dragged into the office in the position of Operations Manager of one of New Zealand's leading caving companies. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Waitomo region but his dream of leading & guiding for a company that was his own was realised, and so he teamed up with his good mate and Adventure colleague Russ - the two purchased Canyonz and the journey began of making it their own and delivering a product they could be truly proud of.

When Wayne is not guiding he teaches Rope Rescue skills along with Outdoor First Aid. He is an Outdoor Assessor and is qualified in Industrial Rope Work as well as Adventure Guiding & Instructing.

Russell Hodgson - Russ

Russell has always had a passion for New Zealand's great outdoors and a desire to have others share that passion with him. The chance to share this with people came in 1999 when an opportunity arose to train further and gain some quality skills in vertical rope rescue, height safety, and risk management. Russ 'the muss' showed an excellent aptitude for working with people at heights which led to him becoming the Training Manager for the same leading New Zealand adventure caving company in Waitomo as his ol' mate Weno. Russell has guided and instructed people in height safety systems in New Zealand and all over the world. He also teaches outdoor first aid, rope rescue, and adventure guiding amongst a raft of other activities.
Russ has a natural ability to effectively reassure the less adventurous... and find challenges for the more confident thrill seekers.

He is pleased to say he loves 'going to work'; not that playing in a canyon all day can be considered "work!" In his spare time Russ can be found mountain biking, wakeboarding, or somewhere outdoors, often accompanied by his wife.

Russ has qualifications in Rope Access, Rescue, and Outdoor Assessment. With NZQA, IRAANZ and NZOIA quals to his name, you know you are safe with Russ.

Teri Brown - 'T'

Teri or T joins the team with over a decade of guiding experience. After working together since 1999 in the world of Cave Guiding and Adventuring T has been a key part in Canyonz after guiding with us since we took over in 2012. She has an infectious laugh and smile and will frequently have the whole crew laughing without even knowing what they are laughing at!

Teri is currently studying Te Reo Maori (Maori language) at Te Wananga o Aotearoa learning institution in Kirikiriroa Hamilton and she loves getting into the canyon whenever she can.

Be warned... she is a hugger!

Ryan Malcolm - Ry

Ry brings a decade of outdoors experience to the team. With an outdoors company owned by himself and his wife Emma, Ry is always kept busy in various outdoor fields and loves to get away for a day canyoning.
Skilled in white water, on rock faces and in the bush with NZOIA qualifications to match, Ryan is a great all-rounder. He loves to deliver information to us all about the flora and fauna we'd otherwise walk past with out too much thought.


Having worked with Anna since 2004 in Vertical guiding circles we trust and love Anna – Her ‘Gladness’ is infectious and her love of canyoning and the outdoors is clear to see. With a history of Cave Guiding in Waitomo for 9 years before working with our mates at Deep Canyons in Wanaka (a great company by the way) we're stoked to have her back up north. When she's not playing in the Canyon she's been hanging out at local beaches with her man J-rad and her lovely little lady Eva!

Anna holds current NZOIA Canyoning qualifications as well as a raft of NZQA Certs in Vertical Cave guiding and instruction.

Alex Petherick

Alex – After five back to back winters Ski Patrolling between here in Aotearoa and the northern hemisphere (Canada) we’re stoked he’s opted to hang around for a summer (or three) and stoked he’s chosen to spend time in the canyon with us showing clients the time of their lives! With a background in rescue and technical rope work it’s great to know if anything did ever go wrong you’re in safe hands with Alex.

Contact us

Free phone: 0800 422 696 (0800 4CANYONZ)
Outside of New Zealand: +64 21 456 682 or +64 21 478 471
Email: info@canyonz.co.nz