Rotorua Canopy Tours Guides – Jen and Scott

Our Rotorua Canopy Tours Guides are passionate about the forest and the work they do everyday. Scott and Jen are two kiwi ziplining guides that share a great passion for the outdoors and for their job.

Scott, originally from Tauranga, now lives with his family in their new home in Rotorua. Scott has guided over 600 zipline tours and is engaged in Rotorua Canopy Tours conservation programme.

Jen is a born and bred southern girl (rolls her r’s and everything!), and for as long as she can remember has spent her life outdoors. She is a qualified outdoor instructor and has worked in the tourism industry for 6 years. Jen feels as though she has certainly found her place in the Rotorua Canopy Tours family.

Keep reading to find out more about Jen and Scott’s outdoor passion and what is so awesome about being a Rotorua Canopy Tours guide.


Scott with possum he trapped during phase two of the trapping programme.


What do you enjoy about working at Rotorua Canopy Tours?

Scott : The people I get to work with at Rotorua Canopy Tours are absolutely amazing. In other jobs you do make good friends but here it’s different, the staff are such genuine people. Also, the fact I get to work in virgin native forest every day and fly through the canopy on ziplines! Feeding the native birds is pretty cool too!


What is the best thing about working in the native forest every day?

Scott: The best thing about working in the native forest everyday is the change we see in the bird life and invertebrates, it’s amazing that we get to hand feed north island robins! I’m a bird nerd, so I’m in my element at Rotorua Canopy Tours. New Zealand forests are in a sad state, so we are very privileged to be able to work in such a beautiful place while helping to restore it.

Jen: For me, the best thing about being in the native forest every day is being surrounded by the massive old trees like rimu and tawa, and native birdsong. I can’t imagine a better office to step into every day; its breathtakingly beautiful and like no other office out there!


Jen on our swing bridge surrounded by native silver ferns


Has working at Rotorua Canopy Tours inspired any of your passions?

Scott: Before I worked at Rotorua Canopy Tours I had no idea about our native and endemic species and the trouble they face in NZ forests. I am now a registered DOC volunteer, and co-hosted a trapping workshop with some other zipline guides to educate the locals about the problem we face. Another highlight was when a few of us including my daughter got to release a morepork into the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve that had been recovered and rehabilitated. This was possible because the forest has become safe enough due to the trapping we have done.

Jen: One of my biggest passions outside of work is photography, particularly landscape and nature photography. Although I don’t get to take a big fancy camera into the forest every day, but I do get the opportunity to capture unforgettable moments for the people on my tours. My hope is that each person leaves with at least one image that they can showcase to their friends and relive their experience each time they look at the images.


Scott clowning around with his zipline group after an afternoon in the forest.


What is one of your best memories from guiding at Rotorua Canopy Tours?

Jen: I think my most memorable tour was also my most challenging. A woman celebrating her 60th with her 3 daughters had never done anything like zip lining before and she was petrified. The funniest part was that every time I stood at the edge of the platform to lend a hand, she was so concerned about my safety (although I was always attached to the safety systems, so there was no chance of me falling) that she wouldn’t move until I stepped back from the edge. The help and support of the entire crew (even the people she had only just met) was incredibly inspiring, and at the end of the tour she was so proud to have completed something that she never thought she could achieve! It’s a good feeling to be a part of that.


You might be lucky enough to have Southern-girl Jen as your guide on tour!


What is your favorite part of the Canopy Tour?

Scott: If you hadn’t noticed already, my favourite part of the tour is the conservation. I am very guilty of talking a bit too long during the conservation sections on the tour, as I am so passionate about it, and I think it’s important that people (especially New Zealander’s) need to be made aware of the state our forests are currently in.

Jen: My favourite part of the tour is seeing people’s reaction when we hand feed the North Island Robin. Educating our guests about how something like this is even possible is the most rewarding, especially when New Zealanders are on tour. It’s unfortunate how many of us live blissfully ignorant of the dire state that NZ bird life is in, and watching the awareness set in after the conservation talk is quite a good feeling. The hope that even a handful of those people go home and do something to make a difference makes it all worth it at the end of the day.


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