Photo of Claire Hesselin.

Claire Hesselin

Claire was born in Invercargill (the southernmost city in New Zealand) and grew up in the nearby town of Gore. Adventure’s always been on her doorstep, she spends a lot of her spare time exploring the nearby Catlins, as well as the rivers and mountains of the Southland region. She speaks English and basic Spanish, while her hobbies include hiking, biking and kayaking into some of the most stunning parts of the world… She also enjoys sailing, fishing, cooking, music, playing sports and creating an amazing veggie garden.

Greatest adventure memory? “It’s hard to pin down – there’s so many!”. One that stands out is a 3 night/4 day sea kayaking trip with 8 of her friends around Stewart Island (just off the South Coast of New Zealand’s South Island). One night they shared a mountain hut with a group of 8 deer stalkers, they exchanged fresh fish for venison and compared adventure stories before an evening full of robust discussion and singalongs! After a sleepless night (due to snoring hunters) they bid each other fond farewells and the hunters helped them launch their kayaks. The two groups were from quite different walks of life but they all came together through sharing a love for the outdoors, in this amazing place that is Stewart Island.

Before guiding, Claire worked as a Youth Mental Health and Addictions clinician (she trained as a social worker and she’s been working with youth for the past 9 years).