Senior Skipper and Guide, Martin is one of our resident experts about the plant life in Waimangu Volcanic Valley. He’s an experienced geothermal guide and has been with us 3 and a half years.
What does a typical day at work look like?
It normally involves bus driving, skippering on the boat – I’ll normally do that twice per day, and guiding groups through the valley.
What have you been working on recently?
Recently I’ve been doing a lot of trapping. We’re increasing the number of traps in the area to keep introduced predator numbers down, so I keep that organised, checking, clearing and resetting traps and keeping records of it all. It’s great, mostly that kind of work relies on volunteers but here it’s part of my job.
We also took the boat over to Patiti Island recently to see what it’s like over there. It would be great to take people out to see it one day.
What is the best part of your job?
I’d say it’s being out in the natural environment. It’s unique, very few places have such a variety of bush, geothermal and the wetlands.
And the worst?
Well I scrubbed the toilets pretty hard this morning!
What’s your favourite feature of the valley?
My favourite part is from the Inferno Crater to Bus Stop 1. When I’m guiding, I always get my groups to stop and look around there. I’m a member of the Botanical Society, and once it took us 4 hours just to get to bus stop 1 because there was so much unique botany for them to see.
What about the boat cruise?
I love Star Hill Crater. It’s its own little unique area, and it’s so calm. If we have time it’s great to turn off the boat and enjoy the quiet. Well, that’s before the cicadas start!
What is something that surprises people about Waimangu?
People love the trees, like the native tree fuchsia, the Kōtukutuku. I think some people just come for the geothermal sights and are surprised by everything else here like the bush.
What do you like doing for fun outside of work?
Gardening, and mountain biking in the Redwoods. I should probably explore somewhere else but I like how I can pick a different trail every time. I’m also learning Japanese on an app… but that might take me a while!
What are your top tips for the best places to go in Rotorua?
In town, Brew Bar and Atticus Finch on Eat Streat are my top two. Oh, and the nature loop walking trail at Mount Ngongotaha is fabulous, and a bit of a hidden gem.