Tour Guide Kaiārahi Rōpū Haere
Tour guides escort people on sightseeing, educational or other tours, and describe points of interest.
Tour guides may do some or all of the following:
- escort people on trips or tours, including tours into natural areas
- describe and explain points of interest on the trip or tour
- arrange entry to places such as museums, government buildings and exhibitions
- answer questions and give out written information
- arrange or prepare meals and accommodation
- drive a vehicle such as a bus or coach
- act as an interpreter
- market their business (if it is a privately owned tour company).
Tour guides need to be reasonably fit as they may do a lot of walking or physical activities. They may also need to lift heavy luggage onto buses or coaches.
Useful experience for tour guides includes:
- work in the tourism and hospitality industries
- experience as a volunteer host at museums or other attractions
- work involving contact with the public and people from other cultures
- public speaking
- travel experience.
Tour guides need to be:
- good communicators
- friendly, outgoing and able to put people at ease
- polite, patient and professional
- helpful and perceptive to visitors' needs
- able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds
- good at planning, organisation and time management.
Tour guides need to have:
- knowledge of the area they cover and its features or attractions
- knowledge of New Zealand culture, history, society, geography, flora and fauna
- knowledge of other cultures
- good driving skills
- leadership and public speaking skills.
- may work a 40-hour week, do shift work including evenings and weekends, work part time, or work only during the peak season
- may work outside in all weather conditions, or inside a museum or other attraction
- may travel for their job, locally or nationally.
There are no specific requirements to be come a tour guide. However, English, maths, Asian or European languages and te reo Māori are useful.
Tour guides can progress to work as:
- consultants to tourism businesses
- managers, marketers or owners of tourism businesses
- tour package co-ordinators.
Years Of Training
There are no specific requirements to become a tour guide, as skills are gained while working. However, tour guides can complete on-the-job qualifications such as the New Zealand Certificate in Tour Guiding.
Tour guides who drive passengers need special licences
Tour guides who drive passenger vehicles need to have:
- a full Class 1, 2 or 4 driver licence (depending on the size of the vehicle). Class 2 and 4 are heavy vehicle licences
- a 'P' (passenger) endorsement on their licence, which shows they can carry passengers. Drivers need to have their full licence for at least two years before they can get the P endorsement.
- New Zealand Transport Agency website - information on driver licensing
- New Zealand Transport Agency website - information on passenger endorsements
You may need to apply for a visa through Immigration New Zealand
If you are not a New Zealand citizen or resident, you may need to apply for a specific purpose work visa before you arrive in New Zealand to work as a tour guide.
If you are a tour guide who is a Chinese national, you may be able to apply under the China Special Work Category. You can apply from within New Zealand if you hold a valid work or student visa.