Mark Hanger founded Nature Quest in 1988, to connect visitors with the wildlife and nature of New Zealand, explore our wild places and understand the ecological communities of these isolated islands. He had a vision to provide a service that allowed visitors to explore AND understand our diverse ecology and the unique plants and animals that inhabit it.
In 2001 Nature Quest expanded to run botanical and wildlife tours in Western Australia and Tasmania.
Nature Quest aims to provide
- Nature and study tours than deepen traveller’s knowledge and understanding of our ecology
- Insight into the fragile nature of the ecological communities
- Educate traveller’s to respect and care for our natural heritage
Mark Hanger – Director
Mark has been guiding tours for almost 30 years and is still as passionate as ever about exploring and educating visitors about New Zealand ecology and our conservation efforts.
Mark is a New Zealander and graduate of Otago University and is a passionate botanist and ornithologist. He is currently Deputy President of the largest conservation society in New Zealand, the Royal Forest & Bird Protection society.
Mark has been involved with many conservation project over the years and he is currently coordinating an exciting and innovative seabird conservation project along the Otago coast. This project concentrates on restoring up to seven species of seabird that have disappeared from the coast due to predation.
Mark has a rich history in conservation, he formerly worked for the New Zealand National Parks Service for 7 years and has had a professional involvement in conservation since 1979.
In 1988 Mark founded Nature Quest New Zealand to share his passion and knowledge with visitors to New Zealand and has been guiding ever since.
Mark Ayre – Guide
A keen birdwatcher for most of his life, Mark began working as a volunteer warden as a teenager at Titchfeild Haven Bird reserve. Originally from the UK Mark emigrated to New Zealand 38 years ago.
Mark is very active in the New Zealand Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society and is currently a local branch chairperson. He is particularly involved in the conservation management of the endangered Mohua (Yellowhead), managing and maintaining trapping and monitoring programmes in the Haast region and the Makaroroa Valley. Mark is also involved in bird surveys and bird counts for the Department of Conservation and other private groups.
Mark has led birding trips for Nature Quest since 2002 and enjoys showing visitors the unique birds and the amazing land formations of New Zealand.
Geoff Henderson – Guide
Geoff has deep interest and involvement in conservation and nature that began over thirty years ago with volunteer fieldwork with endangered bird species on offshore islands in New Zealand.
Geoff has a long background as a science teacher in Canterbury and his academic training was in ecology and geology. He worked for a short time for the predecessor of the Department of Conservation before taking up teaching.
Geoff is still very active in local conservation issues in the central Canterbury region. He regularly works on re-vegetation projects in nearby reserves, assists with bird survey work and with wilding tree removal. His particular strength is botanical and Geoff has been active in the botanical society in Canterbury for 20 years.
Geoff has been a guide for many years and in 2006 he started guiding for Nature Quest.
Ljana – Office Manager
Ljana has a genuine passion for New Zealand’s flora and fauna, a broad knowledge of New Zealand’s natural environment and an intense desire to share this with others.
For many years Ljana has been a biology and environmental education teacher. Ljana joined the Nature Quest team in 2009 and has led a range of departures. She now works in the office, organizing and booking tours, but still enjoys guiding where possible.