On our tours every customer is a VIP!

For more than 10 years we have been operating tours into Skippers Canyon, focusing on high standards like authentic commentary, comfortable minibuses and a stylish picnic while showcasing one of New Zealand’s most stunning natural landscapes. Our clientele comprises of visitors of all walks of life but they all share the same wish to experience 100% Queenstown with 100% quality.

Our reliability is fixed to our commitment to deliver excellent services. Customer feedback reassures us that we are one of the best as 96% of our customers surveyed were very much satisfied with the tour.

Queenstown Heritage Tours Skippers Canyon

Kia Ora,
I am Yasmine, the proud owner of Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd. I am originally Swiss and have been living in New Zealand, in Queenstown since 2005. In the same year, I bought Queenstown Heritage Tours off its former owner, Bill Forsyth who founded the company back in 1997. Bill's vision for 'Skippers Canyon Heritage Tours' as the company was called back then, was to share Skippers Canyon with Queenstown visitors. He is a descendent of the MacNicol family who used to live and farm at Skippers Point.

He started off with 1 4WD vehicle, taking 2 to 3 passengers into the canyon at any one time. Word of his excellent service spread around and soon demand for his tours was bigger that he could offer. He decided to buy a minibus, seating 9 passengers. Growth never stopped and Bill could increase his fleet steadily, buying one minibus after the other.

In 2004, he started to think about selling his converted hobby to me. The contract was signed in early 2005 and as of April that year, I could operate this company. I took over 5 minibuses and 2 other 4WD vehicles and a team of 7 Driver/Guides. Most of them joined Bill's team several year back, as he grew the company and they were quite happy to continue working for me, too. All my Driver/Guides are Queenstown Locals. They are very passionate about Skippers Canyon and literally can't get enough of sharing their experiences and fascination about the canyon with our visitors.

In 2006, I enlarged the fleet once again and we currently run a fleet which can accommodate up to 50 passengers. I soon realized that not only Skippers Canyon is a 'Must-See' attraction for the moderate Thrill-Seeker. We started thinking about a combination of Skippers with wine tasting and soon had a new product defined which was well accepted by the market: our Canyon & Wine Tour. We offer this combination tour since 2007 and numbers are growing. Even though, the combination tour targets customers who would like to have a full-day get away in a smaller group, it is a fine contrast to our Skippers Canyon Tour which can be offered to medium sized up to larger groups.

In 2007, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. It was in December - our Summer here in the Southern Hemisphere - and I took the team out on Lake Wakatipu. We celebrated the past 10 years and proposed a toast to the next 10 or so years. We are confident that our tours will continue to be highly recognised by you, our visitors, as feedback we receive is almost always overwhelmingly positive.

I continued to work together with the team I could take over. Some of us retired in the meantime and others unfortunately passed away. The team realizes that they have to manage the size of the ones who are performing tours and recruit new team members themselves.

They let me know who else would be a valuable addition to our team. If it suits, I introduce them to our company and our tours. For me, this recruitment process is fantastic, as the team welcomes the newcomers with open arms and they literally have fun working in this team. This is very important to me as I strongly believe that only a happy team can deliver excellent services to our visitors - which is you.

In 2007, we applied for New Zealand’s official tourism quality mark and went through the assessment process performed by Qualmark, New Zealand’s Organisation ensuring high quality Tourism Operations. We passed the test and have been doing so ever since. We now even achieved a recognition for our Environmental Activities, like preventing waste of resources and reducing our carbon footprint by offsetting unavoidable tasks like driving into Skippers Canyon. Read our promise to manage our footprint.

We are very fortunate to work together with a very stable and loyal customer base. We believe that a long-term relationship with Inbound- and Wholesale Operators is the way to go. We are convinced that we enrich the itineraries with our tours into Skippers Canyon and the combination tour of Tour Operators as well as those of independent travellers. Long-term business relationships ensure that the quality of our tours remains at least at the level where it is currently and in return, the Tour Operators can rely on our high-quality delivery. Communicated feedback from our visitors either to us or the Tour Operators reassures us that we are just doing this.

The majority of international visitors stay two to three days in Queenstown and enjoy multiple attractions. On top of their attractions list are Jetboat Rides and a visit to either Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound. While visiting Milford Sound is a full day trip, most Jetboat Rides last between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Those shorter attractions leave time for other, moderately thrilling sightseeing tours like a visit to unforgettable Skippers Canyon.

On our unforgettable Skippers Canyon tour, you will be offered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc produced by Waitiri Creek, located in Gibbston Valley. If this small wine tasting during our most popular Queenstown attraction suffices your requirements, we are more than happy to accommodate you. You can however choose to be taken into breathtaking Skippers Canyon and combine this sightseeing tour with three wine tastings in boutique vineyards to create a full day experience. Our Canyon and Wine Tour is the only attraction of its kind in Queenstown that offers this unique combination.