MoaTrek minibus amid the Kauri trees in the 1970s

MoaTours turned 50 in November 2021!

17 Nov 2021

In November 1971 the first ever MoaTour departed, Kiwi Guide Tim looks back over the years with founder Ena Hutchinson and son Miles as they celebrate 50 years of small group touring in New Zealand.

The early years

As well as running the company and creating the tours, Ena’s early role included a wide variety of tasks, including queueing at the Auckland Railway Station to buy Interisland Ferry tickets, filling up gas bottles pre-tour, flying around Australia delivering brochures by hand to travel agents and co-ordinating sales which came by telex, letter or telephone calls.

She was assisted by a team of Kiwi Guides, who were skilled at driving and camp management, with good local banter and friendly Kiwi natures. 

Several of the early Kiwi Guides ended up marrying their travellers – it was the 70s and things were different back then!

For those who are interested in a closer look at what life was like on an early MoaTour, here is a fascinating 1976 video by David Barker, showing original footage.


MoaTours Kiwi Guide Tim
17 Nov 2021
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