Top Guides has three Directors who are all well known in the local outdoor community.


George White

George is a former member of the Police Search and Rescue team and was the alpine specialist for this team.  After many years in the Police force, including multiple overseas deployments in the tropics, George has strong cultural understanding.  George has a significant background in the outdoors as an instructor for the Mountain Safety Council, as well as having adventured in many places across the world.


 Mike Johns

Mike is a long time Taranaki Land Search and Rescue volunteer, a member of the Alpine Cliff Rescue Team, and currently an Alpine Specialist on the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter.  He was formally an Asset Manager for the Department of Conservation where he looked after their buildings and structures.  Mike is the company's primary safety person and steered our SMS (safety plan) through the audit process to approval.  As a long time adventurer in Taranaki, Mike knows the nuances of Mount Taranaki well.


 Rob Needs

Rob is well known in the community as owner of the Kiwi Outdoors Centre (Army Stores), until its closure in 2015.  Rob has been the driving force behind the acquisition of Top Guides and getting such a well balanced team together. His visitor industry knowledge from operating a shuttle service to Mount Taranaki over the last seven years,  as well a being a Land Search and Rescue volunteer over that time, has provided Rob with insight into what will make a successful venture.  Likely to be the first point of contact for most enquiries, Rob takes the customer service and information role.




Our Head Guide, Nick, assesses and moderates our guiding staff and ensures our safety plan is adhered to.

Nick Brown

Nick has a passion for facilitating adventure in the outdoors, especially in the mountains or on a river, and has now been doing so professionally for over 20 years including several seasons in Japan cross-country ski instructing and raft guiding. Nick still enjoys working in different outdoor centres around the country.  Nick enjoys most adventures that Taranaki can offer such as; white water kayaking, skiing, climbing, surfing and a good, relaxing bush walk and camp in our temperate rain forest.