Do you have an adventure
you want planned?
Tell us what you want to do and leave the rest to us.let's get started
In the 1980’s and 90’s a cast of motley characters converged on Queenstown for a brief period of innovation that birthed the “Adventure Capital” of the world. These pioneers had no grand intentions beyond pushing the limits of their own experience and exploring every possible way to enjoy an unparalleled natural playground. Bungy jumping, paragliding, jetboating, riversurfing, and rafting all had humble beginnings and Rene Schwaller was a part of this small community of guides, outdoorsmen and adventurers. When heli-skiing and rafting started Rene was one of the first guides. With over 25 years of heli-skiing experience under his belt now you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who knows the Southern Alps better.
In 1986 Rene manufactured some of the first paragliders, hand-sewing and distributing them under the brand name “Renegade”. Many of today’s local professional pilots took their first flights under Rene’s tutelage.
“We flew off everything – Earnslaw, Tasman, Mount Cook. We were always looking for new adventures”
Rene left his home in the Swiss Alps at an early age to join the circus. He actually did. He emigrated to New Zealand on a skills-shortage visa in 1981. His skill? Juggling. Seriously. Rene’s entire life reads like a fairy tale: you often wonder if he’s pulling your leg, but then realise it’s all true. Pick an activity in Queenstown and Rene will tell you how his mates started it and have some colourful stories you won’t read in the current brochure. Point to any of the surrounding mountains and Rene will relate a tale of how he’s climbed it, skied it or flown off it.
Today Rene juggles an active lifestyle of flying, mountain biking and kite surfing with guiding hiking and adventure tours during the summer. He spends the winter months working as a heli-ski guide with in between months spent leading trekking tours in Nepal. Rene’s balanced lifestyle is heavily weighted toward outdoor activities and what he fits into a “normal” day is extraordinary. If you want an active and entertaining holiday you couldn’t ask for a better guide.
Tarrytown, New York