Our Story

Colin and Claudia Mairs are the directors and owners of Mondumo Tours.

We are based in our home city of Auckland, New Zealand.

Our flagship tour is our mondumo New Zealand in 14 Days tour, which ran for the first time in October 2018.

We also run tours in Australia and Scotland. 

You can hear what our past tour members have to say here on TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews

We plan to offer tours to more and different destinations in the future and we’re always open to new ideas and keen to know what you think. Let us know if there is a specific country or destination that you are interested in touring!

Whilst being high in quality, we are down-to-earth in our approach. Our tours are not intended to shield tour members from the society they visit, but instead to encourage them to embrace it, connect with it, and to burst the tourist bubble!

You can read more about the Mondumo Travel Philosophy and the name ‘Mondumo’ here.

Read more about our people and our tour guides below.

Claudia Mairs

Mondumo Director and Experience Designer

Claudia Mairs is a Mondumo director, Experience Designer and our Development Guru.

Claudia grew up in Mexico City and moved to New Zealand in 2007. Her favourite travel destination is Petra in Jordan. She loves to dance, especially salsa, and is a keen photographer.

Claudia says "If Colin is the dreamer of Mondumo, I am the level-headed and practical one. Colin has all the fluffy ideas and I come in with the clear direction to get things in focus."

Thanks to Claudia a lot more things get finished than they otherwise would by Colin alone.

David Willett

Tour Guide

Leading Mondumo Tours in: Australia

David is a former journalist and guidebook writer who has been leading tours for more than 20 years. He is co-author of Lonely Planet Australia and Lonely Planet New South Wales guidebook, as well as Lonely Planet guides to Greece and the Greek Islands.

David also leads tours for Rick Steves Europe, in Greece for many years, and since Brexit, he has been leading Rick Steves Europe tours of Great Britain.

Growing up traveling with his parents David has always regarded traveling, and experiencing different cultures, as a normal part of life. Home is near Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales, with its wonderful climate and, for rural Australia, an unusually diverse population.

David says “Being a guidebook author makes me aware of the full range of possibilities for my groups. I have a long list of friends and contacts from my guidebook days who keep me informed of the latest developments.”

When not out on the road, David enjoys gardening and the propagation of Australian native plants. He says “I also keep chickens — which is sometimes at odds with the gardening — and I’m keen on a game of bridge.”

Colin Mairs

Colin Mairs

Director and Head Tour Guide

Leading Mondumo Tours in: New Zealand and Scotland (and assisting in Australia)

Colin Mairs is one of our directors and our head tour guide. He was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland.

He first hit the road backpacking solo at the age of 18, travelling through parts of France, Italy and the Netherlands. Towards the end of this trip, Colin pondered “how could I travel as a job?”

Colin says "I studied French at uni, and lived in France. Then went to live in Portugal to learn Portuguese. After my year in Portugal I returned to Scotland in 2010 and discovered my dream job, combining working with people, being outdoors, having the opportunity to use languages and showing off Scotland - I became a driver-guide."

He qualified as a Scottish Tourist Guides Association (STGA) Blue Badge Guide in 2012. Colin is certified to guide in Scotland in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. 

Cupid shot his arrow to bring Colin and Claudia together. This romance would eventually lead to Colin moving to New Zealand. Very soon Colin picked up the knowledge and transmitted his guiding skills to New Zealand. 

A big break for Colin’s guiding career came in 2013 when he met American travel writer Rick Steves. Colin showed Rick around his hometown of Glasgow, which led to Rick asking Colin to lead his group tours in Scotland. To this day Colin leads Rick Steves tours in Scotland. Mondumo Tours aims to provide Rick Steves style tours of New Zealand, Australia, and beyond.

Sharron Hickman

Tour Guide

Leading Mondumo Tours in: New Zealand

Sharron has been a tour guide since 1990. She began her working life as an Architectural Draftswoman, Interior Decorator and Town Planning Consultant. The challenge of designing homes for each and every client helped hone her attention to detail, great people skills, understanding of processes, curiosity and importance of timekeeping. These would all prove to be perfect attributes for her next and unexpected career.

As her work took her on several worldwide trips, delving into passive solar energy concepts and residential construction techniques, her travel bug evolved. She soon decided that becoming a tour guide and sharing her passion for New Zealand with overseas visitors would be her new career path.

Sharron says “My father revealed that his father was a driver/guide in Rotorua in the 1940’s and his most famous client was Eleanor Roosevelt! So, I guess you could say it’s in the blood.”

Sharron particularly delights in sharing experiences that New Zealanders take for-granted. She is an artist and photographer and enjoys hiking, cooking, entertaining, socializing with family and friends, travel, architecture, gardens, many types of music, flora and fauna.

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