Colin and Claudia Mairs are the directors and owners of Mondumo Small Group Tours.Our company is based in our home city of Auckland, New Zealand.
Our flagship tour is our New Zealand in 14 Days tour. The first tour ran in October 2018 and since then we have run tours every March and October. Hear what our past tour members have to say here on TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews.
We are beginning tours “across the ditch” in Australia in 2021. We have plans to offer tours to other 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.
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 burst the tourist bubble!You can read more about the Mondumo Travel Philosophy and the name ‘Mondumo’ here.
Claudia Mairs (nee Villalon-Lopez) is a Mondumo director and our administration and development guru.Claudia grew up in Mexico City. After graduating with a business degree from Universidad del Pedregal she and two childhood friends decided to set off in search of adventure. Inspired by the stunning NZ landscapes featured in the Lord of the Rings movies, they chose New Zealand.Claudia worked in various jobs after arriving in New Zealand and was then spotted for her talent of dealing with customers and efficiency in an office environment and was asked by her boss at what was then the national telecommunications company if she would consider staying in New Zealand under their sponsorship. “I’ll give it a chance for a year or two”, she thought.Six years later and Colin and Claudia are both on Waiheke Island in New Zealand. Colin had come to spend Christmas with his brother, who was living there and Claudia was over from the city for the holidays.Colin and Claudia chatted over breakfast. Claudia and her friends donated some food to Colin – he must have had that poor backpacker look in his eye… really he just loves free food. Colin and Claudia kept in touch after this first brief meeting and as fate would have it further travel was already on the cards. Claudia had a solo trip to Europe planned for the following European summer and Colin used the classic line “Oh you should come to Scotland; Scotland’s nice in June”. Thus began the longest possible long distance relationship on the planet.Several round the world trips later C&C settled and married in New Zealand. We married in Mudbrick Winery on Waiheke Island, the island where we met. We currently live in Auckland, New Zealand.
Colin Mairs is one of our directors and our head tour guide. He was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland.He first donned a backpack and hit the road solo at the age of 18, travelling alone for three weeks through parts of France, Italy and the Netherlands. Towards the end of this trip, Colin had an epiphany where he pondered “how could I travel as a job?”
Fast forward 7 years and Colin is living in Portugal. He already has his degree in French language and literature (with a merit of distinction for spoken French). Whilst searching on the internet for jobs for when he will return to Scotland, hoping to use his languages, one popped up for a driver tour guide, taking people around Scotland. This sounded like a perfect combination of working with people, being outdoors, having the opportunity to use languages and showing off Scotland.
Colin began guiding in Scotland in 2010. He started with a company doing minibus tours of the country. At the same time as working in this job he studied a 2 year part time course at the University of Edinburgh which would give him accreditation as a Scottish Tourist Guides Association (STGA) Blue Badge Guide. Colin is certified to guide in Scotland in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. Colin’s company in Scotland is called Excursion Scotland – http://www.ExcursionScotland.com
Cupid shot his arrow to bring Colin and Claudia together. This romance would eventually lead to Colin moving to New Zealand to be with Claudia. Very soon Colin picked up the knowledge and transmitted his guiding skills to New Zealand. As a member of ProGuides New Zealand Colin guides in New Zealand as – http://www.ExcursionNewZealand.com
A big break for Colin’s guiding career came in 2013 when he met renowned American travel author and tour company owner, 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 and this relationship is respectfully maintained whilst Colin explores business ventures outside of Europe. Mondumo Small Group Tours aims to provide Rick Steves style tours of New Zealand and beyond.