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It was Tony and Nina’s intrepid lifestyle that sparked the launch of Blue Adventures and later, Teepee Glamping. The couple met working in the ski fields in Queenstown, then decided to go exploring and spent the next few years sailing on Tony’s yacht in Eastern Australia, travelling throughout Asia and Europe, chasing the wind and waves and working odd jobs in between.

They took the plunge into self-employment with their water sports school ‘Blue Adventures’ in 2011, after settling on the Matakana Coast, where Tony grew up, and deciding on a life-work-surf balance that keeps their life blissfully streamlined.

 “The business just evolved. We started balancing the business between other jobs but soon decided that the business could support our lifestyle,” says Tony, who is a commercial skipper and one of New Zealand’s most qualified kitesurfing instructors.

Over the years the business grew and they now employ five instructors over summer, teaching kitesurfing, wakeboarding, foil boarding and paddle boarding the Matakana Coast and Auckland and offering kitesurfing holidays to the South Pacific in their off season. 

“We found our niche market in offering multi-day water sport packages, which include kitesurfing lessons and accommodation for groups of six to eight people." Over the years these action-packed mini-holidays grew in popularity, with many clients returning year after year. "We now run our Kite Camps on most weekends during summer,'' says Tony. 

To accommodate their guests the couple have set up three tepee sites on large circular timber platforms, hovering over native rushes and grasses at the bottom of their serene 1.1 ha property. “The setting is just beautiful and glamping is a great fit for our outdoor-savvy Blue Adventures clients.” says Tony. 

Just recently the couple expanded their business by opening a small surf shop at the Omaha Estuary, offering a hand-picked collection of surfboards, paddle boards, foil and kitesurfing equipment, as well as wetsuits and beach wear. “As we spent a lot of time outdoors it comes natural to us to care for the environment. This is why we source high quality products that last, and if possible are produced in a sustainable way,” says Tony. “A favourite of mine is our kids swimwear range, which is made out of recycled ocean plastics,” adds Nina.

You can find Nina and Tony’s new surf shop on the Omaha Estuary at 329 Omaha Flats Road, where you can also sign up for Blue Adventures' water sports lessons or grab a rental board.

022 630 5705


Susannah Marshall