Introducing Chinese visitors to nature

Photo supplied.
Photo supplied.

Glenorchy Discovery Group guide Jin Jing Li, of Dart River Jet, introduces Chinese visitors to the native herb horopito on a forest walk earlier this month.

The 25-year-old from Sichuan, China, graduated with a degree in information technology and is applying to do her master's degree in the United States.

She took the job with Dart River Jet because she wanted to do something different and learn more about New Zealand.

''I'm very much enjoying the work and helping Chinese visitors understand the wonders of New Zealand, while I'm still learning about geography, plants and animals,'' she said.

Miss Li and fellow Chinese staff member Qui Wenrong work in guiding and customer service, but are familiarising themselves with all aspects of the tourism operation before Chinese New Year celebrations, from January 31 to February 9.

Dart River Jet general manager Clark Scott said the Glenorchy Discovery Group was launched in mid-2013 in response to ''substantial increases'' in the number of Chinese visitors over the past two years.

The tour combines three outdoor activities to explore and discover Glenorchy and its surrounds in half a day, including a jet-boat ride on the braided Dart River, followed by a 30-minute bush walk, during which a guide introduces several special New Zealand plants.

A back-road bus tour through Paradise and past Diamond Lake stops to view Middle-earth filming locations and also passes through private farms, before finishing with a tour of Glenorchy.

''It's been hugely popular and we're anticipating that through the New Year celebrations and into the remainder of summer and autumn it will continue to delight these visitors,'' Mr Scott said.