About Us

Behind the Scenes

Meet our Management Team

Russell Thomas

Russell Thomas

General Manager

Russell is our Milford Sound guru having most recently worked for Real Journeys as Operations Manager in Milford Sound, but his Fiordland roots go back even further than that.

Originally from a Naval background, Russell worked as Skipper & Nature Guide in Milford Sound/ Doubtful Sound/ Te Anau/ Manpaouri and the southern fiords in 1992-1996 before travelling the world on his OE.

While in Europe he managed private yacht. Back in NZ he joined Black Cat Cruises in Akaroa - working his way up from Skipper to General Manger. Over a 12-year period he helped take the company from a small 2-boat operation to an 8-boat award winning tourism business.

Russell currently lives in Te Anau and has been involved with many community events and fundraising via his 3 school-aged children as a School Board of Trustees Chairman.

Fiona (Fi) Lee

Fiona (Fi) Lee

Manager - Sea Kayaking

Joining the Go Orange team last year, Fiona (Fi) Lee manages the sea kayaking operations and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge across with her in all things kayaking!  She lives and breathes this stuff!

Originally here to paddle the rivers, in 2002 Fi became a sea kayak guide using the shoulder seasons to work overseas and to carry out expeditions throughout Fiordland.  Over the years Fi has been an integral part of the growth and development of the company working her way up to Manager.

Fi and the Go Orange team are excited to be part of the changing landscape on the Adventure Tourism Industry with new safety regulations now in force.

We are passionate and committed to kayaking, boating, safety and the environment.  Most of all we are looking forward to showcasing our spectacular region again this summer!

Kara Matheson

Kara Matheson

Manager - Sales & Marketing

Kara is locally raised & educated in Te Anau and with family still living in the area is still considered "local", despite moving away at least 3 times for various stints in New Zealand.   She had a variety of frontline roles from newspaper photography, waitressing, telemarketing, photo-restoration, wedding photography to an office role in an architects office in London and a brief stint of coffee & salad making in Australia to fund her travels.

Kara previously worked with Real Journeys for 9 years and transitioned from Sales Consultant/chief coffee maker to Assistant Branch Manger, managing the 72-berth overnight vessel in Doubtful Sound and the Discovery Cruise program in the Southern Fiords. Kara is our resident Manapouri-Doubtful Sound expert and lives in Te Anau with her partner. She is currently sitting on the Community Board and Tourism subcommittees.