Our People

Our People

High Peak is run by a small, dedicated team – at the heart of which is the Guild family. Our people are down-to-earth characters with a passion for hunting, hosting and making dreams come true. You won’t find any big-noting celebrity outfitters or self-proclaimed master hunters here!

Here are the key individuals that will make your High Peak hunting experience one of the most rewarding you’ve ever had.

James Guild - Owner

James has spent over forty years’ dedicated to hunting, conservation and farming, holding numerous industry positions across all three sectors at all levels. He is currently Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, responsible for the protection of over 180,000 hectares (450,000 acres) of private land for conservation. James’ role at High Peak involves overseeing and assisting all High Peak operations and hosting guests at the Homestead. James subscribes to the ‘Three Fs’ philosophy of life –  Friends, Family and Fine Scotch!

Anna Guild - Owner

In her time at High Peak, James’ wife Anna has supported him in all areas of the business, raised three children and, with James, has built an extensive ten-acre high country garden around the Homestead. An accomplished artist and ‘foodie’, Anna enjoys entertaining guests and their families at the Homestead with traditional high country hospitality and produce sourced from the property. She is also partial to the occasional ‘LLL’ (Long Ladies’ Lunch).

Simon Guild - Hunting Manager

Raised at High Peak, Simon gained an honours degree in marketing in 2001 and spent seven years working in New Zealand and the UK for a variety of companies in the food, beverage and tourism industries before returning to High Peak in 2009. Also keen skier and aviator, Simon is responsible for all hunting operations and is the main point of contact for all correspondence before, during and after your High Peak hunt. He thinks he has a pretty good handle on what makes a first-class hunting adventure (even if he does say so himself) and his primary goal is for guests to leave High Peak having experienced the best hunting trip they have ever had.

Kate Guild - Hostess

Kate is an Australian by birth. After meeting in London in 2008, Kate and Simon moved back to NZ, married and committed themselves to developing High Peak’s adventure businesses. Kate has a BA in Communications and is an experienced marketing executive, having worked in media and advertising in Australia, Ireland and the UK. She now divides her schedule between hosting High Peak clients at the Lodge and being a mum to their young children Patrick and Polly. Not shy when it comes to a party, Kate loves a song – especially anything by Dolly Parton.

Hamish Guild - Operations Manager

Hamish has lived and breathed hunting all his life. Having always maintained a keen interest in the property he grew up on, Hamish returned to High Peak in 2005 – after university and a few years working overseas – to manage the operations on High Peak. When available during the hunting season, Hamish puts on his guiding hat and makes sure Simon is doing his job properly. Hamish is married to Gemma, who has a law degree and a background in Human Resources. Like Kate, Gemma balances the demands of motherhood and a young family with life on the station.

James Cagney - Hunting Guide

James grew up on the West Coast, over the Southern Alps mountains from High Peak, deep within heartland New Zealand hunting and fishing country. After a career as an armourer and helicopter crewman in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, James returned to his original passion and now fulfils the role of Guide at High Peak. An absolute professional in every sense of the word, James lives for guiding hunters on ‘bucket list’ experiences. Given his range of skills, the jury is still out as to whether there is actually anything he can’t do…

Carl Frauenstein - Hunting Guide

Carl was born in South Africa and began his passion for hunting and fishing at a very young age. After emigrating to NZ in 1997 as a 12 year-old, he has achieved a Bachelor of Sports Management from Lincoln University, played first-class professional cricket for Canterbury and represented New Zealand at under-19 level. Carl lives for hunting and fly fishing in NZ’s beautiful back country. He loves to share those experiences with whoever will take the time to join him in the hills or on the river. In the poetic words of the man himself – “I look forward to assisting in any way to help you achieve and exceed your wildest NZ backcountry dreams.”

Lindsay Hayman - Hunting Guide

A dedicated and passionate hunter, Lindsay has secured his place as a guide at High Peak thanks to his exceptional hunting and people skills. A former saddle-bronc rodeo rider and farm manager, when he isn’t guiding Lindsay runs a fencing contracting business and helps his wife Jane raise their two children. Famous for his long stride that earned him the nickname ‘Legs’ and a thousand-yard stare that would make Clint Eastwood proud, Lindsay has guided many High Peak hunters onto the animal of a lifetime.

Nigel Birt - Fishing Guide

Nigel runs Backcountry NZ, High Peak’s long time partner company. One of Canterbury’s most experienced fly-fishing guides, Nigel has guided many fishermen and women onto superb trophy fish in the clear mountain streams, braided rivers and spring creeks of Canterbury over a 25-year career. Nigel lives nearby with his wife Myriam and their three children and also holds the position of GM of the local tourism authority – along with being the indomitable character that he is, Nige knows all the best places to go and things to do.

Craig Smith - Photographer / Artist

‘Seldom Seen Smith’ built a career out of photographing, filming and painting his clients’ big game fishing expeditions before pursuing his true loves – hunting in the New Zealand outdoors and ‘spinning yarns’ with those who share his passion. He knows how to capture the excitement a High Peak hunt can provide and many of the images on this website are through his lens. An accomplished wildlife artist, Craig is able to turn these shots into superb original artworks for a truly unique way to remember the occasion.

Hilary Sheldon - Lodge Chef

Hilary has been involved in the food industry for most of her career. After university she headed overseas to gain experience in London before returning to NZ to pursue a love of food. She spent time in the restaurant scene in Auckland before heading south to host hunters in the Hakataramea Valley. Before coming to High Peak, Hilary and her husband Doug owned and operated Arabica Licensed Cafe in nearby Methven for ten years. Hilary’s skills with produce harvested from the farm, game estate and local fisheries ensure that every High Peak hunter gets a New Zealand culinary experience as well as a outdoor adventure.

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