Guiding Testimonials

Matt was fun, professional & knowledgeable. Exceeded expectations. Perfect guide. Beautiful island ...nature at its best.
Jackie, New Zealand - 5/3/19
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Matt was a superb guide . Found all the birds and his knowledge was wonderful.
Robert, Australia - 20/1/19
Matt was fabulous. He took the time to make sure each person saw every bird. Very knowledgeable, personable, competent and patient. I highly recommend this walk.
Shirley, USA - 10/12/18

Ulva Island is a special place, close to unique. Matt Jones is a special birding guide. Blessed with fine weather, the combination was delightful. We have been out with several birding guides, but Matt stands out for his incredible ear to the calls of the target birds. And great fun to be with.
Ballard, New Zealand - 28/10/18
Our guide was Matt Jones who is very charismatic and just so knowledgeable about Ulva and its background. The walk is at a steady pace with regular stops where Matt points out birdlife and Flora and fauna -the walk involves some steps and gradients. Ulva island is beautiful and unspoilt.
Lesley, England - 1/5/18
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This was an amazing experience! Arriving on Ulva Island sounded like being in a jungle because of all the birds. My guide was Matt, who was not only incredibly knowledgeable about the birds, flora and other wildlife, but was also a delightful person with a great sense of humor. He obviously loves what he does and cares deeply about protecting and preserving the islands flora and fauna ... you don't have to be a "bird nerd" to appreciate the beauty and the experience.
Sally, UK - 23/3/18

Matt, our tour guide, was excellent. He shared his knowledge and love of the forest and bird life with us in a way that was both interesting and memorable. The pace of the 4-hour tour worked and I never felt rushed or like I wanted to move on. But best of all, we heard and saw a multitude of birds that I would never have noticed on my own. I learned the basic of birdwatching - walk less, look and listen more.
Barbara & Jim, USA - 10/3/18

Matt, I want to thank you for a most amazing and awesome experience. Your knowledge of world birds and calls and habitats is incredible. As is your knowledge of New Zealand natural history.
Ingolf, USA - 5/12/17

 Just a brief note to thank you so very much - the guided tour on Ulva was very special - I'm still talking about kiwi spotting at midday.
Paul Atkins, Chief Executive Zealandia, New Zealand - 9/1/17 
 Matt never missed an organisational beat … or a bird! His outgoing personality, high energy, love of birds, and consistent good cheer made our group cohesive and fully engaged in each day's activities. Matt is a super guide!
John & Marilynne, USA - 26/2/16 
 "Thanks Matt, great birding, great guiding, great fun!  It's been absolutely awesome!
Peter & Caroline, England - 18/2/15 
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"Thank you for your fantastic guiding on Paradise Island (Ulva Island!). We felt very lucky having you as a guide both bird watching and kiwi spotting [7 kiwis!].  This was really the highlight of our NZ trip."
Birgitta & Gunnar, Sweden - 14/4/14
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"It was good to meet up at Miranda and Kaikoura.  We've been remembering the excitement of seeing the birds so close … and were grateful for your help in identifying them.  We had a brilliant time."
Audrey & Gwyn, UK - 26/2/14
"Enjoyed the birding on Ulva Island but were absolutely blown away by the pelagic, it was a real highlight!"
Pike & Nico, USA - 5/1/14
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"Saw everything - of course!  Matt saw to that and we were SO lucky to have him."
John & Anne, UK -  5/12/13
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"A wonderful day birding.  Fantastic views of everything on Ulva Island and a great afternoon's pelagic surrounded with the seabirds.  The sights and sounds will stay with us forever.  Many thanks Matt."
Jon & Kate, Scotland - 5/11/13
"A truly magical experience thanks to Ulva and Matt for making it all happen."
Olaf & Steve, USA - 15/10/13
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"We came back drenched but with grins on our faces which will last for ages.  A wonderful, knowledgeable and generous guide."
Honor & Philip, Australia - 16/3/13 
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"Thanks Matt, a fabulous days' birding - could not have been better."
David, UK - 14/1/13
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"I am glad I changed my mind and had Matt as our guide.  I was going to make the visit on my own.  Wonderful experience, thank you."
Maureen, UK - 6/1/13
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"Really enjoyed the morning - very privileged to see such special birds.  Very lucky to have such excellent knowledge."
Anne & Philip, Australia - 10/12/12
  "Matt - great job and a great place!  Two of my bucket birds - thanks."
Jon, USA - 8/11/12

"Thanks so much for a wonderful introduction to Ulva Island.  A truly magical place - birds galore!  See you next time."
Kent & Bill, USA - 25/10/12
"Matt was awesome.  We had been before but still learned new things.  His knowledge is amazing for "not a local"!  He is very passionate about what he does and it shows.
Jon, New Zealand - 24/03/12
"Fantastic walk.  Matt found birds we never expected; kiwi a great bonus!"
Pete & Carol, New Zealand - 17/02/12
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"30 species of birds today (and 21 were new to us).  Seeing albatross was a life's ambition fulfilled!  Thanks Matt for working hard to make sure we saw everything possible."
Helen & Ron, UK - 31/01/12
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"Just a wonderful days' birding.  Really great to meet someone who has birded the East Bank at Cley."
Stuart, USA - 13/12/11
"Thanks to Matt at the Birdfair UK we really enjoyed Stewart Island at last.  Matt's knowledge and personality has made our tour of Ulva Island a real joy and a pelagic trip to remember."
Martin & Adele, England - 06/12/11
USA flag   "We've seen great birds all over the world at sewage ponds and rubbish dumps, now we've seen South Island Saddleback at a long-drop toilet thanks to Matt's terrific ability to sniff out a skulker!"
Jim & Susan, USA - 03/12/11
  "A lovely island, great weather and a fine guide, how much better can it be?  Thanks Matt - jealous about your job, we will think about it when we are in our office."
Iris & Chris, Holland - 16/11/11
Australian flag "Fabulous trip on Ulva tracks, wonderful interpretation of forest and birds from Matt."
Mick & Deirdre, Tasmania - 21/02/11
German flag  "On my birthday I've seen many interesting flowers, plants, trees and birds.  The best birthday present was to see a kiwi!"
Dietmer & Nicole, Germany - 27/01/11
Welsh flag  "Thanks to Matt for a fantastic experience on both the pelagic and Ulva Island trip. Matt's effort, support and patience were massively appreciated. Will remember the Rifleman and Saddleback experience forever."
John & Julie, Wales - 10/01/11
Australian flag  "Jones understands Ulva Island like a doctor knows the bones in a human skeleton. He can recognise the call of every bird and knows where to look to find the rarest of plants."
Sarah Nicholson, Australia - 09/01/11
Read Sarah's article "Walking with fine company" on
United Kingdom flag  "What a great trip with such a talented and informative guide. It is not often that my 'twitcher' wife is reduced to silence but this was one such occasion!"
Tim & Heather, UK - 9/12/10
 French flag "Wonderful walk with our very skilled guide Matt. A lot of birds, very lovely forest. Thanks for a lovely morning."
Nelly & Jean-Pierre, France - 8/12/10
 Scottish flag "A wonderful day in every respect made extra special by an outstanding guide. Many thanks Matt."
Ros & Allen, Scotland - 7/11/10
United Kingdom flag   "Wow Wow Wow!! What a fabulous island made even more special by Matt. All we could have wished, need I say more."
Alison & David, UK - 29/10/10
USA flag  "We can't thank you enough for such a fabulous trip - we will always remember your enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge, not to mention your skills at finding the birds. The most impressive four hours of my life."
Connie & Bruce, USA - 23/03/10
 New Zealand flag "Wonderful experience, great guide, saw some amazing birds. Especially the kiwi, thanks so much."
Lola, New Zealand - 21/02/10
 Netherlands flag "Ulva is heaven. Enjoyed the walk very much and I'm extremely grateful to you Matt for showing me around so fantastically."
Meindert, Holland - 24/01/10
Swedish flag  "This was our best guided trip we've ever had, thanks."
Sarja & Benny, Sweden - 01/01/10
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"Travelling with Matt on Ulva Island was a revelation. The knowledge and companionship was enjoyed immensely."
Jenny, New Zealand - 23/12/09
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"Matt's an excellent guide with a genuine dedication to Ulva and New Zealand wildlife and fauna. We as New Zealanders are very lucky to have such a passionate person here in NZ."
Alan, New Zealand - 19/11/09
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"Superb memories, thank you for my Saddleback.  Happy!  A pleasure to spend time with a birder."  
Sandy, USA - 03/03/09
 English flag "All the superlatives, even a KIWI. We had a fantastic tour with Matt, he is a very informed and gifted communicator. Highly recommended."
Wyn & John, England - 20/02/08
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"Awesome, extremely interesting tour.  You'll be heard of in glowing terms by the rainforest guides of North Queensland.  Thanks very much."  
Paul & Pat, Australia - 18/02/08
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"Marvellous morning, thanks. Well done for finding so many Rifleman. The Morepork was a great bonus, as were the Yellow-crowned and Yellowhead. Your bush-craft was great, especially with the Rifleman which was calling beyond my hearing capacity, so it appeared you summoned them by magic!"
Ian, England - 31/01/08
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"A fantastic trip. We never imagined we would get such superb views of so many birds - all down to Matt. Thanks a million Matt."
Jim & Joan, England - 28/11/07
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"Birded Ulva Island with Matt. Rainy day but Matt worked his heart out for us, we saw 15 species, 9 of them life birds for us. Bird of the day was definitely the Rifleman, it really helps that Matt not only knows his birds but also their calls very well. Very patient guide, great people skills and superb at getting his clients onto the bird."
Bill & Nancy, USA - 22/11/07