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  • Golden Compass New Zealand Freephone number 0800-132-385
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Golden Compass CEO and Tour Leader Mark Goodwin
Mark Goodwin

Mark Goodwin has been in the travel profession for over 35 years, first as a tour guide, then rising to Director of Operations with SAGA Holidays, the UK's leading tour operator for the senior market, as Commercial Director with Rank Education, one of Britain's leading educational operators, as Director of Operations with the Travel Organisation, the UK's then leading conference and incentive Operator and the last 20 years as President and CEO of Golden Compass. Mark has now retired from his role as CEO but still enjoys arranging and leading specialist groups for Golden Compass Tours.

Mark is a double Honours graduate from King's College London in Modern Languages – French and German, an Associate of Kings College (Divinity) and a Fellow of the Institute of Travel & Tourism, as well as a past Member of the Institute of Directors.

He has taught in France as well as spending significant periods of time in Germany, Italy and Austria as well as travelling extensively through almost all of Europe and North Africa. He has led a number of tours through Scandinavia, the Baltics and the Balkans. 


Jim Archibald

Jim Archibald's University majors are in those interesting but somewhat abstruse subject areas of English Literature, Political Science and Australian History.

Jim’s career began with the Australian Federal Government and mainly as a diplomat who specialised in trade issues. His postings were in the USA, Japan and Papua New Guinea. Because of this experience, Jim was lured into the Australian mining industry as a  marketer  of  energy  commodities  like  coal  and  natural  gas.  His  customer  base covered all of Asia, especially Japan, India and Korea while he bought product from suppliers in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and China. Before retiring in 2004, Jim worked as a consultant in the education sector, concentrating on the winning of education/training projects internationally for Australian educational institutions as well as recruiting students from overseas for those institutions.

Jim is an enthusiastic member of the Sydney Walking Volunteers who help chart and systemise information about the numerous walks possible in the Sydney region, with an emphasis on those walks that were accessible by public transport. Another passion is jazz and classical music, and he still occasionally plays acoustic guitar to the intense anguish  of  family  and  friends.  Jim  is  an  avid  reader,  especially  of  history,  with  an eclectic interest that includes Australian, Asian and American history.

Jim has been a keen traveller, especially if the travel involves walking or boats! He and his wife have tramped over a large swathe of the UK, barged down several of the French rivers and had some interesting walking experiences in places as divergent as Papua-New Guinea and Japan. He has also travelled extensively in both Greece and Turkey.

Jim has led a number of groups of North American visitors on Road Scholar programs throughout New Zealand and Australia. He has also led groups of Australians and New Zealanders to Norfolk Island, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Bruce Bulmer

Bruce Bulmer immigrated  to New Zealand aged five and was educated  at New Plymouth Boys' High School in Taranaki. He has always loved travel and, on retiring from NZ Police as an inspector, he began taking groups of Americans around Australia and New Zealand. Over recent years, he has led educational  groups to places as diverse as South America, Iceland, Sri Lanka, Croatia, South Africa and the UK.

Peter Burns

Peter Burns grew up in suburban Melbourne and graduated as a civil engineer. Following his keen interest in the natural environment, Peter then completed a Master of Natural Resources and Diploma in Education at University of New England in Armidale NSW.

Peter has had an eclectic career, working as a civil engineer, teacher, and environmentalist. He has also lived and worked on remote Aboriginal communities in central Australia.

Peter has recently retired from Parks Victoria, where he worked for 18 years as the Ranger in Charge of the Great Otway National Park, which includes the iconic Great Ocean Walk.  Peter also undertook a 12-month work exchange to Scotland, as the Reserve Manager for Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve.  Peter has since become passionate about all things Scottish.

Peter and his wife live in a self-built sustainable house in the Otway ranges, where he is actively involved in the community as a volunteer Ambulance Officer.

An obsessive walker and Anglophile, Peter is committed to walking the length and breadth of Britain.  He has completed the Pennine Way, Offas Dyke Path, and a section of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in the past two years.

Peter has lead groups throughout India, the 'Stans and the Caucasus: but his real passion of course is Scotland - where he looks forward to showing you the best of the Scottish Isles. 

Golden Compass Tour Leader George Dibley
George Dibley

George Dibley has been involved in educational travel for more than 20 years, initially as a part of his work in adult education at the University of Auckland where he was Assistant Director. Subsequently he worked for an educational travel company planning programs and leading groups of North Americans visiting Australia and New Zealand and leading groups to various European destinations. Over the years he has led groups in Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

He has a special interest in music and with a colleague has led many special interest opera tours to various European destinations. His broader interests include the visual arts and architecture. In the role of tour leader, he enjoys the opportunity to introduce and explore the social history contexts that give extra meaning and pleasure to encounters with new places.

With a daughter and new granddaughter in Bergen, Norway, he has in recent years become a regular visitor to Scandinavia.

Golden Compass Tour Leader George Dibley
Ngaire Douglas

Ngaire Douglas has a PhD in History from the University of Queensland. Pre-retirement she lived and worked in a variety of countries across Asia, the Pacific and Europe, teaching and developing tourism programs for universities. Post retirement she enjoys leading tours with groups of people who want to learn something more about what they are seeing and where they are going. Her philosophy is that travel should be fun, rewarding, sometimes intellectually challenging, companionable and as seamless as possible. 

Golden Compass Tour Leader George Dibley
Andrea Powell

Andrea has extended her business skills in HR into her passion for travel, learning and meeting people. While working in corporate industries, including publishing and private education, the next travel adventure always had to be on th near horizon. After attaining professional industry accreditation, Andrea is throughly enjoying having the World as her office. She has always lived in Sydney but has visited all continents and loves exploring suburban culture, and the quirky side of life.

Robyn Laing

Robyn Laing's first contact with Japan came 40 years ago when she was selected to take part in the Japanese Youth Goodwill Cruise programme organized by the Japanese government. This experience proved a major influence for the young Massey University science graduate. Four OE years were spent in Japan, studying in Kyoto. 

Returning to NZ as a fluent speaker of Japanese her skills were sought to teach Japanese in a high school, then by the Embassy of Japan, Wellington where she worked for four years and then by the NZ Dairy Board. During her time with the Board Robyn was seconded to Tokyo, working for six years with a joint venture operation on the market development of specialized dairy products. Next she was asked to work with TV crew from NHK, Japan's public broadcasting organization. Ten exhilarating years were spent on TV documentary projects across the globe.

After her return to NZ, when approached to take on the role of tour leader, Robyn was very reluctant having enjoyed extensive independent serendipitous travel world wide. Having agreed to co-lead a tour to Japan with the marvellous Ann Matheson, she was delighted to learn what a pleasure it is to accompany mature travellers interested in their destination, to facilitate their discovery by sharing knowledge acquired over decades. After that wonderful experience, she happily took on the role. Clients on tours to Japan have found her to be a thoughtful, knowledgeable program leader who has gone out of her way to ensure their interests and needs are fulfilled.

Robyn has also spent considerable periods of time travelling through the European Alps in both Austria and Switzerland.

Golden Compass Tour Leader Hugh Morgan
Hugh Morgan

Hugh Morgan holds a BA in European History, German, Italian and Spanish from the University of Sydney and has also studied German at the Goethe-Institut in Lueneburg and Berlin, Italian in Perugia, Spanish in Salamanca and Russian in St Petersburg.

Hugh joined Qantas in 1966 and his twenty-five year career with the airline was primarily spent in sales and marketing. He was posted overseas a number of times, escorted groups and travelled widely. As Product Manager for Qantas Connections for UK, Europe and Africa, Hugh scoured his area to compile directories featuring interesting hotels, tours and attractions. His skills were recognised formally with the presentation of a bronze medal by the British Tourist Authority for exceptional services in the promotion of Britain - the first time an Australian has received this coveted award.

After leaving Qantas Hugh completed his BA whilst running a travel consultancy and has led over fifty small groups to various parts of the world. Recent tours have included Mongolia, Siberia, Russia and the Baltic States; Iberia and Morocco; the islands of the Western Mediterranean; and various journeys through Italy, the Alps and the Adriatic.

A member of the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society, the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Trust, Hugh now has more time to pursue his interest in art, architecture, archaeology, genealogy ... and travel.

Golden Compass France Ireland Scotland Tour Leader Louise Shave
Louise Shave

Louise Shave graduated from the University of Auckland, in Languages, History and Music and with a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching.

She has a passion for her chosen subjects and really enjoys sharing with travellers the history and culture of countries in which she has lived or experienced. The extensive time she has recently spent living in both France and Ireland has given her an in-depth knowledge of those particular countries. She is a fluent speaker of French.

For the past 14 years, she has led many outbound programmes, especially in Europe, the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, Ireland, India, Bhutan and Nepal. She is much in demand as a guest speaker.

For six years, Louise and her husband explored the waterways of Europe on their 20 metre converted Dutch Barge. Not content with river travel, they also sailed a 10 metre boat across the Irish Sea and then back to England. Three years were spent in Ireland on the canals and rivers, with numerous adventures, followed by more time around the coast and in the English waterways.

As well as those noted above, her interests include art, architecture, theatre, film, reading, trekking, and, not least, her family!


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Completely New Tours for 2022

Completely New Tours for 2022

Take a look at our completely new tours for 2022!

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Meet Our Program Leaders

Meet Our Program Leaders

Our Program Leaders are based in Australia and New Zealand, so have an understanding of the needs of our Australian and New Zealand participants. They are all well-travelled with a…

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Early Booking Discount

Early Booking Discount

Early Booking discounts are available for all our 2022 tours but please make sure you don’t miss out! Registering before the Early Booking deadline secures a saving of up to…

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Refer a Friend Rewards

Refer a Friend Rewards

Receive a $250 discount off any Golden Compass tour when your friends or family book with us! Your friends will also save $250 off their own booking and there is…

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Japan Autumn Colours:

06 November - 18 November 2023

The Autumn season in Japan is visually stunning and our tour is carefully arranged for participants to experience an authentic Japan with an insightful look at the culture, both old and new.


Inclusive of field trips, local guides, gratuities and many meals.