Independent Mountain Guides

Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand

About Us


Independent Mountain Guides Ltd Queenstown NZ


Who are we: We are a privately owned and locally operated adventure tourism company in Queenstown NZ the Adventure Capital of the World.IMG specialises in small or privately guided and instructed groups in the mountains either alpine or rock climbing, backcountry skiing and riding, snowshoeing, hiking, helihiking, ice climbing, avalanche courses, or abseiling.

We are also film safety experts, helicopter ground safety support, height safety consultants, rope acess specialists, and outdoor education providers.

Independent Mountain Guides is licensed by the Department of Conservation to operate its business on DOC land and has a Resource Consent issued by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

We are committed to adhereing to the new Adventure Tourism Management Standards for operators in New Zealand.

Dave Macleod Owner-Operator:

Dave is a member of the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association, the NZ Mountain Guides Association, the Industrial Rope Access Association of NZ. He has completed practical courses in Elementary and Advanced Rigging for Rescue.

He first started in Adventure Tourism in 1982 working a glacier guide/interpretor for Alpine Guides Westland.After contracting to several other operators for many years, Independent Mountain Guides was conceived in 1996.

Dave (Spoon) has achieved over 100 first ascents in the North and South Island on rock, skied the first descent of Couloir Peak in the Arrowsmith Range Canterbury with Dave Fearnley, climbed the first winter ascent of the South West Face of Cloudy Peak in the Rangitata Range with Dave Fearnely, Matt Evarad and Steve Elder, the first ascent of the East Face of Big Mac in the Fox Neve with Tim Morrison and Rob Hughes, has over 200 ascents of all the Cones on the Remarkbles Range Queenstown.Other special achievements are, working as safety officer for the Southern Taverse Adventure Race for 10 years culminating in being the chief alpine and ropes safety officer on the World Adventure Race in Switzerland 2001, and Chief Safety Officier for the Eco Seagate Adventure Race Challenge 2006-7, developed  the worlds first helicopter cliff swing with Chuck Berry and the IMG crew,  supervised and built the first Tyrolian Traverse between Double Cone on the Remarkables for a BBC television show, rigged several first slackline rigs on many spans in the Queenstown region, was safety consultant with Mark Whetu on the American Stunt Women Show base jumping off the Lion Milford Sound, introduced snow-shoeing as a commerical winter activity to Queenstown NZ in 1992, built, conceived, developed, and managed/guided on the Southern Hemisphere's first "via ferrata or iron way" in Queenstown 2003-5.He has worked on several motion pictures including Fearless, Vertical Limits, 10,000 BC, many television commericals and documentaries and starred in Footsteps to the Sky with Kim Logan, Ann Palmer, Bruce Grant, and Gavin Wills a re- enactment of the first ascent of Mt Cook first climbed on Christmas Day in 1894.

When Dave is not on the hill he is taking care of his family, Katrina his lifelong partner and Aurora their energetic daughter.With what other time is left you will find Dave bodyboarding the surf of the deep south, playing his bagpipes, and hiking and biking the magnificent Queenstown trails.He is a committed Queenstown adventurer.

We are based from Small Planet Sports in Shotover Street in Queenstown NZ and can be contacted at


Independent Mountain Guides vision is multi directional.Our aim is to provide safe, affordable, guided and instructed adventures and courses.To provide a professional and modern experience across the activities it caters for.Film and helicopter safety is an important aspect that IMG strives to keep focussed on and delivering a top level of service to that industry.We work with many operators in the film industry to assist in meeting those standards.


 We are committed to contracting qualified, experienced and current guides, instructors and safety experts.All are either members of the NZMGA, NZOIA, or similar associations from around the world.Independent Mountain Guides has safety systems in place that enable it to meet the standards required by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

Codes of practise developed by the NZMGA, NZOIA and IRAANZ are adhered to.

Other guides and instructors: Independent Mountain Guide contracts highly skilled, organised and professional people.They are leaders in their chosen fields and come with a great sense of humour.

Guide Profiles

*The following experts are utilised by Independent Mountain Guides :*


The type of work we undertake ranges from


Destination Queenstown

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