Gippsland High Country Tours
Ecotours and Walking in the High Country and East Gippsland Regions of Victoria


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Meet our Guides

  • Gippsland High Country Tours was established in 1987 and Jenny Lawrence (then Jenny Edwards) took over as proprietor and principal guide in 1991.  With Jenny’s enthusiasm for developing the business to provide true ecotourism experiences, Gippsland High Country Tours was one of the first thirteen tourism businesses in Australia to achieve Ecotourism Accreditation in 1997.

  • Guides are a key ingredient to providing successful and fulfilling experiences for participants, so this page is an introduction to the guides who make our ecotours and walks so great.  Our guides not only have a wealth of knowledge and a deep love of the environment but they care about your wellbeing and ensuring you enjoy your experience to the maximum. 

  • If you would like to know which guide will be leading a tour that interests you, please contact us.

Who are your guides?

Meet the guides at Gippsland High Country Tours Jenny Lawrence

Jenny has over 25 years’ experience as principle guide for Gippsland High Country Tours, leading small groups on nature tours and walks in the High Country, East Gippsland and beyond. She has a particular passion for birds and wildlife but a good general knowledge and love of all things “wild” and a healthy curiosity about the more difficult topics like unravelling and interpreting landscapes and geology. As a local to East Gippsland, Jenny will ensure you get a feel for the history and everyday life in local communities you visit.

“The mountains are my first love, but I am keen to share my knowledge of the birds, wildlife, plants and landscapes of each environment with you as we visit them and hope you will enjoy learning about the complexities of natural ecosystems and why we must keep working to protect them.”

Meet the guides at Gippsland High Country Tours Maria Cardoso

Maria was born in Portugal and now lives in beautiful far East Gippsland with her young family. She has worked for Gippsland High Country Tours since 2008 and is a very competent and caring guide with great natural history and local knowledge plus a wonderful enthusiasm for East Gippsland.

“I studied at Monash University and the University of NSW and have a science degree and a PhD in Conservation Biology. My interests include gardening, reading, movies, enjoying the outdoors and spending time with my family and friends. I am passionate about environmental and threatened species conservation, and sustainable and self-sufficient living practices. I am a member of community groups such as the local Landcare group and the community garden.”

Wayne McCallum

Wayne is a retired National Park ranger and comes with a great love of the environment and its natural history.  He also has a strong appreciation and understanding of both Aboriginal and European history. Wayne grew up in Western Victoria and has lived and worked across many areas of Victoria before finally settling in beautiful Gippsland in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.  He has been working for Gippsland High Country Tours since 2012 and everyone enjoys his genuine caring nature, his company, enthusiasm and the way he generously shares his knowledge.

“I really enjoy taking people to the places I love and through stories and sometimes, poetry, try to inspire the clients to feel the same connection to the country that I do.  There is so much inspiration in this country of ours with its history of battlers of all colours and creeds and in the beauty in the hills, the coast and the “wide brown land” of the interior.  I am so lucky to be able to share it all with the good people of Gippsland High Country Tours, as they invariably are, good people.”

Meet the guides at Gippsland High Country Tours David “Tom” Gardiner

Having spent his childhood in Darwin, Tom has now returned to live in the Northern Territory, working in sport and recreation, but East Gippsland was his home for many years and he has worked as a guide for Gippsland High Country Tours since 1992. He still returns to help from time to time, mostly guiding our walking tours and brings his own special brand of humour, a strong background and qualifications in Tourism and Outdoor Recreation plus a great passion for the environment and sustainability.

“Prior to getting a ‘Real’ job, I had, what I would call an ‘Outdoor Obsession’ and would often disappear into the wilds with my Kombi, mountain bike and backpack for a vertiginous sojourn. I have paddled with 5mt Crocodiles (not recommended), scuba dived with Tiger sharks (amazing) and currently live in an original house on the verge of Litchfield National Park with two pet snakes and too many spiders. I continue to be drawn back to East Gippsland, with its mountains, tall trees, isolated coastlines, wetlands and alpine wilderness bushwalking (where I once created ‘constellation custard’).  My motto is: Safety, Fun, Learning (Enjoy Life).”

Other guides or support crew you might meet on your tour

Peter Lawrence - a guide at Gippsland High Country Tours Peter Lawrence - A few years ago Jenny’s husband Peter retired from a career spanning almost 40 years in protected public land management including National Parks and Reserves mainly in Gippsland.  Peter’s beloved mountains are his favourite landscape, but his interests and experience include coastal and wetland habitats, indigenous culture and geology. Although he has extensive experience with wildlife and birds he prefers to look at the broader landscape issues than to focus on single species. 

Peter’s passion for the environment has seen him speak out about a variety of issues and he enjoys philosophic discussions around the big pictures that affect the environment. A couple of his opinion pieces can be found on The Drum.

You may meet Peter when he is off-siding Jenny as a support guide on a tour, but if not he will be busy providing essential behind the scenes support that helps keep Gippsland High Country Tours ticking.

Meet the guides at Gippsland High Country Tours

Hans Schutte has called East Gippsland home for over 3 decades. He loves everything the area has to offer, our remote mountains, the river systems and the beautiful coast too. 

Hans has excellent bush skills and loves sharing his local knowledge with visitors, so he steps into support roles from time to time to assist with tours as a guide, driver or with walking support.

Some of his most memorable roles with Gippsland High Country Tours over 20 years have been walking in camp supplies to remote bushwalks.


Meet the guides at Gippsland High Country Tours

Christine Bittner is the cheery helpful voice on the telephone if you ring our office while we are away on tour. 

Although she enjoys providing office support, she is much happier out in the bush assisting with tours and enthusiastically observing everything. 

Her favourite experiences over the years have been helping lead Wildlife Research tours where she particularly assists with the small mammal handling and recording.


  Gippsland High Country Tours
Gippsland High Country Tours  
PO Box 69,Bruthen, Victoria 3885 AUSTRALIA
Phone: (03) 5157 5556 (International 61 3 5157 5556)

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