On the couch with Maddy Stopp

Maddy Stopp is one of our popular guides who has worked with us for a number of seasons. Past travellers will have met her on the Overland Track, Walls of Jerusalem, Frenchman's Cap and the South Coast Track, but if you've yet to had the pleasure of meeting Maddy on the trail, here's your chance!

So Maddy, tell us about yourself! What does your average day look like?

I work as a wilderness guide for Tasmanian Expeditions, Tassie’s most experienced trekking and adventure operator. My office is the pristine, rugged wilderness that makes Tasmania like no other outdoor destination in the world. It’s my job to guide people through its remote pockets of the island, showcasing the significance of its natural state and history and to facilitate an experience that helps my guests reconnect with nature. I guide on a range of Tasmanian walks including the Overland Track, Walls of Jerusalem, Frenchman's Cap, the Bay of Fires, and the South Coast track - each of them being wonderfully unique and challenging in their own way. I don’t think I will ever stop being in awe of Tassie’s wild beauty and incredible diversity. In the off season, I head to the top end to guide for Tasmanian Expeditions' parent company, World Expeditions, on walks such as the Larapinta Trail, Jatbula trail and Kakadu experience. When I'm not working, I spend a large part of my time seeking out adventure, hiking in remote areas and iconic locations around the world. I also delve deeper into my interests such as reading and study, and earlier this season I spent some time volunteering in North East Arnhem land working on a range of tourism programs and immersing myself in the region’s indigenous culture.

What were you doing before you became a guide?

I am just about to start my third season as a bushwalking guide. I had a pretty significant career change a couple of years ago when I became a wilderness guide but most of my working life has been based around hospitality and event management. I've also been involved with project administration and support. Although the majority of my previous career was spent sitting in front of a computer, I spent a lot of time working with people, organising calendars and managing logistics – skills which have become very useful in my guiding career.

What made you want to change careers from hospitality and event management, to spending days in the great outdoors?

The last position I held was as the Executive Assistant to the partners in a very busy consulting company. It was challenging and rewarding on many levels, but I wasn’t thriving or being true to my true interests and passions. The catalyst for my career change was a well-timed trip to the US during a rather tumultuous period when the company was merging with a much larger firm. I was spending most of my travels exploring America’s national park and really loving being in the outdoors. It was also the perfect time to reflect on my career. I realised that many of the core values I stood for would be lost to the merger, so as soon as I returned back to Australia I sent forth my resignation and stepped into the unknown to pursue a career as a guide. 


Can you tell us one of the main highlights of being a guide?

Being an ambassador for and helping protect our natural environment by educating people of its significance and vulnerability. I want to be part of efforts to preserve and maintain the integrity of the Tasmanian wilderness.

How does the environment you work in impact on your personally?

That’s a great question. City life can wear me down quite a lot and when I can feel myself getting worn down, I know it’s time to hit the refresh button and get back into the bush for a little while. When I am on extended expeditions, I find that my best and most energetic self comes to the fore, I love witnessing the changes in the environment and landscape. It excites the hell out of me.

Do you think you could  ever do a full time, 9-5 office job again? Or does the thought of air conditioning and a comfy chair sound good or does the idea make you want to run for the hills?

Ha ha, yeah I'll choose heading for the hills thanks. I think down the track I could consider an office job again but only if it involved contributing to the natural environment in a tangible way and some capacity to spend some time in the field. 


Do you think that being a guide contributes to conserving the natural environment?

Absolutely! That is one of the best things about my job with Tasmanian Expeditions. All our guides are incredibly environmentally conscious. Our passion for the Tasmanian wilderness is at the core of our values and we are informed and guided by this, ensuring that everything we do is carefully managed for sustainability. We have minimal impact principals that we impart on our guests, and we are constantly bringing the landscape to life with stories that help impart conservation methods, or rouse discussion for such motives.

What do you think it takes to be a guide?

I would say being organised, trustworthy and passionate. And you need to be pretty nonchalant about ‘feet’ as you deal with them a lot!! Being an adventure guide is the best! It's a great mix of fun, with challenges and incredibly rewarding; from mixing with a huge range of people, to seeing amazing wildlife and getting to explore the most stunning landscapes Australia has to offer. I get to work with such talented and passionate people, which inspires me to continue learning and exploring the unknown. I love working with people, and there is no better way of breaking down barriers than immersing yourself in nature with a group of individuals all seeking a break from their busy lives, the journey allows people to reconnect with themselves and the ever changing landscapes of which we travel, it's great bearing witness to people overcoming challenges on the trail and helping them complete the expedition. Most of all, I love nature - the fight for survival, quirky ecosystems, the weird and wonderful wildlife, the amazing stories of people that have walked the land before us, and the moments that take your breath away; whether it be a setting sun, a wild lightening storm, or an echidna foraging for ants. It's a place that inspires, and I love connecting people to that.

Our Team

Comments (7)


Madeleine - your life choices remain very inspirational to those you touch. Thank you for being you.

6 years ago

Maddy, you are such an inspiration....you tackle those mountains!!

6 years ago

That was an awesome read. So proud of you madds!

6 years ago

Maddy was one of our guides on the Overland Track Dec 2017 and she really is Wonder Women. She made the track so much fun while informing us about the local environment and really contributed to making it such a wonderful trip. We had sooo many laughs and she even expertly strapped up my knee when it decided it had had enough. And yes, the food was amazing - especially for this vegan - but she did make me eat far too many oreos.
With Maddy you can really see how much she loves Tassie - It makes you feel lucky to have such an experienced and enthusiastic guide leading the way.

6 years ago

I was so happy right now, when I received an e-mail from Tasmanian Expeditions and saw, that there is a post about Maddie. :) I was on the OT in Dec 2017 and Maddie (as well as Matt, the other guide) was fabulous.
Even on the first day, which was because of the cold very hard, she made it possible that we were still smiling. Maddie was so inspiring and you really saw, how much she loves Tassie. She is just full of passion for the wilderness.
We laughed soo much, that my stomach was painful as well (not only my feet:)).
Maddie made this trip just perfect and i will never never forget these days on the OT! Thank you so much for this experience, Maddie! :)

6 years ago

Enjoyed the company of Maddy on the Overland Track Nov 2016 and have to add that Maddy also makes pretty darn good apple crumble even with the tiniest of a whisk. Cheers!

6 years ago
Maddy Stopp

Haha, thanks David 😊 spiced apples on the trail - who would have thought!

6 years ago
Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips