Our Story & Meet the Team

The team behind Hello Nature Adventure Tours are passionate about the outdoors and the land we operate on. We look forward to meeting you and hosting you on an unforgettable kayaking experience.

Our Story

 

Hello Nature Adventure Tours is a family-run business that was created to make a change in the industry and how tour companies operate. With an appreciation for this stunning part of the world that we inhabit and as passionate kayakers, there was a calling to share the magic of the West Coast with visitors who come here from all corners of the world. We’ve spent the last 20 years learning, listening, and connecting with the culture and people who have called these islands home and respectfully operate on Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations territory.

We believe in local partnerships and environmental stewardship to protect the land and waters we call home. Hello Nature is not just a tour company – we’re an education company whose mission is to help protect our home and environment by providing knowledgeable and respectful tours that honor the land we live on.

Each trip can be customized according to different needs, including length, food, and location. Our priority has been our guests and the comfort of our guests. We want folks to take away that kayaking the West Coast is more than just check marking another destination off your bucket list. It’s forming a deep connection to culture, history, and nature, and is a remarkable way to detach from our fast-paced lives, and reconnect with the quietness of nature.

The team behind Hello Nature would love to have you join us on a kayaking trip, and discover the jaw-dropping beauty of the West Coast and it’s incredible biodiversity.

 

Hello Nature Adventure Tours ~ Meet Your Guides & Team

 

Hello Nature Team Overview

 

Hello Nature’s team is filled with passionate and knowledgeable individuals who are connected to the outdoors and coastal history of the region in which our tour operates. Each of our guides looks forward to welcoming you on a trip unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.

Kevin Bradshaw

Kevin Bradshaw

Head Guide & Operations Manager

Kevin has lived in Ucluelet for nearly twenty years, where he’s been honing his craft as a professional sea kayaking guide ever since. A Level 3 Guide and Guide Trainer with Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC (SKGABC) and a Sea Kayaking Instructor with Sea Kayaking Instruction & Leadership Systems (SKILS), he’s paddled in destinations across British Columbia as well as internationally. Overseeing training and safety, he also provides marketing and business knowledge to ensure operational excellence for Hello Nature’s guests.

 

Phill Padgham

Phill Padgham

Co-owner

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Phill grew up kayaking the island from coast to coast, as well as the stunning Gulf Islands. It’s in this remarkable part of British Columbia that he developed a deep and meaningful connection with the water. Phill is also a Level 3 Guide with SKGABC, and now works on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in Barkley and Clayoquot Sound. When asked what his favorite part of his job is, Phill says it’s making people laugh and seeing them truly enjoy nature- or as he calls it, “Neature”. His incredible kayaking skills and fantastic sense of humor make his tours truly unforgettable.

Aaron Slack

Aaron Slack

Level 3 Kayak Guide

Aaron Slack grew up all over Canada – from the prairies of Manitoba and Alberta to the shores of Newfoundland, finally finding home on Vancouver Island. He thrives in the travellers lifestyle, working summers kayaking Vancouver Island’s waters and winters exploring the shores of New Zealand. His goal is to work as a guide all over the world, eventually studying ecology and environmental sustainability. Give him a kayak, surfboard, and a couple avocados and you’ll find the key to his heart.

Aaron holds a Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC – SKGABC Level 3 certificate.

 

Lisa Stafford

Lisa Stafford

Level 3 Kayak Guide

Born and raised on Salt Spring Island, Lisa Marie Stafford naturally fell in love with the ocean. When not kayaking, Lisa spends her quality time with her family, supporting children with  exceptionalities in the public school system through her work as an Education Assistant. She’s been guiding for 20 years in the Gulf Islands and across Vancouver Island.

Lisa is a Level 3 Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance and a Paddle Canada kayaking instructor.

 

Amy Benskin

Amy Benskin

Level 3 Kayak Guide

For the past 20 years, Amy has been working as a guide and instructor of various water sports across British Columbia. She’s a self-proclaimed bird nerd, and loves to share her passion for coastal plants and wildlife with her guests. Amy has degrees in both Tourism Management and Education, specializing in math and computer science. She also works as an on-call teacher in Ucluelet during the winter.

Amy is a Level 3 Guide and Guide Trainer with SKGABC, a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor, and is an SVOP certified boat captain.

 

Jonathan Lee

Jonathan Lee

Level 2 Kayak Guide

Born and raised on mainland British Columbia, he ran away to live the island life out on the West Coast. With a BA in Anthropology from UVIC and a diploma in Outdoor Recreation Management from Capilano University, Jonathan is your go-to guide for educational knowledge. He loves engaging in conversation with our guests on the biodiversity of our ecosystem, and spends his time living an endless summer between BC and New Zealand.

 

Kyle Born

Kyle Born

Assistant Overnight Guide

Born and raised on a chicken farm in the Fraser Valley, BC, Kyle grew up visiting his grandparents in Ucluelet, fishing for salmon and halibut in the very waters we paddle on. He’s currently studying Environment and Business at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, spending his kayak seasons here in Ucluelet. When he’s not kayaking, find him surfing the waves and eating tacos with his friends.

 

 

Cali Mitchell

Cali Mitchell

Assistant Overnight Guide

Cali grew up on the shores of Lake Erie before making her way out West, where she fell in love with the rugged beauty of the Barkley Sound. She’s comfortable and confident in the water, and loves sharing her passion for marine ecology, wildlife, and cultural history of the land with guests.

 

 

 

Shannon Jensen

Shannon Jensen

Assistant Overnight Guide

Born and raised in the Canadian prairies where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Shannon migrated West to Vancouver Island where her love of the ocean flourished. She worked as a nature and kayak guide in Milforwd Sound New Zealand, where she began her transition from nursing to guiding. Ucluelet is now home for Shannon, where she works with Hello Nature on paddling adventures around Ucluelet. She’s had many incredible paddling experiences, including the Great Bear Rainforest, a 28-day circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, and as an expedition guide in Antarctica.

 

Contact Hello Nature

200 Hemlock Street,
Small Craft Harbour Finger "F",
Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada, V0R 3A0

Tel: 250-726-2035
Toll Free: 1-844-706-2751
Email: adventures@hellonature.ca

Hello Nature Adventure Tours recognises and supports the indigenous rights and title of the Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, Ucluelet, Toquaht and Tseshaht - the first peoples of the lands and waters now called Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound.