About

About Kotahi Tourism

At Kotahi Tourism we’re passionate about Cultural Heritage, our beautiful natural environment and ‘manaakitanga’ – taking care of our visitors. Through our unique range of tours and education programs, we’ll connect you to the diverse natural environments, wildlife, Cultures, history and heritage of coastal New South Wales – and make sure you have an experience you’ll never forget!

Why Kotahi  Tourism?

Kotahi means ‘be one’ or be united’.

For Kotahi Tourism, it is in reference to people and the natural environment – be one.

Our sustainable tourism and education experiences are designed to connect people to the environment and to each other – be united.

We’re proud to work with Indigenous Tour Operators and Educators to offer Indigenous experiences through Kotahi Tourism, including Koori Kinnections (education programs), Dreamtime Southern X (tours) and Tribal Warrior (Harbour Cruises).

About Kotahi Tourism Directors

Kotahi Tourism was founded by Melinda Loe and Hohepa Ruhe in 2013. Melinda and Hohepa moved to Australia in 2001 from Wellington, New Zealand where they worked at Te Papa Tongarewa – The Museum of New Zealand.

Prior to founding Kotahi Tourism, Melinda was the Museum and Education Manager for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, managing Sydney Learning Adventures and The Rocks Discovery Museum. Melinda’s background includes teaching and development of tours, education programs and exhibitions.

Hohepa is Māori of Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Toa descent. His background and qualifications include tourism, Indigenous mentoring and cultural heritage interpretation.

After twelve years in Sydney, Melinda and Hohepa made a ‘sea and tree change’ to the beautiful NSW South Coast and founded Kotahi Tourism. They live in a small village near Lake Conjola with whānau (family) nearby at Jervis Bay. In their free time, Melinda and Hohepa will generally be at the beach, hiking in the bush, travelling, volunteering on community projects or in the garden attempting to ‘grow food not lawns’.

Kotahi Tourism Directors

Kotahi Tourism Directors
Hohepa and Melinda

kotahi tourism - Salad Mix From The Garden

Salad mix from the garden

Note: While their garden is best described as a “work in progress with varying results” at this stage (thanks cockatoos!), warrigal greens have been a stand-out success and are on the menu for Koori Kinnections bushfood cooking incursions.

Award-winning tours 

  • 2020 Award for Excellence – Interpretation Australia for Conjola tours
  • 2019 ‘Best Local Experience – NSW’ Travel & Hospitality Awards
  • 2018 Award for Excellence – Interpretation Australia for Poihākena tours
  • 2018 Tour Operator of the Year – Sydney, Luxury Travel Guide Awards
  • 2017 Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year – Sydney, Luxury Travel Guide Awards
  • 2015 Winner – National Trust Heritage Award (Tours and Multimedia category)
Winners Logo - 2019 Travel and Hospitality Awards 'Best local experience - NSW'

2019 ‘Best Local Experience – NSW’ Travel & Hospitality Awards for Conjola Tours

Interpretation Australia Winner Logo 2018

2018 Award for Excellence – Interpretation Australia for Poihākena tours

Winner - Tour Operator (Sydney) 2018 - Luxury Travel Guide Award

2018 Tour Operator of the Year – Sydney, Luxury Travel Guide Awards 

Luxury Travel Guide Winner 2017

2017 Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year – Sydney, Luxury Travel Guide Awards 

2015-Heritage-Award-Winner-

2015 Winner – National Trust Heritage Award for Poihākena tours

Kotahi Tourism Values

  • Kaitiakitanga – protecting and nurturing our environment
  • Manaakitanga – supporting others through hospitality, generosity and kindness
  • Kotahitanga – ensuring unity among people
  • Mātauranga – the importance of knowledge, understanding and education.