Owner, Operator and Tour Guide

Angelika Pastoors

Angelika - a tour guide who loves to travel through her native Germany After over 20 years in the tourism industry, Angelika made her final move to New Zealand in 2001 and launched Sidetracks Tours New Zealand – her personal travel company concentrating on nature and activity tours in small groups.

During her successful years guiding Germans through her new homeland New Zealand she repeatedly received requests from Kiwis that wanted to explore her native Germany in the same way - enjoying a mixture of visits to well-known locations and experiencing the country 'off the beaten track' in a small group. So in May 2013 the first Germany tour for people from Down Under was launched!


Our Other Guides

Gabi Plangger

GabiPlanggerGabi grew up on the ski slopes of the German alps surrounded by snow capped mountains and nature. She has been living in New Zealand for the last 25 years initially working as a fully certified ski instructor in Wanaka and Queenstown. Armed with a degree in Geography and Tourism Gabi has gained extensive experience guiding for the last eleven years in both New Zealand and more recently Iceland.

She spends most of her spare time in the outdoors skiing, cycling, sailing as well as following her photography interests. In recent years Gabi has based herself in both hemispheres.

Office Team

Barbara Panettieri

Barbara - at home in Germany and New Zealand, enjoys bringing the best of europe to Kiwis and Aussis

Barbara originally studied 'German for speakers of a foreign language' in her hometown of Munich, Germany. After a holiday in New Zealand in 1993 and subsequent 'test periods' (where she explored the country on foot, on a bike, in a kayak and her old Bedford truck) she decided in 1999 to stay and is now settled in Wellington, New Zealand.

After studying tourism she gained hands-on experience as a tour guide while working for several different guiding companies, including Sidetracks.

Having two gorgeous children has made her change to the more settled role of a consultant and she is now mainly involved in webdesign and marketing. She has also contributed many interesting articles to our Sidetracks Germany Magazine. She enjoys that her work enables Germans to get to know her new homeland New Zealand as well as people from Down Under to explore her 'Heimat' Germany, which she still visits regularly.


Mirjam Clayton

Mirjam Clayton profile.jpg.resized

Originally from Switzerland, Mirjam first explored New Zealand in depth during her honeymoon in 2004, and loved the diversity, nature and culture immediately. She knew then, that they would have to come back...

After spending several years in Nice on the Côte d’Azur and then in Frankfurt, they decided in 2013 to make their dream a reality and booked a one way flight to Christchurch, where she now lives with her husband and children.

She complements the Sidetracks team with her many years experience in office management and enjoys helping make other people's travel dreams a reality.



Jo Kinley

Jo - a native Kiwi who loves to travel in EuropeJo is our Kiwi graphic designer. Jo was part of the Sidetracks team from day one and is responsible for our 'look' – whether it's our business card, the website, a flyer or a brochure, Jo plays a major role in their design and appearance.

After university she headed to Europe for her "Kiwi OE" – after 2 years of traveling and working, she decided that NZ was definitely the place she wanted to settle. And Christchurch was the perfect home being so close to the beach and the mountains. Her interest in outdoor recreation led her to work for Macpac, a NZ outdoor equipment manufacturer, after which she started her own business, Hullaballoo Design specializing in print and web design. Working from her home in the Christchurch hills enables her to easily combine her love of design work with a busy home life with her husband and son. From her office window she can see both the sea and the mountains and a huge garden she is trying to whip into shape.


Petra Alsbach-Stevens

Petra - a German Kiwi who loves sharing insider tips about Germany and EuropeBorn and bred in Germany, Petra decided to make New Zealand her home after meeting her future husband, a Kiwi, in Scotland. Following a gap year in Paris, they decided ‘enough is enough’ and headed down under. After living in Wellington for almost a decade, she decided to move the family to the country. Here she enjoys the full country life, raising chickens, rabbits, ducks and goats. When she’s not busy milking the goats or mending fences she enjoys researching and writing for the Sidetracks Germany Magazine and sharing general and specialist knowledge about her home country.

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