Our story & mission

OUR MISSION....is to get people back to nature while keeping wildlife safe.

We do this by

  • Offering tours and activities that connect people with nature while heightening their understanding of our natural world.
  • Educating our clients to respect and care for our natural heritage.
  • Provide hands on practical opportunities to improve the local environment.


OUR STORY: Moving to The Catlins in 2006 we were originally going to grow organic produce and have accommodation in Gypsy caravans but because of a lack of sun and the distance from a market this proved to be unviable. But because we had a lot of interest in our Food Forest and our revegetation efforts, we made the decision to switch to tourism so we could share what we'd learned - and Earthlore began it's evolution, morphing into the diverse business it has become today. 

For the first ten years Gordon worked as the Owaka Postie, doing the postal run in the morning and opening Earthlore in the afternoon. This allowed us to build the business slowly: and with Janine working at the local 4 Square we had money to live on until the business grew enough to support us. Although this made for some long hours, now when we look around and see the abundance of wildlife living here, we know all the hard work was worth it.

While researching what natives to plant, we discovered just how important insects are to the ecosystem and insects became Earthlore's central focus. Gordon then came up with the character of Inspector Insector. Appointed by Her Royal Highness The Queen Bee to run the Special Insect Squad, Inspector Insector quickly developed a fan base with families, schools and preschools coming to Earthlore for a fun learning experience.   

It took ten years but we finally started to make inroads into the international market and were looking at our best year ever....then, came covid and we were forced to rethink our entire business structure. It hit us hard but we don't view this as entirely negative because out of the chaos our GIVE BACK TO NATURE tours were born.

Earthlore before
Earthlore now