Our Team

The Neon PomPom Team are all locals who love skiing and sharing their sport and their region with others. Here are the usual suspects.


Tom Dunbar - Guide

Tom hates writing about himself, which is why we hijacked his profile with this awesome photo. Tom cut his teeth skiing at Hanmer Springs before making a career from the sport he loves. Without doubt one of New Zealand’s top freeskiers of the last 10 years, Tom has achieved world rankings in a number of big-mountain disciplines culminating in a world-record run on the World Tour in Verbier, Switzerland in 2007.

In addition to skiing, Tom is an accomplished snowboarder and surfer. He recently graduated with a degree in Outdoor Education – alongside his easy-going nature and patience, this makes him a pretty accomplished guide and coach. Tom has an awesome haircut called ‘The Melbourne’.

Simon Guild - Guide

Simon grew up on the family farm just 10 minutes from the chalet, spending his first day on skis at the age of 3. Learning to ski at Mt Hutt and Mt Olympus, Simon has skied in a few locations around the world, spending a season instructing in California and a few months in the European Alps. It is the latter, with their chalets and mountain culture, that inspired the Neon PomPom idea. Simon has a pretty good handle on what makes a ski holiday fun even if he does say so himself.

In the summer months Simon runs a multi-faceted tourism business, but once June arrives his mind is firmly set on skiing and guiding Neon PomPom guests. He is a major pussy compared to Tom though so don’t expect any back flips.

Kate Guild - Hostess

Kate looks after the chalet with Amelia. An Aussie by origin, Kate moved to the Rakaia Gorge in 2009 with Simon and skied the Back Run at Mt Olympus the following year – not bad for someone with just 5 days under her belt at the time! Now fully addicted to high-country life, Kate loves to share it with others – fully appreciating the contrast between the big city and the big open spaces of her new home.

Kate enjoys a party and a good song, and between her and Amelia they have compiled the chalet playlist. Ask her to sing ‘Nine to Five’ by Dolly Parton – it’s just gold.

Amelia Dunbar - Hostess

Amelia is our resident actress, artist and hostess. As Simon’s sister she shares the same passion for the local region and the skiing culture it harbours. When not skiing, Amelia can be found painting original works and performing in self-written stage productions, comedy shows and the odd TV appearance. She does a mean skiers’ breakfast and has a few signature dinners under her belt as well.

Amelia highly eclectic taste in get-up means she also administers the chalet dress-up box. As Amelia’s other half, Tom has to keep his nose clean or risk being put in a floral-print dress.

Our Guests

The most important people in the Neon PomPom. Without them, there is no Neon PomPom. Luckily though, these guys are great value – they love skiing and riding, love enjoying themselves and love sharing their experiences with their best mates and families. They work hard, play hard and know the value of quality time.

They’re not that fussed about sorting out all the minor details themselves – they would rather trust someone on the ground to do that for them. Life’s too short for boring admin – and that’s a fine attitude to have.

The Tahr

You may well be thinking – what’s with the goat in the logo? Well, he’s not just a goat but rather a Himalayan Tahr. The tahr is a species of mountain goat introduced to the South Island’s Southern Alps in the early twentieth century.

His awesome agility and adaptability to harsh alpine environments have earned the nickname ‘King of the Mountains’ – indeed, if we go heliskiing in the Arrowsmith mountains, seeing some of these guys at 8000 feet is a definite highlight (apart from the skiing of course).

So what does he have to do with The Neon PomPom? Well, the tahr and his mates bounce around the mountains of Canterbury looking for the best food to eat, much the same way we bounce you around the same mountains looking for the best snow to ride. Cool eh?

Neon Leon - Patron

Who is Neon Leon? No-one really knows. What we do know, however, is that he embodies all that is good about skiing – just look at him – the lycra, the hair, the straights and the epic backscratcher…you know you’re in the presence of greatness.

It’s no surprise, then, that Leon is our Patron. We can only assume he approves of this role and that he would agree that the Neon PomPom is a good thing.

So, if you’re ever faced with a tough decision – such as deciding which pompom hat to wear, choosing between cheese or meat fondue or whether to pop a daffy or throw a cossack, just think – what would Neon Leon do?

All text and images are the property of the Neon PomPom ©2012

The Neon PomPom Guide to a Great NZ Ski Holiday

It’s a good idea to do a bit of research before committing to anything. To help you out, we have produced this handy guide to planning a ski trip in New Zealand. It covers pretty much everything you need to know about skiing and boarding in this unique part of the world.

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