Kia Orana, we are the Go Local boys!
Our tour adventure business idea started with best mates Donald Hallin(Dee) and John Young(Johnny) as teenage boys, when Dee was working at the local dive shop in Rarotonga. Johnny dropped out of school at the age of 16 and was at that time working at Upwind fixing boats and surfboards.
As young boys we used to dream of being pro surfers. We wanted nothing else but to be in the ocean. We learnt at a young age how to surf and spearfish, and picked up skills through experiences of going out in the water with our mates. We used to take off from work early not caring about money or material things. We were all about the adventure, and being wild and discovering our love for the sea.
Someone we have to give credit to as young men growing up was Pa Teuruaa. A well known elder and icon in the Cook Islands community today for being the first to swim from Mo'orea to Tahiti in 1985. A former Ironman, lifeguard, surfer and tour guide for almost 30 years, Pa always encouraged us as young men about the ocean, to keep surfing and not to give up when we experienced negative challenges.
Today we like to call ourselves qualified beach bums. Nothing will ever deter us from the ocean life, this is where we live, and our persistent love for the sea shows when we take our guests out on our ocean tours.
We are a team of 7 guides, all fully trained and experienced in our passages and waters. We have the knowledge on everything about the tides, passages and the open water most importantly the protection and sustainability of our marine life which is a priority.
We are offering surfing and body boarding tours, turtle and eagle ray tours, fishing charters, spearfishing adventures, bush walks in our beautiful valleys, and over the reef free diving tours.
To enquire or book with our local team, get in touch via our social media pages, or here on our website through our contact page.
Feel free to scroll down to see more of who our team is!
The go local crew
"Dee or Donny"
Since I could remember as a little boy, I learnt to swim and snorkel, so I've always been a water kid. And when I was 10 years old I learnt how to surf and spearfish. My mates and I were self taught, always out there giving it a go, learning and pushing each other, it was dangerous, but we all looked out for each other.
I was born in Rarotonga, and my parents Maria & Ken, were from two very different countries. Our blood lines stretch from Aitutaki to Rarotonga, and my father Ken is Swedish. He taught me a lot about scuba diving as I was growing up. He has a great story and in many ways he has inspired me with his teachings since I've become an adult. When I was about 27 years old I had the opportunity to become a sponsored body-boarder in Australia at the Emerald Surf Shop in the Shire, Cronulla. I ended up turning down this opportunity as I had my oldest daughter Aniva, who at the time was just a baby, and I wanted to prioritise working another job opportunity which paid better, so I could support her and my family. I am now a proud father of 3 beautiful girls, Aniva, Myari'i and Lourdes.
I also have my dive masters, lifeguard, and boat masters. And I'm officially a qualified beach bum! Doing the tours with our best mates is a dream really, what better way to spend the days doing the things we love most. We enjoy meeting our guests everyday, and giving them a taste of the local life.
Everyone calls me Johnny. I'm the crazy, fun, and loud guy. The one thing I hate is not smiling. It's a motto, always smile and be positive. I was born in New Zealand, and my mother is a Cook Islander and father was Scottish. I was pretty much raised here in the islands, and am definitely an island boy through and through. I learnt how to surf when I was about 10 years old and I learnt how to spearfish when I was 14. We pretty much learnt off our mates, our neighbours and their dads. What I love most about being in the water is the freedom, and the quietness, the fish, the sea life, the fitness, and especially the adrenaline. We put ourselves at risk a lot of the time but if we didn't life wouldn't be as exciting as it is, and we wouldn't be as good and knowledgeable as we are when it comes to the water. Now today I'm living the dream running a business as co-owner with Donny, spending our days in paradise and doing the things we love. I have a beautiful partner and our young step-daughter, who both live here with me in Rarotonga. Our tours have been an awesome fulfilling adventure, working and hanging with friends everyday, and meeting new faces and people from different parts of the world.
Since I was about 7 years old, I've been obsessed with the ocean. I've been swimming since I can remember, and I learnt the basics of spearfishing from my father who is Mangaian. I started surfing at the age of 10, and just taught myself. I was born in New Zealand, and we moved back to Raro soon after. I did my high schooling here, and both my parents are from the islands of Aitutaki and Mangaia. Body boarding is definitely my favourite thing to do. I came first in the CIBBA, Kamaze Competition in 2005, I was 23 years old and came up in the finals against Johnny, Dee & Leon George. This was a pretty cool moment in my life as a young man.
After living in Aussie for the last few years, I moved back home to Rarotonga with my wife Jenna and our two kids, Ravenga and Kaia. I came straight back to be with the boys and since then I've been loving being back in the water doing tours with the boys. There is nowhere else I'd rather be.
I was born in Rarotonga, I'm 26 years old. I was 6 years old when I first started to swim and it was actually in the waterfall, in fresh water. It was my dad and my older brother who taught me how to swim in the sea. Two years later I started fishing with a cast rod, which was actually Johnny's. He was our neighbor when we were kids.
My dad used to go out spearing all the time and that's where I learnt most of my skills from when I was 8 years old. He showed me Papua Passage, which is our family passage. It was pretty scary, it was deep, and we used to go out on an outrigger canoe. After that I would always go out with John. We've grown up doing these things so nowadays everything comes naturally.
I did a bit of freediving during college, I was grateful to be the top in class. And as a family we would go back and forwards to the northern island of Suwarrow, where we did a lot of fishing, and I've never seen so much fish in my life until we went there. More recently I took part in the conservational work and protection program protecting sea birds by eradicating rats. Doing these tours with the boys is like working and hanging with your mates everyday, never a dull moment.
"Jones or Jona"
I was born in Rarotonga, and I'm the youngest in the crew, 23 years old.
I started spearfishing when I was 14 years old, with Ieremia, my older brother. We went into Papua & Rutaki Passage, and being a young boy it just felt good shooting my first fish. Mum was always happy when we’d bring fish home. The first time I went into the passage was with my dad, and I’ve learnt most of my skills from my dad and Ieremia.
My brother and I went out surfing when I was a teen too so I learnt a few different water activities as a kid. Like the others I love the water.
Our family would travel 6 months on and 6 months off for four years on the island of Suwarrow, where I learnt how to catch fish, and using different techniques using live bait, and hand lines, which is a much faster technique especially because their are a large number of sharks that swarm in the lagoons. I used to climb the tallest trees in Suwarrow without the koromaka, and today I'm usually the one that will climb the tree when we do our coconut show on our tours. I enjoy meeting new people, and our tours are an awesome place to show people a bit of who we really are.
I've always loved our Moana, I use to have a great fear of the ocean, but spending so much time in and on the water over the years, I've come to find a sense of peace and freedom within it, at the same time never letting my guard down about how powerful and unforgiving our ocean can be. Sharing, educating and keeping people safe is an awesome and satisfying feeling. The more we educate about our sea life, the more people will come together and be more conscious about looking after our Moana, our livelihood.