Amanda Grogan, an assistant team leader from Flight Centre in Brisbane, reveals her New Zealand tips.
What is your favourite place in New Zealand?
Hokianga, Northland and the nearby Waipoua Kauri Forest.
Why is it special to you?
The beach is so beautiful – you can see the ocean and even sometimes whales! It's also not as busy as some other New Zealand hotspots so I like the secluded feeling.
I can't gush enough about Waipoua Footprints Twilight Encounter. Our guide was so passionate when he taught us the history of this forest and the Maori culture linked to the land.
The experience had a spiritual element to it – connecting with these old, wise, beautiful trees in their natural habitat – it was definitely one of my top travel moments of all time.
What do you see as New Zealand’s unique selling points – the “must-dos” when creating itineraries for your clients?
I think the number one unique selling point is you could create an itinerary for literally anyone! Any demographic, at any budget, for any type of experience.
New Zealand is known for adventure – you can do this to the extreme with bungee jumping and helihikes – or on a budget with bush walks and camping. They can cater for families, active holidays, romantic getaways, indulgent and opulent experiences or itineraries based around unique events – there really is something for everyone. And for such a small country, there are months and months of travelling and experiences to be had – it's a great repeat destination so close to home!
"Must-dos" for me are: a wildlife experience (e.g. whale watching in Kaikoura, visiting the blue penguin colony in Oamaru), an adventure experience (e.g. river rafting Hokitika Gorge, cycling the Great Taste Trail) and an epic scenery experience (e.g. Arthur's Pass, Milford Sound or Abel Tasman National Park).
Which aspect of the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme do you find most useful?
The online training modules! So interactive –
therefore they really commit to your memory.