First Light Travel

First Light Travel is the brainchild of Brent Narbey and Nigel Williamson. Both are passionate about travel and promoting New Zealand as a superb tourist destination, but wanted to do something different from the traditional type of travel - unique itineraries that offered the best activities and experiences New Zealand had to offer, with an educational and cultural element.

After much research First Light Travel was born, and from humble beginnings is now a leader in South Pacific travel, with the following specialist divisions:

One part of what makes us unique is that the awesome people that work with us, plus the fact that the guides we use for our hosted tours and our activity advisors are only the best we can find in their fields. Whether they are world famous photographers, oceanographers or olympic athletes, these characters will ensure your experience is truly unique with an educational spin. Below are just a few of the guides and activity consultants we work with.

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New Zealand Travel Specialists

Brent Narbey
Brent Narbey - First Light Travel Director/Marketing

Brent has been involved in tourism for over twenty years. He owned an agency in London for 7 years (Global Connect Travel) running `high end' adventure tours in East Africa and diving holidays in the Red Sea, along with other activities and destinations around the world.

Nigel Williamson
Nigel Williamson - First Light Travel Director

Nigel has also been involved in tourism for over a decade. Working as a tour guide in Africa, Nigel literally enjoyed it so much that he decided to run the company - becoming the London based Operations Manager.

After completing his MBA and spending three years as a Management Consultant, Nigel felt it was time to get back to the good life - travel!

Chrissy Sun
Chrissy Sun - First Light Travel Senior Staff

Life is all about enjoying it to the max!

Its all about family & friends, good food & wine and experiencing as much of the world as possible!

Chrissy has a young family, is an avid photographer and has traveled extensively internationally & domestically. She appreciates how lucky New Zealanders really are. “We have it all in our backyard!”

Shelley Kirk
Shelley Kirk - First Light Travel Staff

Bitten by the travel bug when she started in the travel industry at the tender age of seventeen, Shelley has since travelled extensively throughout the world with most recently two years spent backpacking and living in Europe followed by five years in the USA.

Whilst in the USA, she worked for several major companies specialising in travel to NZ and Australia before returning home to continue bring people ‘down under’ to discover the wonders of New Zealand and Australia.

Now settled in the sunny Bay of Plenty with a brand new baby All Black in the making, Shelley looks forward to helping you experience the best New Zealand has to offer.

Suzie Thorp
Suzie Thorp - First Light Travel Senior Staff Member

Suzie is a proud Kiwi who has travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand and is still awestruck by the beauty and range of activities on offer. With fifteen years previously in the NZ Wine Industry, (wine making, marketing and winery management), and a ‘foodie’ by nature, she has a wealth of insider hot tips on how best to savour New Zealand. Other interests include diving.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor - First Light Travel Senior Consultant

Stephen has been involved in tourism for nearly thirty years. After traveling through North America, Europe and Africa for two years he landed a job leading a seven month Africa overland expedition from London to Capetown using a converted 4x4 ex-German army truck.

After four years of leading tour groups through the most challenging terrain and sharing some extraordinary experiences, in 1990, he formed his own overland Company - Bukima Africa. Based in London he spent most of his time traveling between Africa, leading tours, and London, organizing a growing and successful business. The company then expanded to include expeditions through South America and the Middle East, which had previously been reconnoitered by Stephen.

In 2003, twenty one years later, Stephen returned to New Zealand and set about experiencing tourism in his own country of origin while working as a coach driver and tour guide for visiting international groups.

Dmitry Piven
Dmitry Piven - Russian speaking New Zealand travel specialist

Dmitry has been in travel industry since 1992. He started out in Russia as a guide for American travellers exploring Siberia and the well known Tran Siberian Express, then he moved onto a number of other countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and America.

In 2004 Dmitry finally settled in New Zealand. Since this time he has explored every corner of the country, either with clients or with his own family. His motto is that there should be no free time during a trip. Fishing, caving, rafting, walking, quad biking and doing the world’s highest bungee (134m) are amongst the activities he enjoys most.

Judith Pohn
Judith Pohn - First Light Travel Senior Staff Dutch

Judith comes from Amsterdam in the Netherlands. In 2004 she set out on a world trip, visiting Central America, Asia, Australia, many Pacific Islands and finally New Zealand.

After travelling non-stop around New Zealand for eight months, claiming to have travelled every road at least once, she decided to stay in what she believes is the most beautiful country in the world.

Even after so many years of being in New Zealand she says living here still feels like one continuous holiday - as soon as she steps outside, or even glances out a window!

Kasey Yee
Kasey Yee - First Light Travel Staff

Kasey has had a love for travel ever since she can remember. She has travelled to and from Australia more times than she can count – although still claims to be a Kiwi! As well as Australia, she has also explored much of the Pacific Islands and Asia. With a passion for adventure and discovering new destinations, Kasey looks forward to helping you plan a holiday you will never forget!

Sofie Liu
Sofie Liu

Sofie has travelled to multiple countries in South Pacific and Asia. She believes traveling is an essential part of life as form of celebration, learning and lifestyle. Experienced as an independent traveller, she finds it the best way to explore the local customs and people. A lover of all ocean-related activities and an adventurer at heart, she finds New Zealand the best place to endorse her passions. Eager to share her enthusiasm about traveling, Sofie is all about giving you the unique experience of a lifetime that nothing can replace.

Jo Taylor
Jo Taylor

The beauty of New Zealand and huge array of must see and do’s means that the hardest part is ensuring you have enough time to see and do it all. After having spent 13 years diving and sailing her way around the globe, Jo finally decided to return to her roots and raise her family.  She has been involved in the travel industry in New Zealand for many years and still thrives on designing the perfect itinerary just for you.

Amelia Riwai

Amelia spent her childhood camping around New Zealand and here began her love affair for the pristine beauty of our country. She has now made it her mission to not only rediscover every corner of it with her husband and 3 young children but to also give others the opportunity to have a ‘trip of a lifetime’ planned for them with precision. 

Having travelled extensively living and working overseas as a ‘Flying Winemaker’ Amelia now calls the beautiful grape growing region of Hawke’s Bay her home.  When Amelia’s not busy creating another amazing adventure she can be found running (after her 3 children!), practicing pilates, cooking up a storm and of course sipping a glass of New Zealand Wine. 

Rhodri Howell
Rhodri Howell

Let Rhodri tailor a New Zealand journey for you.  He regards listening to you and insightful knowledge as key to delivering your ideal travel experience. Having explored the world, Rhodri knew he was home when he landed in New Zealand.  

He has experienced so much the country offers from a Milford Sound helicopter excursion taking off from the lawn of luxury lodge Blanket Bay, rafting a 20 foot high waterfall, through to stranding a campervan on a remote Coromandel beach (he can give you the local tow guy’s number). Away from work, Rhodri loves being with his family and exploring this beautiful country.

Dawn Appleby
Dawn Appleby

Dawn has recently moved to New Zealand from the UK because she simply loves it here! In 2010 she visited New Zealand with her kiwi partner and spent 6 months discovering every inch of this beautiful country. As well as visiting Australia, The South Pacific, Europe, China and South East Asia she has worked in the travel industry for over 6 years.  When she isn’t in the office she will be out exploring more of New Zealand as her bucket list of places to visit is constantly growing! She is dedicated to showing you all how fantastic New Zealand really is!

Natasha Tristram
Natasha Tristram

Natasha's love for travel and numbers was a precursor for occupying her current role in accounts at First Light Travel. Living in Auckland, Natasha enjoys walking the many scenic, coastal tracks looking for the perfect picnic spot. When time for relaxation, Natasha enjoys heading to one of the many beaches to bask in the afternoon sun, or sharing a BBQ with family and friends. She believes the only way to enjoy this beautiful, unassuming island nation, is to get out there and explore it!

Anne Baumscheiper
Anne Baumscheiper

Anne has been travelling all over Europe since she can remember and in every possible way – from hitchhiking over couchsurfing to a 5 star cruise. Coming originally from the upper north side of the world  and having worked in a German travel agency she has travelled around Europe, California and the Caribbean before coming  to New Zealand. She loves New Zealand’s fascinating landscapes and can’t decide which area has impressed her the most (so far) – Abel Tasman and the West Coast are definitely on the top list as well as Cape Reinga. Loving city life and the great outdoors  she can be found all over the place  when she is not in the office –  making the most of living in Auckland and exploring  it’s surroundings. Her biggest adventure here in New Zealand so far was learning how to dive and caving the “Lost World”.

New  Zealand Scenery
Beautiful New Zealand
South Island Farm