Meet Our New Zealand Based Team


We love this country and that’s why we live here! Our New Zealand team of friendly Travel Professionals have been creating holidays since 2001 – and we are pretty good at it! So if you want an unforgettable holiday, that not only surpasses your expectations but also eliminates all the guessing and hard work, then talk to one of our team today – We are there with you all the way!

Read our reviews and find out why our guests just love what we do!

Elizabeth Marshall

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Since graduating from university, Elizabeth has now found her true calling “New Zealand Tourism” Born in the central South Island she has an understandable love for the great outdoors and a true passion when it comes to helping people discover our wonderful Country. Elizabeth takes great pride in ensuring our team has the latest information to showcase the very best New Zealand has to offer and fits in perfectly to run First Light Travel’s Customer Services.   

Bernadette Biggelaar

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Bernadette was born and raised in the harbour city of Auckland. Travel, connecting with people and creating memorable experiences has always been something that comes naturally to her. This is what made the decision for her to study and graduate with a degree in International Hospitality Management easy. Bernadette has travelled extensively throughout New Zealand and loves so much of what the country has to offer but it is Queenstown that has captured her heart and where she now calls home. When she is not ‘working’ you will find her seeking out a new eatery, getting amongst nature or going on a weekend roadie. 


Nikita Smith

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Nikita developed a passion for the travel industry whilst travelling the world at a young age and has since graduated from the International Travel College of New Zealand earning her level 3 and level 4 certificates in travel and tourism. Nikita is a passionate "Kiwi" who works hard to ensure every traveller’s trip to Aotearoa/New Zealand is laden with memorable moments. You can be sure that you are in excellent hands with Nikita as your Travel Designer.

Michelle Srzich

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Michelle’s love of travel began as an exchange student in the USA back in her teens, and since then she has travelled across the globe and worked in the travel industry for over twenty years. Michelle is very excited to now be back living in New Zealand and promoting this beautiful country as a travel destination.  As a mother of three intrepid young travellers she loves to take her family exploring the wonderful sights and experiences that New Zealand offers.

Gina ONeill

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Gina was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau and simply loves the North Island life. Her top spots to visit are Paihia, The Coromandel and Lake Taupō. Gina graduated from The International Travel College of New Zealand and just knew that she wanted a career helping people have the best adventures here. When she is not sharing tips on how to maximise your trip you will find her on a paddle board or meandering through a vineyard.

Danielle Mueth

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Growing up in the USA, Danielle’s passion for travel began at a young age. After a year of studying abroad during university the travel bug was fully engrained, inspiring Danielle to spend years exploring and living on a variety of continents whilst earning her Master’s degree in Tourism Management. She was drawn to New Zealand for the awesome hiking opportunities and Middle Earth landscapes. When Danielle is not crafting seamless and unique itineraries for others, you will find her eagerly exploring our backcountry.


Micala Lindsay

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Born and raised in Auckland, I have travelled all around the North Island. Nothing beats a Kiwi Summer and the best way to spend it for me is a roadie to the Coromandel or a day trip to Piha either boogie boarding at the beach, or going for a long walk around the Mercer Bay Loop overlooking the beautiful West Coast. If not at the beach, I love visiting the snow, and that’s why Queenstown in Winter is another one of my favourite destinations, I love that our little NZ offers a bit of everything from Mountain to Coastal scenery. 

Narissa Phipps

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Upon completion of her degree in the UK, Narissa embarked on a round the world trip landing in New Zealand for the first time in 2014. Falling in love with the endless natural beauty and kiwi culture she now proudly calls New Zealand home. Using her unique experience as both a tourist and a local, Narissa now dedicates her time to personally curate the dream itinerary guaranteed to create memories of a lifetime.  

Nigel Williamson

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Nigel has also been involved in tourism for over twenty years. 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!

Natalie te Dorsthorst

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Natalie is a born and bred Kiwi who grew up on the tropical island of Waiheke. From a young age she loved exploring New Zealand so a career dedicated to helping others discover Aotearoa’s amazing beauty was a natural progression. With over 20 years in the industry, you can be sure Natalie will take excellent care of your travel arrangements in her Guest Services role. When she is not at work, you can find her sipping on the family wine at their relaxing beach bach.

Nicole Kuek

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Bitten by the travel bug at a young age, Nicole made it her goal to study tourism in New Zealand. She is especially interested in accessible tourism and experience design. Originally from Malaysia, she is excited to be helping international clients make that once-in-a-lifetime trip to this amazing country. In her spare time, Nicole loves discovering New Zealand’s hidden gems, trying local brews, and hiking the country’s beautiful trails. 

Steve Taylor

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After 4 years running other peoples trucks, Steve established his own successful African overland safari company, overseeing operations and logistics between London and some of the most challenging terrain in travel that there is. In 2003, twenty one years later, Stephen returned to New Zealand and is now using his expertise as First Light Travel's Operations Manager.

Anne Baumscheiper

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A seasoned travel professional originating from Germany, Anne 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. Her biggest adventure here in New Zealand so far was learning how to dive and caving the “Lost World”. 

Brent Narbey

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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. Currently attempting to mountain bike all the back country tracks he can find and living to tell the tale!

Anna Caudle

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Originally from the USA, Anna has travelled the globe fairly extensively. She graduated university with a degree in Tourism Management and has since gained experience working in many facets of the industry, including the luxury space. She is passionate about implementing her love and knowledge of New Zealand to tailor make your dream holiday. When not creating your perfect trip, she can probably be found dreaming up her own next adventure or in the great outdoors.

Suzie Thorp

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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 wine industry, and a ‘foodie’ by nature, she has a wealth of insider hot tips on how best to savour New Zealand. Is happiest sitting in a hot tub with a spectacular view following an epic hike, and sipping on a craft beer.

Michelle Perrin

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Born and bred in New Zealand Michelle loves to travel and believes in the saying, “Don't leave home until you've seen the country”.  She has travelled the length and breadth of NZ, in the early years by motorbike but more recently has traded her bike for a Campervan.  Her favourite holiday involves meeting the locals and finding a beach or bush walk to enjoy the joys of nature and then discussing all of the above over a wine at the end of the day.  After having worked in the IT industry for 30 years Michelle now focuses on making First Light Travel's systems even better.

Judith Pohn

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Judith comes from Amsterdam in the Netherlands. In 2004 she set out on a world trip, visiting all continents and finally arriving in New Zealand. After an 8 month road trip, 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. Judith says living here still feels like one continuous holiday - as soon as she steps outside, or even glances out a window!

Dmitry Piven

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Dmitry has been in travel industry since 1992. He started out in Russia as a guide for American travellers. 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. Fishing, caving, rafting, walking, quad biking and doing the world’s highest bungee (134m) are amongst the activities he enjoys most.

Emma Bradley

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Emma was born and raised on a farm in Taranaki on the North Island of New Zealand and caught the travel bug on her first trip to the Northern Hemisphere! Upon her return home in 2017, she just knew she had to share her new passion for those wanting to visit the South Pacific. She started her tourism career as a Travel Designer before moving into the Product space as an assistant and now a Product Manager. Emma’s favourite place in New Zealand is Wellington as it ticks all the boxes that every foodie desires!

Gabriella Darby

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Gabriella grew up in California with frequent trips to the UK to visit extended family and that is where her love for travel began. After spending some time in Europe a friend convinced her to travel for a few months in New Zealand where she fell in love with the beautiful landscapes and relaxed lifestyle. Five years later she has settled in Queenstown and is excited to be an integral part of the Accounts team. When she is not working you can find Gabriella out paddle boarding on the lake or finding the best day hike.

Jaydene Edwards

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 Growing up in New Zealand with the awesome culture and spectacular scenery has always made Jaydene a very proud Kiwi. From a young age Jaydene knew that she wanted to be able to share her beautiful country with people across the world and have them experience this little slice of heaven for themselves. Whether you enjoy riding the slopes of a ski field in Queenstown or sunbathing on a beach in crystal blue water up in the Bay of Islands – New Zealand has it all and Jaydene will design the perfect trip for you!

Louise Fitzpatrick

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Originally from a small town in Northern Ireland, Louise has called New Zealand home since 2017. Her attraction to New Zealand was not only the better weather and beautiful scenery, but also the amazing amount of different activities it has on offer. From Skydiving in Queenstown, to jumping off the Sky Tower in Auckland. You name it, Louise has done it. This thrill seeker is your go to for planning those jam packed adventurous New Zealand holiday's.

Joanna Havea

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Joanna is a dynamic professional with a robust background in customer service and a degree in Tourism Management. Her passion for tourism knows no bounds as she views it as a transformative gateway for individuals to explore diverse cultures across borders. Outside of work, Joanna enjoys spending quality time with her family, embarking on road trips and savouring local cuisines. These experiences serve as wellsprings of inspiration, fueling her drive to craft meaningful travel adventures. Her favourite destinations include tranquil gems like Punakaiki and the adventure-packed Queenstown. Joanna chooses experiential consumption over material consumption at every opportunity!


Millie Laurent

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Gratefully growing up in rural New Zealand, Millie has always had a love for natural beauty. She has been exposed to tourism from a very young age with her family owning the Hobbiton farm, fostering her love for the industry. Over her time spent self-driving New Zealand, she has discovered some uniquely beautiful experiences many would gloss over. Her ‘must see’ location is the Queen Charlotte Sounds, in particular the Queens Charlotte Track. In her spare time, you can find Millie fishing, or chasing sunsets along New Zealand’s coastline.

Tatyana Kelenc

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Tatyana knew that she wanted a career in tourism from a young age and this is what inspired her to graduate from the International Travel College of New Zealand. Tatyana is very grateful to be able to call New Zealand home and create memorable trips for her treasured customers. She is very passionate about helping others to maximise their travel time and enhance their experience here. When Tatyana is not dedicating her time to “work”, you can find her relaxing at the beach or exploring nature through the wonderful bush walks of the North Island.

Katrina Maltais

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Having travelled to over 40 countries (so far), Katrina has a wealth of travel knowledge to share! Growing up in Canada, she graduated in Tourism and Hotel Management and has over 16 years of hospitality experience from working in hotels, cruises and living abroad. Passionate about experiencing new cultures and learning new things about the world she is now living in Auckland and is doing an exceptional job as our Business Development Manager. On her weekends you can find her exploring all of the natural beauty that New Zealand has to offer.

Gail MacSween

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Gail grew up in Scotland and began exploring the world with family from an early age. After travelling Australia for 2 years on her first solo trip and working her way through the travel and tourism industry, she decided to give New Zealand a try. Drawn by the natural beauty and the adventure activities, New Zealand stole her heart and she has now chosen to make Aotearoa her home. Gail is a fantastic asset to First Light Travel, excelling in her role as Organisational Development Manager. When not “working”, you will find her by the water, on a mountain or exploring somewhere new.

Katarina Marsalekova

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Katarina was born in Slovakia and first came to New Zealand in 2018 with the intention of completing a one year trip. Thanks to the natural beauty and Kiwi culture, she now never wants to leave! Katarina has a Masters in Environmental Geography and a huge passion for travel. Her favourite part of New Zealand is Arthur's Pass with an abundance of beautiful hikes and cheeky Kea birds everywhere. Katarina is an integral part of our Guest Services team and when she is not in the office you can find her hiking in nature.

Lisa Frandi

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Born in sunny Northland, her childhood was jam-packed with road trips and white sandy beaches. Exploring new places and being free from everyday life is where her obsession for travel began. Lisa feels privileged to be able to share her homegrown knowledge about our beautiful country as a trusted Travel Designer. Her personal local and overseas travel experiences (24 countries and counting) has given her a plethora of first-hand experience to understand the importance of well organised travel. Lisa is always researching and on the lookout for the next place she did not know she needed to visit.

Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price