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.   

Marcella Hunapo

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Marcella was destined for a bright future in travel, having both Italian and Samoan Heritage, and a love of learning about the different cultures around the world. Her parents fostered her love of travel with family holidays throughout Australia and the South Pacific. After studying, Marcella became Air New Zealand's youngest ever Flight Attendant, a dream of Marcella's as a 9 year old. Her time as a flight attendant came to an end, and she moved to Europe to take on new adventures. Marcela explains how these travel experiences have shaped her as a Travel Designer.

Emma McCormick

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Emma started her tourism career in the sunny shores of coastal North Queensland. She took some time out for a “short trip” to travel herself and a few years later eventually returned to Auckland where she fell in love with New Zealand’s natural beauty. Now one of her major goals is to walk the Te Araroa trail, which spans the entire length of New Zealand. When she’s not planning amazing holidays as one of our Senior Travel Designers, you can find her outdoors sailing, hiking, biking, diving and finding the best hidden beaches and waterfalls to have a dip in.

Jaimee Boyce

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Jaimee's background in luxury travel came via a stint working on superyachts in Europe. Jaimee understands how important having the smallest of details taken care of with efficiency and care. Jaimee is a born and bred Aucklander, and her favourite part of New Zealand would have to be the Coromandel - she enthuses

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.

Daniel Maine

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With Tahitian and Cook Islands heritage, travel and tourism was a natural career choice for Daniel. Having developed exceptional skills with Air New Zealand and The International Travel College of New Zealand, Daniel has now transferred these to be our Travel Design Manager. Daniel ensures our staff are happy and that everything runs smoothly for you. When he takes his professional hat off, you will find him pursuing his new found love for hiking, next stop on a glacier!

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.

Mikaela Pole

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South African born Mikaela completed her studies in Travel and Tourism before embarking on a sailing adventure. What an exciting way to get to know New Zealand - first living aboard a yacht in the Marlborough Sounds. From Picton she sailed the East Coast of the North Island, stopping in at Castle Point, Napier, Gisborne, Whitianga and the Mercury Islands. Mikaela is inspired by the wide variety New Zealand has to offer the international visitor - and now as a Travel Designer she loves creating seamless travel itineraries for eager explorers like herself.

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.

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.

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. 

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”. 

Shirin Hutcheson

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I migrated to NZ in 2002 from India to complete my Diploma in Travel & Tourism. I lived in Sydney Australia for the last 4 years and returned to NZ in 2016. I have travelled to USA/Europe and also within India & NZ extensively. Living and working in NZ & Australia I have always loved travelling and love visiting local farmer markets its something I enjoy most during my travels as we get to meet the locals, taste local food and also helps me feed my hunger for food photography. It gives me great satisfaction to work within this industry. 

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!

Telesia Fonoti

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Born and raised in Auckland, Telesia is of Samoan descent and entered the Travel Industry straight out of high school. Kicking off her travel career 20+ years ago, Telesia brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her role as Product Manager. Telesia has travelled across the globe to exotic and fascinating destinations and loves to explore different cultures. The ‘travel bug’ is definitely real as a getaway each year is always on the cards. Telesia therefore knows the important of sourcing the right product for our customers so we know this task is in very capable hands.

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.

Anatholy Pangan

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Anatholy’s vast experiences in the hospitality industry makes him a perfect fit for his accounts role at First Light Travel.  Being in the tourism industry for more than a decade in Dubai, the middle east tourism capital of the world.  Anatholy also loves travelling and has travelled in some countries in Asia like Thailand, Hongkong, China and Philippines and would now want to explore the beautiful New Zealand and Australia.  He believes that everybody needs a break from work and travelling is one of the most enjoyable and an unwinding escape from a busy work place.


Pricing terms

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