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Travel Directors in South Pacific

When you travel with Trafalgar to Fiji, Australia and New Zealand our Travel Directors will show you the unexpected, provide local insights and share unique experiences you could not have on your own. Want to know a little bit more about our ultimate insiders? Meet some of our Travel Directors below.



  • Gail Richards
    • How long have you been a Travel Director? 
      30 years

      What region/s do you cover?
      Australia and New Zealand.

      Tell us a bit about yourself and your background...
      I have been a Travel Director covering many parts of the world including Japan, China, USA, Canada, India, South America. I love to travel!

      I enjoy sport, swimming, hiking, reading, theatre, and meeting new people.

      What do you love most about your job?
      To be able to fulfil the expectations of clients on the trip of their dreams.

      What’s your best Hidden Treasure?
      A sand dune in Central Australia. We climb to the top with views of a salt lake and collect red sand from Australia.

      Where do you most like to take guests?
      The Great Barrier Reef and the Outback.

      What is your most memorable moment on the road?
      Teaching people who cannot swim, how to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef.

      The one place you should take a photo?
      With a koala, the Sydney Opera House and Uluru.

      What are your travel ‘must haves’?
      Good comfortable walking shoes, umbrella, hat and a sense of adventure and vegemite – an Australian spread for toast.

      What’s your tip for feeling like a local when you travel?
      Enjoy some of the local cuisine, take local transport, walk the city, visit an Australian hotel/ pub and chat with the locals.

      Talking the lingo – what should every guest know?
      "G’Day" is an Australian hello and "fair dinkum" – meaning the truth, honest or genuine.

      The best food you’ve ever tried during your travels?
      Morton Bay/Balmain Bugs. This is a crustacean, tastes like crab or lobster.

      If you had to buy one souvenir what would it be?
      Boomerang, Aboriginal Art and an Akubra Hat.

      What or who is your biggest inspiration?
      My first boss, Lynette Hinings. She gave me the opportunity to work in travel and trained me to be a Travel Director, which has given me the chance to see the world.

      What is your best travel tip?
      Travel with an open mind, don’t expect things to be as you would have at home, have a sense of humour and a sense of adventure.

  • Lu Tyree
    • How long have you been a Travel Director?
      20 years

      What region/s do you cover?
      All NZ and Australia if required.

      Tell us a bit about yourself and your background...
      After spending time working and studying in the UK and Europe, I returned to NZ to show people this wonderful country. I am a bilingual secretary by trade and one of the founding members of NZs professional tour guiding industry association. I have an interest in nature and the great outdoors, have run a lifestyle farm and bred oriental cats. Having lived in some of the more remote places in New Zealand, I have gained many special insights from doing so. In my former youth, I cycled toured much of New Zealand and have even walked Ninety Mile Beach!! These days I read books, swim and walk to fit on with our demanding job!

      What do you love most about your job?
      Meeting strangers from all walks of life and parting as friends.

      What’s your best Hidden Treasure?
      If I give them away, they won't be hidden any more?!? Me, I am told!

      Where do you most like to take guests?
      Morelea Farm for lunch. Milford Sound.

      What is your most memorable moment on the road?
      Seeing Mount Cook at Sunset from the West Coast.

      The one place you should take a photo?
      Sterling Falls, Milford Sound.

      What are your travel ‘must haves’?
      Plenty of batteries and cards for the digital camera of course!

      What’s your tip for feeling like a local when you travel?
      Be sure to know what the locals do for lunch - and join them!

      Talking the lingo – what should every guest know?
      Kia Ora !! Good on yer, mate!!

      The best food you’ve ever tried during your travels?
      Bluff oysters of course!

      If you had to buy one souvenir what would it be?
      A Silver Fern Flag from New Zealand!

      What or who is your biggest inspiration?
      Mother Nature - she reminds us time and again that we are mortal and she will always show us something of her beauty or fury at any time of the day or year.

      What is your best travel tip?
      Come back and visit again - there's too much to see anywhere for one visit!

  • Melanie Cordes South PacificMelanie Cordes
    • How long have you been a Travel Director?
      20 years

      What region/s do you cover?
      NZ wide

      Tell us a bit about yourself and your background...
      I am an artist/grandmother, born in England, lived in NZ since my teenage years.

      What do you love most about your job?
      That it is always interesting and challenging. Meeting new people from all around the world!

      What’s your best Hidden Treasure?
      Hard question to answer – NZ is full of hidden treasures!
       
      Where do you most like to take guests?
      Milford Sound

      What is your most memorable moment on the road?
      Each tour has its own memorable moments!

      The one place you should take a photo?
      Milford! Whatever the weather!

      What are your travel ‘must haves’?
      In NZ, a smile!

      What’s your tip for feeling like a local when you travel?
      Going with the flow

      Talking the lingo – what should every guest know?
      Kia Ora

      The best food you’ve ever tried during your travels?
      In NZ, lamb shanks

      If you had to buy one souvenir what would it be?
      Greenstone

      What or who is your biggest inspiration?
      Ghandi

      What is your best travel tip?
      Sunscreen/insect repellent/credit card!

       

  • Julie Hanham South Pacific EuropeJulie Hanham
    • How long have you been a Travel Director?
      I started touring back in 1988 as a cook on camping tours and then changed to become a Travel Director a year later, so that makes it a good 22 years!!

      What region/s do you cover?
      New Zealand and Western Europe

      Tell us a bit about yourself and your background... 
      After university, I went into hotel management and hospitality and with itchy feet decided to go touring. Starting as a cook on camping tours, with pots I could climb into! Then moving onto guided holidays in New Zealand. Again the travel bug took hold and I headed to Europe and trained as a Travel Director, which I am still loving!

      What do you love most about your job?
      Meeting people as strangers at the beginning of a holiday and leaving them as friends. The best part of the job is the people you meet, and of course the food we eat, the places we go and the things we do.

      What’s your best Hidden Treasure?
      In New Zealand it is a small catholic church in a small town in the South Island. A very interesting history and story to go with. The hidden treasure if I told you would not be hidden!!

      In Europe my best hidden treasure is in the town of Luzern in Switzerland. My favourite sculpture is here, with of course a fascinating history and a very interesting story - again it would not be hidden if I told you!

      Where do you most like to take guests?
      I love taking my guests to the places that they have only heard about and making their dreams and their holidays of a lifetime come true

      What is your most memorable moment on the road?
      This is a very difficult question. So many memorable moments and they are all to do with the people you meet. That’s what doing a guided holiday is all about, creating memorable moments for you to treasure for ever.

      The one place you should take a photo?
      You have to make sure you take photos of you! And whoever you are travelling with, not just of the scenery. Photos are fantastic memories and you need to remember you and the people you were with.

      What are your travel ‘must haves’?
      I always check that I have prescribed medications, and a few pharmacy meds from home. There is nothing worse than getting a cold or a headache and trying to find something that works in a country where you may not speak the language and they do not have what you are used to. Also, chargers and adaptors for phones, cameras etc.

      What’s your tip for feeling like a local when you travel?
      Eat what the locals eat and sometimes the best thing to do is just sit and watch the world go by.

      Talking the lingo – what should every guest know?
      When in Rome do as the Romans would do. We travel to experience the differences; if everywhere was the same it would be boring. Immerse yourself with the locals.

      The best food you’ve ever tried during your travels?
      White asparagus in Austria, pissaladière in France, cheese fondue in Switzerland and a good whitebait sandwich on the west coast of New Zealand. Of course with a good glass of local wine!

      If you had to buy one souvenir what would it be?
      Something for yourself! You need to have one indulgence whether it be a piece of local art, a mask or something to put in your home or hang on your wall. Something that will bring the memories back of your time away.

      What or who is your biggest inspiration?
      One of my biggest inspiration is one of my best friends who taught me not to sweat the "small stuff" to laugh and to enjoy each day to its maximum and to always take time to enjoy coffee! In other words, make sure you appreciate your days and to take time to smell the roses.

      What is your best travel tip?
      Before you leave make sure you have only 2/3 of your luggage weight, or have clothes you can throw away as you go. I see so many guests towards the end of the holiday, stressed about the weight of their bags. Take the stress away and have room for your indulgences that you pick up along the way.

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