Thrilling Highlights of South Island High Country on Display for Personal Travel Managers

Thrilling Highlights of South Island High Country on Display for Personal Travel Managers

Featured photo: Enjoying the views of the Southern Alps, Aoraki/Mount Cook and Lake Pūkaki during their heli-hike adventure on Glentanner Station. (L-R) Brian Bezalel (local guide, Glentanner Station), PTMs Dionne Smith, Sarah Knoll, Tanya Nielsen, Rachel Portelli and Carolyn Ahearne, Lexy Wildash (Tourism NZ), Jessica Bennett (PTM), Maddy (Canterbury Trails) and PTMs Jackie Sommers and Elyse Palmer.

For many of the personal travel managers (PTMs) who attended TravelManagers’ annual National Conference in Christchurch last month, it was an ideal opportunity to experience some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most breathtaking scenery for themselves.

PTMs Carolyn Ahearne, Sarah Knoll, Dionne Smith, Tanya Nielsen, Jessica Bennett, Rachael Portelli and Elyse Palmer were accompanied by Victoria-based Business Partnership Manager (BPM), Jackie Sommers, on an unforgettable three-day famil to the spectacular Mackenzie Region. The group was hosted by Tourism New Zealand, Mackenzie Tourism and Christchurch Airport.

From heli-hiking on a high-country station to jet-boating around icebergs on a glacier lake, the PTMs say they were blown away by the incredible beauty of this remote region, which is located roughly halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown in the heart of the rugged, snow-capped Southern Alps.

A helicopter ride provided a thrilling start to the PTMs’ heli-hiking experience on Glentanner Station, where they were treated to incredible views of the South Island high country and Aoraki/Mount Cook. (L-R) Tanya Neilsen, Jackie Sommers (BPM Victoria), Mandy Mitchell (Canterbury Trails), Brian Bezalel (Glentanner Park Centre), Elyse Palmer, Jason Menard (Mackenzie Tourism).

“The Mackenzie Region is simply stunning – it is now a ‘must-visit’ recommendation for any itinerary I prepare for clients heading to the South Island,” confirms Knoll, who is based in Mt Evelyn, Victoria. “Seeing Aoraki/Mount Cook glowing in the moonlight from my hotel room window at the Hermitage Hotel is a memory I will never forget.”

Nielsen, who is based in Lansdale, Western Australia, agrees that the experience has made her want to come back for more.

“I had never visited New Zealand before, and although I have still only seen a small portion of New Zealand, I am determined to come back and see more. Our guides from Canterbury Trails and Mackenzie Tourism were very friendly and passionate about the destination and had a wealth of knowledge to share with us.”

A boat cruise on the Tasman Lake in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park gave the group a close-up view of New Zealand’s largest glacier, the Tasman Glacier. (L-R) PTMs Carolyn Ahearne, Rachael Portelli, Jessica Bennett, Tanya Nielsen and Sarah Knoll.

Smith says the famil experience revealed a destination that offers high-quality accommodation and delicious food experiences which are sure to delight the most discerning of clients.

“It’s definitely well worth spending a few days exploring the Mackenzie Region rather than simply passing through. You can be as active or relaxed as you like, and the landscapes are absolutely spectacular.”

“My experience in the Mackenzie Region definitely exceeded my expectations,” concludes Ahearne, who is based in Glen Iris, Victoria. “Stunning scenery, beautiful accommodation options, lots of activities, delicious food and wine and friendly locals – and all just a short flight away from Australia’s East Coast.”