Personal Travel Managers Wild About the West

Personal Travel Managers Wild About the West

Featured photo: Experiencing the untamed wilderness of the South Island’s West Coast (L-R) back row TravelManagers’ Lisa King, Anne Maree Selmo, Allison McDonald, Ali Smith (Scenic Hotel Group), Briar Nash (Christchurch International Airport), Maree Evans, Lara Thomas (West Coast NZ Untamed Wilderness); front row: Julianne Gazal-Rizk, Anita Coombs, Alma Araullo and Melissa Randazzo

The West Coast of the South Island is a stunning but lesser-known destination for visitors to Aotearoa New Zealand. Thanks to a memorable famil to the region, six of TravelManagers’ personal travel managers (PTMs) now understand why more travellers should be wild about the West.

The famil was one of several available to PTMs at the completion of TravelManagers’ annual National Conference in Ōtautahi Christchurch, and was hosted by West Coast Regional Tourism, Scenic Hotels, Christchurch Airport and Tourism New Zealand. The group spent four idyllic days experiencing some of the West Coast’s most incredible scenery, from the thrilling Punakaiki Blowholes to the tranquil perfection of Lake Matheson.

PTM Anne-Maree Selmo, who is based in Edithvale, VIC, says she is already counting the days until she is able to return to the West Coast, which she describes as an incredible hidden gem.

“Even the journey from Christchurch was a world-class experience – the TranzAlpine is considered one of the world’s great rail journeys and it definitely lived up to the hype,” she reports. “From the lush green farm country of the Canterbury Plains to the snow-clad peaks of the Southern Alps, and eventually the rugged coastline of the West Coast itself, the entire journey was a ‘forever memory’ for me.”

Selmo, along with fellow PTMs Alma Araullo, Anita Coombs, Maree Evans, Allison McDonald and Lisa King were accompanied by Melissa Randazzo from TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO). From quad-biking through dense Jurassic-like forest and ancient glacier riverbeds to soaring over the icy expanse of Franz Josef Glacier, panning for gold and even an up-close encounter with New Zealand’s rarest species of Kiwi, every moment was designed to showcase the ‘Untamed Natural Wilderness’ that makes the West Coast region New Zealand’s best-kept secret.