Skip to content
Leon in Milford Sound

Leon, New Zealand & French Polynesia Specialist

Leon's passion for travel stemmed from his love of adventure sports. Being an avid climber and kayaker naturally drew him to New Zealand and more remote locations around the world. It was during studying adventure education at the University of Chichester, that he spent six months of a placement year exploring the wilderness of New Zealand, where he became besotted with the natural beauty of the country. In fact, he's always been a keen explorer and at the age of 18 he drove from the UK to Iran — and using any means he could muster — he continued on to Thailand and eventually Australia. Leon's hunger for adventure took him to some of the most remote South Pacific aboard the Aranui V cruise boat, where he spent 10 days exploring the six inhabited Marquesas Islands and a further two weeks island-hopping around the Society Islands of French Polynesia.

Speak to Leon

Audley Travel specialist Leon

Start planning your trip to Australia & New Zealand with Leon

Walking in the glaciers, New Zealand

I recommend visiting - Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

My favorite place has to be the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, specifically the Franz Josef Glacier.

The west coast of New Zealand beholds some of the most strikingly beautiful scenery in the world. It's is one of few places in the world that you can hike across a glacier in the morning and then sit by the beach enjoying local seafood for lunch. The west coast sees dramatic snow capped mountain ranges melting into the wild Tasman Sea.

For those that enjoy less physically demanding excursions, Franz Josef is the ideal location to take a helicopter tour of the glacier and the rugged local surroundings. Enjoy this unique scenery from a completely new aerial perspective. The west coast is also home to numerous wildlife conservation projects, so it's a great spot to try and find the elusive kiwi bird.

The west coast of the South Island is a must on any self drive itinerary — it's one of the best road trips in the world.

I'll never forget when…

I have one memory that will stand out as the moment I fell in love with New Zealand. It was a fresh spring morning an hour before sunrise and I found myself hiking up to the top of Queenstown Hill with three friends. It was 5am and the air was still, I vividly remember the silence being one of the loudest things I have ever heard.

As we approached the summit the sun was just starting to throw its first rays over the tips of the mountains surrounding Lake Wakatipu. We reached the top and admired the beauty of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, towering above. Not a word was spoken for at least an hour, as we were all transfixed by the dramatic scenery surrounding us.

Photos of Leon

  •  Leon in Abel Tasman National Park Leon in Abel Tasman National Park
  •  Leon on the Franz Josef Glacier Leon on the Franz Josef Glacier
  • Leon on Magic Mountain, Moorea, French Polynesia Leon on Magic Mountain, Moorea, French Polynesia
  • Leon embarking on a cruise, French Polynesia Leon embarking on a cruise, French Polynesia
  • Leon on Fatu Hiva, French Polynesia Leon on Fatu Hiva, French Polynesia
  • Leon on a flight over the Franz Josef Glacier Leon on a flight over the Franz Josef Glacier
  • Leon during a stop on his journey to Milford Sound Leon during a stop on his journey to Milford Sound
  • Leon walking the Tongariro Crossing Leon walking the Tongariro Crossing