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Esther in Rotorua, New Zealand

Esther, New Zealand & South Pacific Specialist

Esther has had a keen interest in the world around her since a young age. After studying geography at university, she took off for six months around Australasia and Southeast Asia, and has most recently returned from South America.

Now back in London, where I grew up, I feel very fortunate that I get to spend my working day talking all about two of my favourite places in the world, my first and most memorable stop, New Zealand and secondly, French Polynesia, my most recent trip and a place that can only be described as pure paradise. Although two very different countries, this area of the world ticks all of the boxes for me when it comes to the perfect places to travel: New Zealand for its beautiful mountains, magnificent lakes, stunning glaciers and great people; whilst French Polynesia offers alluring turquoise lagoons, crystal clear water, colourful coral attracting an abundance of exotic wildlife and white sand beaches.

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View from the Skyline Gondola, Queenstown

I recommend visiting - Queenstown

Queenstown is somewhere I could go back to again and again. The surroundings of this small, ski resort-like town are spectacular. Set against the backdrop of the Southern Alps and on Lake Wakatipu's doorstep, it's hard to go anywhere where you can't admire a stunning view.

Queenstown is often referred to as New Zealand's adventure capital and although bungee jumping isn't quite for me there is no limit to what you can do here. I love walking around the lake or surrounding mountains, cycling or getting a little wet on the jet boat on the River Dart. To then top the day off there is an abundance of great restaurants to try and star gazing too.

Azur Lodge, Queenstown

I recommend staying at - Azur Lodge

Deluxe

When I visited Azur Lodge, I didn't want to leave. The main house, which is located just outside of the main town is accompanied by nine individual private villas all looking out onto Lake Wakatipu. Every villa has an open plan bedroom and living area with simple yet modern furnishings and decorations. You can sit outside on your own deck and admire your surroundings, relax in bed or even the bath while taking in the unobstructed lake view.

In the early evening don't miss out on going to the main lodge, meeting the chefs and sitting by the fire with a glass of wine enjoying the evening canapes.

I'll never forget when…

Six years ago I woke up at the crack of dawn to head to New Zealand's oldest National Park to trek the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Not knowing what to expect and having little knowledge about what I was going to come across, I packed my bag and began walking at sunrise.

To this day the beauty of the craters, emerald lakes and hot springs are so vivid in my mind I can't talk about New Zealand without recommending or mentioning the utter beauty of this eight hour trek.

Photos of Esther

  • Esther in Huahine, French Polynesia Esther in Huahine, French Polynesia
  • Esther in Motu Mahana, French Polynesia Esther in Motu Mahana, French Polynesia
  • Esther on Hahei Beach, New Zealand Esther on Hahei Beach, New Zealand
  • Esther at waimangu Volcanic Valley, Rotorua, New Zealand Esther at waimangu Volcanic Valley, Rotorua, New Zealand
  • Esther visiting the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand Esther visiting the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand