The Best Travel Advisors for Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific
The A-List is Travel + Leisure's annual selection of the world's best travel agents and destination specialists, as chosen by the editors. Rely on these industry experts to plan the perfect trip to Oceania. For more about our methodology and how to apply, read How We Choose the Travel Advisors for T+L’s A-List.
Australia and New Zealand
Bookholder returns to her native Australia a few times a year to search for new ways to experience old favorites, like adrenaline-fueled tours of Sydney featuring seaplanes, motorcycles, and jet boats. Recently, she has created itineraries that give her clients an insider’s view of a destination, like a visit to Waiheke Island, Auckland’s answer to the Hamptons.
Best for: foodies/epicurean travelers, multigenerational families, adventurers
Extras: Bookholder is thrilled when clients opt for a focused visit to one destination rather than country-hopping. In addition to allowing for a deeper experience, it also means she can build in plenty of open leisure time.
Other expertise: New Zealand
Minimum daily spend: none
602-889-5902; email@example.com; camelbacktravel.com
Mercien-Ferol, who lives in Brisbane, can arrange private-jet transfers and plan trips with stays at lodges that are destinations in themselves. Her favorites include coastal getaways like Saffire Freycinet, in Tasmania, and mountain cabins like Minaret Station, in Wanaka, New Zealand.
Best for: luxury seekers, foodies/epicurean travelers, couples/honeymooners
Extras: Call Mercien-Ferol if you want an ultra-exclusive experience like a heli-hike on a New Zealand glacier that incorporates martinis and caviar.
Other expertise: Tahiti, Fiji
Minimum daily spend: $700
800-536-5328; firstname.lastname@example.org; touringtreasures.com
Turrini travels annually to Tahiti and knows the right people to make any dream-vacation request a reality, whether it be a videographer to film a marriage proposal, a local fisherman to share his secret angling spots, or even a top Tahitian tattoo artist.
Best for: luxury seekers, adventurers, foodies/epicurean travelers
Extras: When two of Turrini’s clients returned to Tahiti to re-create their honeymoon, she surprised them with a breakfast delivered in a raft outfitted with traditional wedding chairs.
Other expertise: Italy
Minimum daily spend: $350
415-532-8664; email@example.com; frosch.com
Vacations to the South Pacific can feel packaged, unless you get someone creative like Hamer involved. On annual trips, she charts out the best beach and overwater bungalows for views and privacy, and scouts out new shops, romantic restaurants, and experiences.
Best for: couples/honeymooners, luxury seekers, families
Extras: On private boat tours around Bora-Bora, Hamer likes to add a professional photographer to the crew to document the experience. She also sends couples off with champagne—served in a coconut.
Other expertise: Maldives and the Seychelles
Minimum daily spend: none
310-689-5411; firstname.lastname@example.org; travelstore.com
It’s hard to have a conversation with Jefferson and resist the urge to jump on the next flight to New Zealand. No request is off-limits for the South Island–based travel advisor, who counts professional photographers, fly-fishing guides, chefs, and farmers among the friends he can tap on behalf of his clients.
Best for: families, foodies/epicurean travelers, adventurers
Extras: For clients interested in Maori culture, Jefferson sets them up with a Maori chef and outdoorsman who leads an excursion in the Kaimanawa Range for a day of hunting, gathering, cooking, and hiking.
Minimum daily spend: $1,000
64-3-447-3558; email@example.com; ahipara.com
Stewart’s in-depth knowledge allows her to create informative, personal itineraries and suggest alternatives to overcrowded destinations. Her company, Antipodean Luxury Travel, has access to stunning wilderness areas. For a recent father-son trip, she arranged private fly-fishing excursions on a sheep farm on New Zealand’s North Island.
Best for: adventurers, wildlife-lovers, sports fans
Extras: Stewart can arrange heart-pumping activities like swimming with dolphins and whales off Western Australia’s Coral Coast, and heli-skiing and hiking on New Zealand’s glaciers.
Other expertise: Family travel, Australia, and the South Pacific
Minimum daily spend: $500
64-2998-33806; firstname.lastname@example.org; antipodeanluxurytravel.com
Reading her detailed itineraries, it’s clear that Thomas has explored almost every corner of New Zealand’s North and South Islands. She sends bird-watching enthusiasts to secluded beaches to see the endangered yellow-eyed penguin and arranges for avid trekkers to take guided hikes to a waterfall on a secluded beach in Paparoa National Park.
Best for: luxury seekers, couples/honeymooners, families
Extras: Thomas’s itineraries are packed with insider tips such as scenic road-trip detours and cruises to less-visited Tauranga, which is blossoming with new activities and charming accommodations.
Other expertise: Australia
Minimum daily spend: $500
215-741-5155; email@example.com; newzealandtravel.org