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Consultant Profile: Melanie Hubber « Ferrymead Outlet Page

Personal Details

 

Owner Operator

mlowen@hot.co.nz

3-376-4018

987 Ferry Road
Ferrymead Village
Christchurch

Why ME?

I love creating holidays that you will remember for years to come.

Image Gallery

 
  • Cruising in Croatia Cruising in Croatia
  • Heavenly Portofino Heavenly Portofino
  • Italian coffee Italian coffee
  • Christmas Markets Christmas Markets
  • Venezia Venezia
  • Sitting in Hemingway's spot..Harry's Bar Sitting in Hemingway's spot..Harry's Bar
  • Cuzco Cuzco
  • Moody Charlesworth Bridge Prague Moody Charlesworth Bridge Prague
  • Spaghetti vongole Spaghetti vongole
  • Africa 2017 Africa 2017
  • Made it to Machu Picchu Made it to Machu Picchu

Where on Earth do you still want to go?

  • The Maldives
  • Chicago to start Route 66
  • New York - I still haven't been!
  • Costa Rica to stay at Lapa Rios
  • Antarctica & South Georgia Island
  • Everest Base Camp
  • India - staying in Maharaja palaces
  • Cambodia
  • Anywhere in Europe - always feel I've only scratched the surface

Useful Apps & Gadgets for Travel

  • My iPhone – I use it for my camera and alarm clock
  • HOT APP - wouldn't travel without it
  • Packing cells - where have they been all my travel life
  • Compact adaptor for multiple countries
  • Facetime - found it really reliable in Europe for keeping in touch
  • Cash Passport by Travelex

HOT Awards & Qualifications

  • Accredited Cruise Consultant for CLIA
  • Avalon Waterways Top Consultant NZ 2014
  • IATA UFTAA
  • Top 12 in 2003
  • Gold Sales for House of Travel 2004, 2011,2012, 2013,2014, 2015
  • National Certificate in Travel Level 3 & 4
  • Captain Status for Royal Caribbean Cruises

What I always take on holiday

  • Comfortable shoes that can go from day to night.. travel 101
  • A 'wheelie backpack' - ideal for train stations and stairs
  • A light wrap/scarf for flights - doesn't take up space but good when cold
  • Evian water mist for long flights to stay hydrated
  • Clothes that don't require ironing
  • Tickets/Money/Passport is my motto - the rest you can buy if you need to!
  • What I will take next time - noise cancelling headphones
  • Paper copies of my e tickets and travel insurance - can't always rely on wifi!
  • A brand new moleskin notebook to jot down handy tips for my clients

Where I've Been

 

Favourite Holidays

 

Italian Riviera & Croatia

There's something wonderful about having a Eurail pass over a European summer and I took the opportunity for a personal three week holiday to explore places I had only dreamed about,   Portofino, Venice and Croatia.  I travelled solo and had a Italian rail pass, booking key reservations as it was the peak of summer and flew into Milan and out of Zurich.  I took an easyjet flight to Split and did an amazing seven night Croatia cruise then ferried back to Ancona, training up to Venice and across to Zurich eventually.  I made some major discoveries on the best place to stay on the rivieria just down from Portofino near the most stunning marina for an incredible price and spent my afternoons meandering the ancient streets with quaint restaurants and cafes, with sundowner drinks in my favourite bar set on the ruins of an old castle overlooking the ocean. 

Kenya & Tanzania

“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne - bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.” - Karen Blixen

Two weeks exploring the Masai Mara and Serengeti would have to be one of the most incredible trips I have ever been on.  We did a variety of 'fly in' and road safaris and stayed at a variety of permanent tented camps in beautiful accommodation with &Beyond and Sanctuary Retreats as well as Nimali Lodge in Tarangire. If Africa is calling you and seeing the Wilderbeest and the Migration is on your bucket list along with some of the most luxurious lodges or rustic camping experiences contact me to help plan this epic adventure.

Uniworld Rivercruise

A fantastic opportunity to cruise from Amsterdam to Basle on their beautiful flagship SS Antoinette on their most popular 7 night itinerary – Castles on the Rhine. Fabulous food, sightseeing and company.  This was one of the best things I have done - the whole 'unpack once' experience and exploring a range of quaint villages and towns from the luxury of your floating hotel room is such an enjoyable way to travel.  The crew on Uniworld were just outstanding and the welcome Captain's cocktail party and little touches make the experience so fun.  The food is something else, five courses for dinner of the best European cuisine made it very difficult to come home. I was amazed at how busy the itinerary is if you want it to be as you didn't want to miss anything and the included sightseeing tours use really passionate local guides.  Contact me to ensure you book the best river cruise experience for you.

Christmas Markets River Cruise on the Danube

Seeing the Christmas Markets is on many bucket lists and after my experience I can see why!  My Christmas Markets River Cruise with Avalon Waterways was an absolute privilege.  I flew Emirates via Dubai into Prague and had a couple of nights to explore this fabulous Bohemian city with so much history and culture and so cheap!  We cruised on the Danube from Prague to Vienna. The markets were incredible, the culture of the people with so much tradition is that every evening families come out and eat gingerbread and bratwurst sausages and drink mulled wine standing around with furry hats and gloves on.  The stalls range from elaborate Christmas decorations to beautiful fine foods and gourmet cheeses and meats and sweet delights like i have never seen!  Nuremburg was fascinating and every place we visited just had so much history and key features like  Regensburg, Passau, Salzburg & Vienna.  I fell in love with Austria on this trip and I am now a committed River Cruise fan - such a great way to see so much from the comfort of unpacking once on your luxury vessel.

Peru & Chile

I was fortunate to be invited on a two week exploration trip with House of Travel to Peru & Chile, taking in Santiago, Lima, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Uros Islands.  This was a dream come true as I had always been fascinated by South America and was my first time to this Continent.  We went everywhere and I have come back with so many amazing tips to pass on to clients considering exploring Machu Picchu either trekking the Inca trail or travelling by train like we did - we left no stone unturned exploring old ruins and checked out amazing hotels everywhere and know all the best places to stay including  the sacred valley and Cuzco.  Distances are huge over there so careful planning is definitely required to get the most from this destination.   

Vietnam with Peregrine

Vietnam is so popular and I can see why!  I was invited to participate in a small group tour experience with Peregrine to Vietnam - 8 day Essence of Vietnam. This was an amazing experience we started in Ho Chi Minh city and headed North up to Hanoi, taking in Hoi Ann (my favourite place) as well as heading out to Halong Bay on a traditional overnight junk trip.  The food was incredible, shopping was great and most of all the people were such an inspiration, particularly once you learn about how much they have been through as a nation with the war.  There are so many ways to take in this incredible country and beautiful beach breaks to consider - the time of year and weather is so important so I am pleased now that I understand this place really well to help people make the most of this incredible country.

Bali & Kuala Lumpur

When Air Asia came to Christchurch it was too good an opportunity not to fly to Kuala Lumpur for the first time to take in this fabulous city enroute to a holiday in Bali which has always been a favourite of mine.  KL as it is commonly known is now one of my new favourite Asian cities - incredible food as it is a cultural melting pot of influences.  The fresh roti bread with watermelon curry was a highlight for me and shopping in Bukit Bintang and the markets are incredible and you can buy everything from bargains to top of the line.  I stayed at an amazing hotel and have some great tips on how to get the best out of this place and where to stay.  Bali was fantastic and I did a rip curl surf lesson that had me out on the reef in Sanur which was very exciting as a beginner.. I stayed at a villa in Seminyak which was outstanding as well as a quiet spot in Sanur which was incredible value.  I made up some handy tips that I give to all my clients travelling to this wonderful place to help them with all the ins and outs.

Mt Cook, Queenstown & Wanaka

I love to explore my own country when I can and also love to put together beautiful itineraries showcasing our country for overseas guests using my personal knowledge and experience of everything from top end lodges to b&b's, motels and hotels.  It really comes down to timeframes and distances and a mix of self driving, ferries and flights to make the most of our country.  I normally try and head South in July school holidays (ski season) and often over Summer (boating season) on an annual basis . Highlights on recent trips for me were the Hermitage at Mount Cook (outstanding) - an incredible helicopter flight with Over the Top over stunning scenery; camping up at a lake in the Mountains with friends who took me in after the Christchurch quakes, Wanaka for skiing, obligatory stop at Amisfield winery (favourite) and topping it off with a stay at the Kawarau suites at the Hilton Queenstown - fabulous

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