Travel Guides New Zealand participant recalls worst vacation ever


On the eve of making his television debut, New Zealand travel guides‘s Tulima Nonu recalled her worst vacation ever.

“It would have to be New Plymouth in December 2010. No offense to New Plymouth, eh. Amazing place, amazing people but I almost lost my leg in a boating accident. It was like scary shit. When you almost died, don’t come home. It is the worst vacation experience.

Ray Letoa, Hyrum Letoa and Tulima Nonu.

Provided

Ray Letoa, Hyrum Letoa and Tulima Nonu.

However, the near-disaster did nothing to dampen the 32-year-old’s love of travel and he was more than happy to team up with his cousins, Wellingtonians Ray and Hyrum Letoa for the New Zealand spin-off of the popular Australian travel show.

In New Zealand travel guides, five groups – made up of families or friends – visit vacation destinations to find out what is on offer and assess their experience.

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In some destinations they are treated like royalty while in others they go the budget route.

All the destinations are in New Zealand – starting with Northland – and the boys admit to having been seduced by their country of origin.

While Ray, 33, and Tulima are seasoned international travelers, Hyrum, 20, made his first overseas trip to Perth in 2019 and still considers a visit to Auckland’s Rainbows End as his best pre-.Travel guides vacation experience. Everyone was blown away by what New Zealand has to offer.

“I lived overseas for a few years,” says Tulima, “and when I was overseas everyone could talk about the beauty of New Zealand, the scenery, blah, blah, blah . I was really fed up, so when this opportunity presented itself, I was like, ‘Why not?’.

“In some of the places we went, I didn’t feel like I was in New Zealand. You go overseas to watch all of this amazing scenery and (something similar) is just north or just south. Or it’s just 30 minutes. Why take a 30 hour flight away when you can just drive six hours and experience it? “

Ray agrees. “As the saying goes, there is no place like home. I actually want to slap myself for not already doing what we did on the show. “

It was Ray who persuaded the other two to participate in Travel guides. He initially applied on behalf of his partner, Sarah, who had to drop out after a career promotion prevented him from taking time off.

“For Sarah’s sake, we have to minimize how awesome it is when we get home.”

Other travelers

Stephen, Jaala and Abbey Dyer.

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Stephen, Jaala and Abbey Dyer.

The dyers: This blended Hamilton family is considered the “chic” family of the series. Parents Stephen and Jaala have six children between them, but only one, Abbey, accompanies them on their travels.

Fear of traveling: (Abbey): Lose all my money and get stuck somewhere. (Stephen and Jaala): If a crisis arises and we weren’t insured for it.

Emily Dang and Nicholas Tian.

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Emily Dang and Nicholas Tian.

Emily Dang and Nicolas Tian: Auckland friends who met through badminton, this duo both immigrated to New Zealand from China and both are dancers.

Fear of traveling: Being kidnapped what happened to me in the Sahara Desert (Nicolas) and not being on the same page with my traveling companions (Emily).

Rusha Paenga, Cara Frires-Hei and Mere Nepia.

Provided

Rusha Paenga, Cara Frires-Hei and Mere Nepia.

Rusha Paenga, Cara Frires-Hei and Mere (Nan) Nepia: This family of fierce wahines originates from the Gisborne region. Cara is the wild child, Rusha is a bit of an entrepreneur who has created a travel community for female travelers and Nan is a pétanque champion.

Fear of traveling: Getting sick or being stuck on vacation with a bunch of whiners.

Jan and Lindsay Franklin.

Provided

Jan and Lindsay Franklin.

The Franklin: Jan and Lindsay, a down-to-earth Taranaki couple, love nothing better than a good laugh.

Fear of traveling: Some sort of disaster that meant we couldn’t go home.

New Zealand Travel Guides, TVNZ 2, Thursday February 18


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