Introducing Vanessa - Destination Specialist

Vanessa - Destination Specialist

I’ve been working in travel since 1988 and my journey has taken me from several places along the way from selling general travel to specializing in the South Pacific after having lived in gorgeous Rarotonga, Cook Islands for a year in 1998!  Considering it to be my “home away from home”, everything about the island life in Rarotonga speaks to me: the people are super friendly, the Cook Islands offers some of the world’s whitest-sand beaches and when I want to retreat in total privacy, I never have to worry about that on the island’s near-empty beaches and calm waters.


Both Australia and New Zealand offer so much natural beauty and untouched spaces, making it a place of wonder for any traveller.  Regardless of if you’re looking for luxury, extreme adventure, a foodie heaven, or you’re a backpacker looking to tour on a dime - There is a wide range of activities for everyone in both regions. From luxury coach touring to extreme sports such as bungee jumping and sky diving, as well as a diverse food and wine industry cooking up top-notch delectables, these destinations are perfect for whatever you fancy... even if it’s all of the above!  In addition to that, our Canadian dollar is of good value in the South Pacific not to mention both these regions offer safe environments for individual travellers and families alike!


Want to experience a true hidden gem in the South Pacific?  I recommend the tiny paradisal island of Maupiti!  Giving the appearance of having virtually no tourists, and a population of around 2,000, the island life of Maupiti is serene and beautiful.  I recommend staying at a guest house, which takes you back to traditional, simpler times; friendly villagers and families, delicious local foods and an overall experience that differs from the 'usual' forms of accommodations you'd find anywhere else.


Speaking of different experiences, I also love to travel by cruise!  Having been on 15 cruises so far, I can honestly say that it’s a great way to see a ‘snapshot’ of different areas within a particular region.  If you’re looking to get the most of several places within a country like New Zealand for instance, it’s best to rent a car and self-drive while staying at a range of properties along the way.  I also support anything that gets you out of the beaten path and experiencing something new – this is highly recommended by me and I’ll always look to include something different in your itinerary.


A travel quote I love:

“If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody.
Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
- Anthony Bourdain


Places I’ve been:


Hong Kong


Cook Islands - Extensively



New Zealand