MoaTrek came to life in the early 70’s as New Zealand’s first-ever flagship youth budget tour company. Like a fine wine, MoaTrek has matured, and these days we offer small group tours round New Zealand for the more discerning traveller. But we still haven’t lost our unique way of doing things and our cheeky sense of humour from the old days. Not surprisingly, there are a few funny stories from those early days, including tales of romance and engagements. The odd New Zealand country town is now inhabited by Aussie or American sheilas who discovered that life on the land in New Zealand was pretty sweet after having been on tour with us. Here are three tales of love, romance and serendipity – MoaTrek style.
Lynne & Nigel
One lucky guest joined a MoaTrek tour quite by accident, when she became disenchanted by what was meant to be a ‘romantic’ backpacking holiday around New Zealand with a male companion. Wanting to join a tour and salvage her holiday, she walked into a Paihia travel agent with a cry for help. Next minute, she found herself on a plane to Auckland where she was met at the airport by a gentlemanly MoaTrek chap and driven to a Motor Camp in Auckland to join a group of rowdy young people on the camping & cabin tour of a lifetime!
What ensued was 16 days of non-stop adventure, excitement and socialising; all under the careful supervision of a tour cook, guide and manager. Lynne remembers this said cook to be a ‘bit of alright’ to look at – beautiful sculptured calves and thigh muscles had her enraptured from the moment she laid eyes on him. Meal times and kitchen duties became favourite experiences; sing-a-longs around the campfire and the chance to get to know one another made evenings a heap of fun. Camping outside sheep stations and nights spent in bars in dress-up dancing the night away – all set amidst the stunning background of New Zealand – made Lynne’s MoaTrek experience truly unforgettable.
A year later, Lynne found herself working in the MoaTrek office, a natural continuation of a tour experience that really did change her life, particularly so, following her marriage to the man with the muscly, well-sculpted calves and thighs! Nigel and Lynne have celebrated over 30 years together, and also have a son in his mid-twenties.
Ross & Hetty
After returning to New Zealand from Europe, kiwi bloke Ross underwent training to become a MoaTrek driver/guide and took his very first tour a few months later. It didn’t take him long to figure out that one of the passengers in his particular group was outstandingly attractive, and was lovely to chat to. The whole time he was thinking to himself - ‘first tour – this can’t be happening!’ The trip ended in Christchurch, but his memories and feelings for Australian-born Hetty didn’t. A heap of letters and multiple trips across the Tasman took place during the ensuing months, and in 1980 the young couple was married in Melbourne. Following the wedding, Ross was employed by MoaTrek as a marketing rep for three Australian states. Stories like this one aren’t uncommon amongst the MoaTrek extended family!
The McLean MoaTrek
Staying on the topic of keeping it in the family, the tale of the McLean MoaTrek has become the stuff of legend. Stewart McLean, a cheeky and outgoing MoaTrek driver, met his wife, Jan, on his eighth tour and they have now clocked up more than 36 years of marriage together. Not to be outdone, his brother, Ian, worked as a courier (organiser) on one of the larger coaches, where Ian met his future wife, Alison, who then became a MoaTrek cook. Joining in on all the excitement was Stewart’s older brother, Bruce, who tried the same trick – and succeeded. Shortly after Bruce became a coach courier as well, he met his future wife, Jan. Now, this is by no means an assurance that you too will find yourself engaged after a Moa Trek tour, we just help to set the scene for an unforgettable holiday and let you do the rest – that’s one thing that will never change on a Moa Trek tour.
The MoaTrek magic of today
While we don’t sleep in tents, cook over the BBQ or play dress ups anymore, the older, more refined MoaTrek doing still retains that sense of adventure and excitement from the early days. Want to know more? Find out more about our tours here, or contact us directly.