xtravel is one of Central Otago’s most experienced Travel companies with a combined 46 years travel industry experience in Queenstown and New Zealand.
As obsessive travellers ourselves we strive to offer eXceptional eXperiences to enhance our clients’ travels and offer full 24 hour support while you are on the road. Whether you’d like an escorted tour in Ecuador, a cruise in the Caribbean, full service corporate and business travel or a family holiday abroad, we have the knowledge and eXpertise to ensure you get more out of your travel.
We’ve visited many of the places you’re dreaming about (and if we haven’t been there we’re dreaming too!), so from restaurant recommendations in Buenos Aires to shopping suggestions in New York, tips on the best beaches in Thailand or the best places to see cherry blossoms blooming in Japan, we’ll give you inside information that will help transform your travels into lifetime memories.
If you travel often for Business we can help streamline travel policies, increase business efficiency, assist in strengthening your airline relationships and simply your travel spend reporting.
Talk to Tori, Niki and Kate about how we can help you create life changing travel experiences.
Meet the xtravel Team
Tori (Victoria) Keating
There’s not much about travel Tori isn’t ridiculously passionate about, and there’s no travel experience she isn’t willing to try. From hiking through the Himalayas to bottling her own wine in Adelaide, soaking in mudbaths in South Africa to relaxing in a day spa in Thailand, swinging on vines in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest to bird spotting in the wetlands of Argentina, Tori throws herself into every travel experience with gusto.
She especially enjoys getting off the beaten track and delights in finding weird and wonderful things to eat, including jellyfish sushi in Japan and guinea pig in Peru. Don’t let that fool you though- she’s also a keen foodie and wine connoisseur who loves getting to the heart of local cuisine and thinks there’s no better way to create a lasting legacy from your travels than to pair a stroll through local markets with a cooking class to recreate foreign flavours at home.
Tori’s specials areas of expertise include South America, the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, Southern Africa, Asia, Canada, adventure and active travel, trains, touring (including her own `explorertori ‘ tours), Australia, Western Europe, group travel, special events including sports, theatre and cultural events, wildlife spotting and beach and sun.
When she’s not making your travel dreams a reality she dances salsa, enjoys learning Spanish (she uses the terms `enjoys’ loosely), directs and performs in theatre productions, plays the ukulele, volunteers for St John Ambulance, runs her online business www.globetrottinggifts.com, attempts to control the weeds in her vegie garden and raises two illegitimate chickens.
Most recent overseas trip– Colombia and Ecuador
Next travel destination– Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Mauritius
Countries visited: Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Austria, the United Arab Emirates, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador (her personal favourite), Colombia, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, Fiji.
Niki’s of the opinion that once the travel bug has bitten there’s no known cure, and she’s not happy unless she knows she has a trip planned to look forward to.
From cruising down the Danube to walking the Great Wall of China, driving through the Canadian Rockies to seeing the bright lights of Vegas, enjoying a bird’s eye-view from a helicopter over the volcanic beaches and cliffs of American Samoa or a camel ride over desert sands of the U.A.E, Niki has a wealth of experiences to assist with creating the perfect getaway. With a keen eye for ‘getting a bargain’ or ‘an experience’, she likes to explore options that will enhance a journey, anything from a local bike tour to an overnight stay in a castle.
Niki’s special areas of expertise include Corporate and Incentive travel, ocean, river and small ship cruising (she’s a CLIA accredited cruise agent), group travel, the South Pacific, Europe, Asia, and anywhere in-between.
When’s she not helping businesses run more effectively by providing efficient travel solutions or helping families plan memory making holidays, Niki enjoys raising her two children (which now includes re-learning how to play the recorder and guitar), camping, gardening, skiing, biking and escaping from the children with her husband. She enjoys getting out and about on family adventures finding the perfect powder for skiing, a track for mountain biking, or a path to wonder, all great excuses to explore.
Most recent overseas trip– China and Perth
Next travel destination– Hong Kong and the UK
Countries visited: Fiji, Western Samoa, American Samoa, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, Bali, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Macau, Singapore, Japan, USA, Canada, U.A.E, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and extensively throughout New Zealand.
Travel Consultant/Admin Extraordinaire
I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list- these are the very true words which Kate lives her life by, and it’s not just that she wants to travel everywhere but she also wants to try everything to experience the best a place has to offer.
She’s put herself well outside her comfort zone bargaining in remote markets in Indonesia, booking overnight train travel in Spain without a single word of Spanish under her belt and watching a fully armed SWAT team storm the Eiffel Tower (don’t panic- it was just training, but still a sight to see!). She’s worn the glow the glow of a happy and excited smile meeting her favourite childhood characters at Disneyland (she’s just a big kid really), yodelled onstage in Switzerland, taken a surf lesson in Hawaii, shopped until she dropped in Budapest and exchanged stories with a traditional horse shoe maker on Bintan Island.
She’s yet to skydive in Dubai (something she has a real burning desire for), sail through Croatia or hear the roar of the engines at Mt Panorama at Bathurst but she’s marked these on her list and she’s keen to tick them off.
Kate’s areas of expertise include coach touring and group journeys, South Pacific travel, Australia, river and ocean cruising, family holidays, Europe and the USA. Oh, and there’s little about travel insurance she can’t advise on. Kate’s the admin nerd of xtravel- she’ll know the `ins and outs’ of your holiday, has an amazing eye for detail and is organised to the highest level. Your travel will definitely be in great hands with Kate.
In life Kate’s willing to give most things a go and enjoys all manner of extracurricular activities. She is a mum to three incredible kids and loves keeping them on their toes. As a good southern lass originally from Gore she thrives in the great outdoors and spends her down time camping, boating, trying different water and adrenalin sports, and smelling the petrol while spectating at motor racing. Whether it’s a family day with the kids and their dog Oakley, an overseas adventure, a night at home watching movies with her husband, a weekend away with the girls or helping run her husband’s business- B&M Joinery in Cromwell- she injects all areas of her life with passion and pleasure and always gives her all.
Most recent overseas trip: Indonesian cruise and a stint on the Gold Coast
Next overseas trip: Perth & Hawaii
Countries visited: New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, USA and Alaska, Canada, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain.