Who we are
New Zealand is hot!!! Even though it gets hot in summer, we're not talking that kind of hot. New Zealand is hot as in very popular.
Tourism is booming here, and all those places you have read about and seen pretty pictures of in the magazines or in the movies, are getting more and more visitors. That's not to say you shouldn't visit them, there's obviously a reason why many people do. They are truly stunning and out of this world. But we feel it takes a little away from the real New Zealand. The real New Zealand is still that isolated beach all to yourself, that little cafe in a small unknown and remote town serving the best coffee you've ever had and nobody knows about it, sharing a laugh, beer or dinner with a stranger...you just have to look a little further. Or maybe plan your trip outside the peak season to avoid the worst of the crowds.
Our aim is to do exactly that. We can help you to go that little further, and at the same time still enjoy the main sights and activities. We are just like you, so we understand what it means to be a discerning traveler. It is for this reason we don't provide a large number of fully packaged tours on our website, where you can just click and pay as if you were buying a book online. Rather we invite you to choose your own building blocks, and based on your interests we can help you create a unique itinerary just for you, whatever your budget. There are always going to be items on a tour you will not be so interested in, everyone's different after all, so why having to pay for them.
We believe that it's therefore worth taking a little bit more time. If you do like one of our very carefully prepared tours, but don't like certain days or items on the itinerary, just let us know and we can modify this to your requirements.
With our love for New Zealand, passion for travelling and previous experience in the industry, we will guarantee you one of the best journeys of your life...if not THE best!
BackgroundSouthernJourneys is run 100% locally in New Zealand, but have some of our roots in Europe and South America. Our traveling enthusiasm and experience combined with our awareness for local culture and eco-friendly tourism is your guarantee for top quality service.
Our ApproachOur philosophy is simple : You choose your own path. And just let us do all the hard work preparing the journey of your imagination.
Where we liveWe're based in a small town called Raglan, located on the west coast of New Zealand about 2 hours southwest of Auckland, and which is renowned for its world class surf breaks. The town is very laid back and has a great arts scene, live music in summer, vibrant cafes, and all in the spectacular backdrop that the rugged west coast provides.
With a passion for travelling, I'm always out and about exploring and visiting every corner of our amazing country when I can, it is such a big playground after all... so together with my partner's background in tourism we decided to share the fantastic experiences New Zealand has to offer.
Mara Heyert Toledo Salas
Managing Director/ Travel consultant
I was born and raised in Peru but moved to New Zealand in 2014 to be with my partner. Back in Peru I gained a degree in tourism administration. Since New Zealand is an extraodrinary and diverse country with so much to offer, my husband and myself decided to start our own travel business.
We're a member of the Tourism Industry Aotearoa
Being a member of the Tourism Association requires tourism businesses to adhere to a particular code of ethics, so you can be guaranteed you'll be receiving a service of the highest quality.
100% New Zealand Specialist
As a 100% New Zealand based specialist, you just know you're talking to the experts and you'll be in safe hands. We have all the intimate knowledge about New Zealand, ensuring that the tours we prepare for you will offer you the best New Zealand experience.