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Enhance your journey DownUnder by staying with the locals

No one can show you Australia and New Zealand better than the locals themselves. They know the country like no other. They know where the best places are and love to share their stories about where they live. Our local hosts love to welcome you and share their special part of the world.

Experience Australia and New Zealand in a uniquely local way

That’s why we, at TravelEssence, work exclusively with small-scale suppliers. We know our hosts will ensure that you experience the real and authentic essence of the country. Away from the mainstream, discover the places where other tourists don’t go. And enjoy the world-renowned Aussie and Kiwi hospitality.

Fall asleep under the stars in the Australian Outback

Meet Pete and Janine

For over six years, Pete and Janine have been welcoming guests to their home in New Zealand. A lodge which is nestled in the Wilkin Valley, at the foot of Mount Aspiring National Park. The area is a remote wilderness with high mountains and sweeping river valleys, where three rivers blend into one, the mighty Makarora River.

The couple are natural hosts and go the extra mile to provide guests with a unique experience in New Zealand. They are well known for being very entertaining, engaging, interesting and filled with plenty of Kiwi humour.

The couple are also known for their amazing food which includes a fresh and homemade breakfast. Wake up and savour local muesli, peaches, plums, fresh organic milk, yoghurt and a warm breakfast of eggs on toast with pesto and a side of bacon. And of course, gourmet dinners cooked by Pete, served with locally produced wine.

Meet the locals | New Zealand holiday
Pete will proudly show you around his local area
© TravelEssence

Pete, Janine and their dog, Cash look forward to hosting you!

Pete often takes guests fishing down at the nearby river. During which, he provides top-class banter! There are also plenty of other activities to indulge in such as hiking, stargazing and exploring the nearby, Blue Pools or the charming town of Wanaka.

The lodge blends in with the landscape with its earthy tones and wooden structures. A perfect environment to experience the remoteness of New Zealand. Relax next to the wood-burning fire or enjoy the views of the landscape. Good conversation, genuine hospitality and fabulous food, you won’t find that at a ‘typical’ hotel.

Fishing on the South Island | New Zealand holiday
Let Pete take you fishing for trout
© TravelEssence
Accommodation with stunning views | New Zealand holiday
Savour Pete's home-cooked meals while overlooking the Wilkin Valley
© TravelEssence

Meet Paul & Craig

Nestled on a hill, overlooking 165 acres of Australian grazing farmland in Tweed Valley is a bed & breakfast. The property has all the elements to ensure you experience authentic Australia. Enjoy spectacular views of the mystical Mount Warning, Springbrook, and Cougal Ranges. It’s the perfect base to relax and explore the beautiful, Tweed Valley.

Paul and Craig are originally from Sydney. Here, Paul, who is a chef, ran his own restaurant. Craig worked as an accountant. Together, they cherished the silent dream of exchanging city life for a quieter one. Only it just didn't work out until Craig said out loud, "Why not just start a bed & breakfast?"

Lush garden | Australia holiday
Enjoy a homemade breakfast in a tranquil setting
Paul and Craig look forward to welcoming you to their home

After Paul and Craig made their decision, they searched the internet every day until they found their new home. Craig still helps people with their finances, but now he's mostly an excellent host who likes to chat and have a great laugh. And, Paul cooks exclusively for guests.

During your stay, be sure to savour the local flavours at the onsite restaurant. With their own vegetable garden, you can enjoy home-grown vegetables. The menu changes every week and celebrates fresh produce to create delicious dishes. Paul uses his fine dining skills to showcase the best of the Tweed Valley.

Breakfast with a view | Australia holiday
Paul is a chef and cooks exclusively for his guests
Discover New South Wales | Australia holiday
Renowned for their warm hospitality, food and sense of humour

The couple are renowned for their great sense of humour, warm hospitality and delicious food. The property has many other guests too, such as their labradors and chickens. The accommodating hosts provide a friendly atmosphere which makes you feel like you are visiting friends and family.

By staying with the locals, you will experience the country in a completely different way. And you will be supporting local businesses. If you are searching for an authentic experience in Australia and New Zealand, our local hosts will help to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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Our local knowledge makes the difference for your bespoke holiday through New Zealand or Australia. Your journey Down Under starts here.