Adventure planner and disability travel specialist Marina Hanger has a knack for creating private guided New Zealand tours. Through her New Zealand tour planner business Ability Adventures, Marina uses her 20+ years’ tourism experience and 30 years as an occupational therapist to design customised adventure tours and holidays for people with disabilities who crave experiences but find mainstream travel options far too limiting.

Her secret? It all starts with a conversation; learning everything she can about each person’s abilities and challenges, their dreams and interests too.

Private guided tours are her favourite. “I love the communication back and forth with the client, asking questions and matching the answers to some really amazing things that you can’t easily find on a tourism website,” she said.

“The more I know about someone, the better I can come up with something truly wonderful to experience on their holiday. A childhood memory or yearning, a passion or interest – with each detail I discover about the individuals coming on the trip, I am building a picture of what I could include that will blow their minds!”

Private guided tours come with a personal, supportive service throughout the trip. It is also a chance for Marina’s local knowledge to really shine through.

As head tour guide, she relishes seeing people on her tailored tours venturing outside their comfort zone a little and enjoying the thrill of new travel experiences just like everybody else.

“By looking at the possibilities for a tour from the customer’s perspective, no two itineraries are ever the same, and there’s the flexibility to adapt; things can change along the way if something comes up that piques your interest.

“One thing is certain; discovering things about yourself through new experiences is how the best memories are made.”

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