The Tour Leader Team

We are fortunate to have a number of wonderful tour leaders who have a shared love of exploring new places and meeting new people. Our incredible team loves travelling as much as you do, and want to show you the world.


Andy Richards

I have been very fortunate to travel to, and live in, many parts of the world. As a result of these experiences, when I returned to NZ from California, I knew travel would always be a special part of my life.

So when the opportunity to own Maher Tours came along over ten years ago, fair to say I was very excited, and that excitement has grown every day since.

The most enjoyable part of leading tours for me is getting to know the people who travel with us, to be with them as they have the experience of a life time, and meet the locals in every place we visit. Ensuring the tour is stress free, relaxed and fun is my aim for all the tours we operate, but it is the lasting friendships that are made on tour that I consider the greatest success.


Alison Hearn

It is a privilege for me to be involved with Maher Tours. I love being able to meet all the interesting and diverse Kiwis and Aussies that are part of the groups.  Having fun together is what makes the tours special.

I am a trained nurse who has specialised in aged care and in people with disabilities under 65. I have worked in the Ministry of Health and with providers of care as a senior manager. I have three lovely sons, and two grandchildren. Two of my sons live overseas. I love to travel and have been to many countries – my highlight was volunteering in Peru up by Machu Picchu, and working with the wonderful Inca children. I keep fit at the gym and jogging, love my Hurricanes rugby team, my beach at Whangamata, visiting my sons overseas and biking trips away with friends.


Annie Selander

Hi there. I have been a Tour Leader for 25 years, and I am very passionate about the travel and tourism industry. I love to take people to many exciting places in the world by ship or land. I must admit cruising is my passion and have taken about 90 groups over the years and know the cruise ships and lots of the crews very well. I place a great deal of importance on customer service and safety while on tour, and ensuring that there is lots of fun and laughter too. I have been very fortunate to make many special friendships over the years with people I have travelled with. Hope to see you on tour one day soon.

I am married, of 42 years to my husband who is the caretaker at the local school. At home, I always enjoy spending time with our cat called Mildred ( British Blue ) and Ruby, a young labradoodle. I was born in Greymouth a Westcoaster , and spent 20 years on the Railways as a train Hostess on the Southerner Train, before moving into further afield travel .


Annie Parkinson

With more than 25 years of travel industry experience, I am still as passionate about travel as the day I started! I’ve worked in both corporate and retail travel and also owned my own business. More recently I have developed a passion for tour guiding and am delighted to now be involved with Maher Tours.

I have been lucky enough to visit more than 70 different countries and have travelled to some amazing places including Africa and South America – I just love these beautiful and diverse continents. Europe is another favourite destination of mine and I have returned many times over the years, always making sure I take time to venture off the beaten track as well as revisiting old favourites to ensure my product knowledge is kept up to date… Other destinations I know well include Australia, Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu. I’ve lived and worked in the UK and also driven coast to coast across the USA on more than one occasion.

It will be a real privilege for me to get to know you on tour and my goal is to ensure you always feel safe, cared for, and that you have companionship unless you choose to be alone – ensuring you get the most enjoyment possible from your trip.       Annie Sale 



Jacky Toepfer

Travel has always been a big part of my life. From living in Holland and France, to more recent family adventures, it is not only a passion, but has provided many work opportunities along the way. Following university and a stint in the industry I trained for (Physical Education), my career took a turn and I worked as a travel consultant for several years and later in Travel & Tourism education.

Living in Wanaka allows me to enjoy the myriad outdoor opportunities and you’ll often find me mountain biking or skiing with friends, tramping with family or recovering from these at the local hot yoga studio. When in need of a winter break, I enjoy scuba diving holidays with my husband and two teenage children.

I am excited to be a part of the Maher Tours team, and hope to help clients make the most of their travel experiences and learn a few things along the way. Tot ziens! A bientôt! Bis bald!



John Newland

I have enjoyed a range of travel experiences over the years, with my family and in relation to study and work. Now that I am semi-retired I am enjoying the association with Maher Tours and supporting others who enjoy travelling as a group. I think travel is great whatever the reason and to be able to share new experiences as a tour leader adds another dimension to this.


Jude Murray

As a passionate independent traveller since the age of 22, I have travelled to 40 countries (and counting).  Through this love of adventure, I became involved with the tourism industry 17 years ago leading to my first taste at guiding on the Greenstone and Routeburn tracks in the Southern Alps.  I then moved across the ditch to Central Australia where I was a driver/guide around Uluṟu – Kata Tjuṯa National Park.  Returning to NZ, I once again started guiding and have taken groups to the South Island of NZ and to Australia.  Throughout my earlier travels I became increasingly passionate about my photography to the point of holding my first ever photographic exhibitions in the Middle East in Oman. From there I held two more exhibitions in my home town of Mount Maunganui, another one in New York City (one of my favs), followed by Bologna in Italy.  I am now excited to be involved with Maher Tours and would love the opportunity of leading you somewhere adventurous in the near future.


Julie Maher

I enjoy the outdoors, walking, cycling, reading, movies and boating. I have a holiday home in the Wairarapa and enjoy visiting the local wineries tasting the local wines. I come from a close family and enjoy a regular get togethers. These are always special times particularly as our family has increased over the years.


Kerry Maher

Kerry Maher

I have been very fortunate to spend most of my working life in the travel and tour business. It was over 30 years ago following my return from my OE that I asked my father, Bill, if there was a job for me in the family business. How time flies if you’re having fun!
Family has played a huge part in my life, both at home and in business with father Bill and my late brother Kevin, and now with Andy and his family taking over. In recent years, with our children grown up, I have been fortunate to have my long-suffering wife, Mary Ann, join me on a number of tours, just reward for the many times I left her behind to cope with our young family.
Over the years, I have seen some wonderful sights and there have been many highlights but the most well-remembered ones involve people …. momentous birthdays in faraway places, 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries, even an engagement party for a couple who had met on a previous tour. Which goes to prove the adage that while we may remember the places we have visited, it is the people we shared the experience with that brings it all to life.
I look forward to sharing many more highlights “on the road” for a few years yet.



Lee Ball

I’m really excited to be involved with Maher tours as I love travelling, adventures, connecting with people and having fun!

I live in Wanaka, New Zealand where I immerse myself in the beautiful environment doing things I love – biking, hiking, skiing, paddle boarding, swimming.  It’s the most amazing place to live and I’m always happy to return here after my travels. As well as my role as a Tour Leader, I’m a mother of six grown children, a Public Speaking Coach, MC, Massage Therapist and Wellbeing Retreat Facilitator. I’m passionate about helping people have transformative life experiences, whether it be through coaching, on retreat or on an incredible overseas trip. I’m looking forward to sharing an adventure with you!



Raylee Austin

“There are two kinds of people in the world;
Those who stay at home, and those who do not.
The second are the most interesting.”
Rudyard Kipling

Raylee Austin, a former international flight attendant, has more than 30 years experience in the tourism industry. She has travelled extensively throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific, across Europe, throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas. Raylee has the knowledge, skills and experience to help clients have a truly memorable and “hassle free” travel experience.

When not undertaking overseas travel, Raylee welcomes guests to her beautiful home “Treetops”, located on the glistening shores of Lake Taupo. She enjoys outdoor activities in that beautiful natural environment and her other interests include photography, golf, mah jong and charity work.

Raylee understands the needs and expectations of discerning travellers and is delighted to welcome guests to Maher Tours.

Maher-tours. Tour-leader. Travel. World.


I am passionate about travel, experiences, discovery and new adventures ! I started working in Switzerland at 18 which launched me into a world trip at 21, travelling and working in many continents. UK born, I have lived in N.Z for over 30 years and was Owner and Founder of a multi award winning Tourism business which kept me busy for 20 years ! My travels have shaped my life and now my grown up children have left home I am so excited to be working with Maher Tours leading and exploring this incredible planet we live on.

Maher Tours


I’ve been a keen traveller since I first went overseas at 18 years old on a one-way ticket.  I’ve lost track of how many countries I’ve been too but I’ve been to most continents in the world.  Most of my travels have been as an independent traveller however I’ve also enjoyed being a member of an organised tours and especially love meeting other travellers.

Following a successful business career in Information Technology I now enjoy being involved in the local community and volunteering to selected charities.  I love walking, reading, playing tennis, gardening and spending time with friends and families.  I also have a much loved small dog (DeJay) who is a Papillion / Toy Poodle cross and misses me when I’m away but has lots of people who look after her for me.

I feel vey privileged to be involved with Maher tours and love being a tour leader and the opportunity to support other people to live their dreams.



Change the text size

Join our mailing list

Stay up to date with our latest news and receive exclusive deals!