Meet our new Brand Monster and Head Story Teller

The Orange Team is thrilled to introduce our new Marketing Manager, Antonia aka Toto (yes, like the little dog in Wizard of Oz). To help her learn who we are and what we do, one of her first jobs was to hop on a bus for a tour around the North Island (tough gig, eh?).

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With her first Stray tour under her belt, we sat down for an impromptu interview to find out more about our newest bus lady.

5 questions for our new Brand Monster:

1) Other than NZ, what’s your favourite travel destination?

“Tough question, the world is a weird and wonderful place. Most recently I traipsed around some of Northern Spain’s national parks (Picos de Europa and Odessa). I was blown away by the fields of wild flowers, waterfalls and sheer mountains. I am also a fan of Bolivia. It’s quite raw and its geography is so diverse with everything from expansive flamingo covered salt lakes to Amazon pampas and jungle.”

2) When you were little, did you dream of working for a hop-on, hop-off bus company?

“Not exactly. I did sing “the wheels on the bus go round and round’ a lot which may have subconsciously seeded the idea. I also used to make ‘sophisticated’ vehicles out of cardboard boxes with my best friend which we’d then race down our staircase – North to South and back up again just like the Orange buses. Rebels!”

3) Name one orange thing you love (other than a big orange bus).

“Tigers are pretty bad arse (do they count as orange?) and Oompa Loompas. Loved the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! We need to recruit some of these guys as Drivers. Productive little fellas.”

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(Little does she know, we already have our own Oompa Loompa!)

4) On your recent North Island tour, what was the best thing you ate?

“The tender roasted chicken served up in Mourea or the homemade self-saucing chocolate pudding at Blue Duck Station. I also loved tasting the fresh smoked eel (caught by Stray passengers) at Lake Aniwhenua.”

5) You did the Tom pass – name the top 3 experiences from your tour.

“1) Visiting Blue Duck Station was right up there. I used to do a lot of horse riding on farms in my teens and Blue Duck was the ultimate high country experience. I loved the rustic style lodges, outdoor fire, the farm animals, native birds and bush, quad bikes, horses and the mighty Whanganui River that flows past it.

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2) Caving and abseiling through underground waterfalls at Waitomo Caves. Considering I had never abseiled before it is amazing what the Guides can teach you to do in one morning. It really doesn’t get much more adventurous than that!

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3) Visiting a local school in Murupara township near Lake Aniwhenua. We dropped in for a ‘meet and greet’ and to share some of the extra food from our hangi (traditional Maori dinner) the night before. The kids were super excited to meet the internationals from Stray and welcomed us with a great performance of traditional Maori song and dance (kapa haka).

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4) I could easily keep ranting on about great times surfing in Raglan, visiting Hobbiton and hanging out with ‘Leftie,’ our very dry and witty Stray Driver, but I will leave it there for now.”

She was so enthusiastic that we didn’t bother telling her that was more than 3 things. Sounds like she’s already caught a little bit of Stray fever. Welcome to the team, Toto!

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