The best way to travel is with help and advice from an experienced New Zealand Consultant and Operator with local knowledge and connections. KiwiTours by Colchester Travel is committed to ensure that all our clients are totally satisfied with their arrangements.

Meet Our Staff

Leah Sakhaei

Travel Consultant

Hails from West Mersea, a small island famous for oysters just off the cost of Essex and 12 miles from our Colchester Office. Leah came to us during the school holidays in 2005, progressed to Saturday work, and is now a formidable and effective member of the Colchester Travel team. She has completed all her Travel and Tourism qualifications.

She has a keen eye for a bargain and is very perceptive. Many of her clients have benefited for her ability to construct the best package available. Given a problem to solve she does not give up until the best solution is found. Tailor making holidays is something she excels at and enjoys.

She has been to Australia including Queensland and Western Australia, and South Africa.

Not afraid to knuckle down and have hands on when required, she can sometime be found helping her father run the café in West Mersea.

Debbie Willingham

Senior Telephone Sales Consultant

Debbie has been in travel for more than 30 years and is our Senior Telephone Travel Consultant. Her primary job is to deal with our Cruise Business where we deal with all the major cruise lines.

She also leads the Colchester Travel team in sending many fellow believers and their parents to visit Santa Claus at his home in Lapland each year. She enjoys bringing the happiness and memories that these trips bring to many young children.

She is, however, equally at home in planning a complicated round the world itinerary and remembers the time when she did not have recourse to the internet! She firmly believes that in such cases there can be no substitute for contact with someone who has been there or knows someone who has, and “that is where we come in.”
Debbie has been lucky enough to visit some very interesting parts of the world from the freezing cold snow covered, but Magical Lapland, to the sunnier climes of Dubai and Mauritius, a truly beautiful island with gorgeous white sands. She has enjoyed the USA including Florida, and Minneapolis. Canada and the Rockies, and The wonders of Ancient Egypt are on her wish list.

Debbie enjoys Reading, Walking and Motorcycle Racing (as a spectator!), particularly Motogp.

Valentino Rossi is a hero of mine, she says, and if I was ever lucky enough to win the lottery I would spend the Motogp season following him and his rivals around the world – but not, she admits, as a pillion passenger.

Vicky Wood

Assistant Manager

Vicki admits to being a genuine home grown team member of Colchester Travel. Starting at the age of seventeen, she soon qualified and became a full Travel Consultant booking Short Haul and Tailor Made Holidays around the world. After 5 years Colchester Travel agreed a year’s sabbatical – we did not want to lose her! Vicki then set off as a backpacker to discover the world. Her goal achieved she has been back with us ever since.
The year was spent backpacking around Thailand, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. She says “I love the Thai culture and enjoy the buzz of Bangkok and the island hopping. The Full Moon Parties are a unique and enjoyable experience”. On moving to Australia she managed an upmarket Backpackers Hostel on the Gold Coast. She has a special affection for Australia. Her favorite places are Byron Bay, Melbourne, Sydney, Tropical North Queensland and Coral Bay.... in fact all of it!!!!!!!!
As part of her familiarisation experience with Colchester Travel she has since visited Mauritius, Lapland and Cambodia.

She admits that the experience of living and working in these countries is invaluable in her speciality of designing personal holidays to world destinations. She is an Aussie Specialist and has completed the Kiwi course.

She is says “There are so many places in the world I still want to visit including Vietnam, Malaysia, South America, Japan, and everywhere else in the world I haven't been!!”

Besides her main interest in travel, she also enjoys the buzz and excitement of Music Festivals and concerts in whatever the weather.

“I like to think I'm a bit of a thrill seeker. I did the AJ Hackett Bungy Jump in Australia but in retrospect it scared me to death and so when I went to do a sky dive in New Zealand recently I admit to chickening out at the last minute!!!!.

But then, that is New Zealand, exciting, enjoyable, and an experience not to be missed.”

Diane Price


Diane started in travel in 1981 and has spent the last 8 years at Colchester Travel as Manager and could not think of doing any other job !!!! She is an Aussie Specialist and has completed the Kiwi accreditation procedures. Diane is a role model and friend to all her staff.
She lives for Holidays and shares that experience with colleagues and clients alike. Has lost count of the countries visited. She has been to New Zealand and more recently Australia. Wants to go back and see more. Says “New Zealand South Island is wonderful with a Wow!”
Most memorable visits were to Hawaii and getting married at Diamond Head Park. Would like to do it again – to the same guy! Now there’s an idea! Keeps going back to Las Vegas , because it is a fun place. “The Helicopter over the Grand Canyon is amazing !!!!”
Diane is a cruise fanatic. She adores the Caribbean, Hawaiian Islands, and so thinks that the Panama Canal is a great invention. She includes the Amazon Jungle, and Iguazu Falls in Brazil in her best places list.
To complete her key long haul experiences she has been on four safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.
Next on the itinerary is a China Cruise on the Yangtze River where she intends to become a Hero of the Great Wall. May call at the Taj Mahal on the way back – but that’s Diane!
Loves having the family around and entertaining but admits to being a shopaholic and is always there for a bargain.

When pressed admits to being a Boy Band Freak – “only my best friends know this sshh !!!” Take That Boyzone and Westlife are her pop idols.

Louise Pearce

Travel Consultant

Prior to traveling to many worldwide destinations, Louise became a travel consultant in 2005. Dedicated to ensuring that all her clients have a wonderful holiday, she says the most fulfilling part of her work is achieving her client’s dreams. “It is all worthwhile when a client returns satisfied after a tailor made holiday, especially “downunder”. 

Louise is passionate about walking and has completed the Coast to Coast 192 mile walk in England. She loves the wide open spaces where she can get close to nature. This is why one of her most loved places is Western Canada. It has left a lasting impression on her which she loves to pass onto her clients. She says "no words can describe The Rockies, you just have to go and experience the enormity of it for yourself".
To experience the colourful Mardi Gras in New Orleans and visit Memphis and Nashville - home of Elvis Presley's music in the “Deep South” is high on Louise’s future travel plans.

Recently her love for animals has led her into walking dogs for people that are unable to do so. She also finds helping at a local animal rescue centre very rewarding.

Frankie Khodaverdi

Travel Consultant

Frankie is a Colcestrian being born and bred in Great Britain’s Oldest Roman Recorded Town.

Frankie has been with Colchester Travel since 2008 and is the youngest member of the team but full of enthusiasm and charisma. Her engaging smile and personality endear her to her clients. She has completed her Travel and Tourism exams and is now putting her new found knowledge into practice as a fully fledged team member.

Like all girls Frankie is a shop till you drop person and is a born sunworshipper – which is one reason why she is in the travel business.

She says Mauritius is amongst her favourite places. “It has everything to offer from 5 star luxury accommodation, beautiful sandy beaches and friendly people”.

Asked where she would like to go she says “Since I have the travel bug, it has to be as many countries and as soon as possible!!!!” Australia and New Zealand are a priority. I have a passion to visit the Orangutangs in Borneo. “I might be influenced by the visit pictures in the Colchester office. Bangkok and the Thai and Malaysian Islands arehigh on my list.

Something that others do not know about me! When I was eleven I performed in a Princess Diana Singing and Dancing Memorial Show at the London Palladium.


The whole trip of our New Zealand trip was well organised. The book of instructions was a dream to use, and gave us lots of helpful information of things to look out for and do.

- Nigel and Wendy Dyson
   Little Bentley

We had a very enjoyable three week holiday in New Zealand with all the connections between self drive, flights and ferries working well.
There were many highlights, but will name just two. We had three days of gentle walking along the Abel Tasman Walk in the company of the proprietor of the tour company. We also had a stay on Stewart Island, where, following a boat trip, we experienced a night walk through woods and beach to see kiwis in the wild. Furthermore an exceptionally helpful landlady steered us on to a six hole golf course (cost $1), the most southerly in the world.
We stayed in a wide range of first class accommodation during the trip and would recommend the B&B’s.

- Bill and Kate Abbott

We have had several holidays with Colchester Travel over the past five years. Our visit to Australia was tailor made to our requirements and everything done to make our trip run smoothly.
The staff are very friendly, helpful and efficient.
We recommend their services to anybody.

- David and Patricia Draper
   Earls Colne

We just wanted to thank you for all the recommendations and arrangements made for our recent visit to the Canadian Rockies and Alaska. We had a marvellous time and are pleased to report that all the components worked together very well.
We thoroughly enjoyed our travel experience and appreciate all that went into it.

- Alan and Sue Hammond
   West Mersea

Read more testimonials.