Who are we?

Wellington-based freelancers with
more than 20 years experience
in the tourism industry

Sarah Bennett

Raised in Marlborough by a singular mother and six older siblings, Sarah set out on her own at 16 when school ran out on her. Moving to the big smoke of Wellington, she enjoyed a highly lucrative career as a public service shorthand typist during which she blew all her income on Pink Floyd vinyl and jugs of DB at the Dungeon Bar. On the advice of her boss, she saved the change for a university education.

After completing a B-grade degree as a sub-adult student, Sarah backpacked to London where she blagged her way into Penguin Books. Publishing has remained a mainstay for much of the last 23 years since, and given her a chance to work with legends such as Bridget Williams, and Mary Varnham of Awa Press for whom she still roves as Associate Publisher At Large.

Sarah’s first foray into authorland was during her employment at Lonely Planet’s UK Office in the late 1990s, when she wrote restaurant reviews for Out to Eat London. She and Lee returned to New Zealand in 1999 and have partied like it was that, ever since.

Lee Slater

An Essex boy by birth, but not by design, Lee spent his early childhood in Hampshire, England. At the age of seven he and his family spent a year in Indonesia, a formative experience during which he got bitten by the travel bug.

A decade later – after the dream of becoming a RAF pilot was dashed by dodgy eyesight – Lee moved to Leeds where he earned degrees in science and engineering. In the 25 years since, his expertise in Cathodic Protection has taken him to all sorts of places – Libya, Tunisia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia to name but a few.

Nowaways Lee straddles the symbiotic professions of engineering, travel writing and book indexing, having assumed the latter by osmosis

Lee and Sarah have worked together as travel writers since 2003 when they published their little indy guidebook, The Best of Wellington – now in its 6th edition. Sarah became a Lonely Planet author in 2004, with Lee receiving his own accreditation in 2007.

Sarah & Lee now have a couple of dozen travel books to their names, while their features have appeared in a wide range of newspapers, magazines and online media outlets in New Zealand and around the world. In the last few years they have undertaken an increasing number of writing projects for high-level travel influencers such as Tourism New Zealand and the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

A developing passion for regional economic development, and ethical and sustainable travel has driven their move into tourism marketing and consulting, working largely with local and central government agencies and independent New Zealand tourism operators.