Couple disappointed after their 'mystery break' takes them to Invercargill

NZ 29/08/2017

When a couple paid $1600 for a mystery weekend away, they expected to be met with spectacular scenery somewhere around the country. Instead, the pair wound up in Invercargill.

Stu Koch, of Hamilton, booked an Air New Zealand Mystery break in June, paying around $1600 for him and his partner Bex Rowling to fly to what was touted as a "great New Zealand destination", and spend three nights in "deluxe" four- to five-star accommodation.

Going to a travel agent to organise the getaway, he said it was advertised as a "luxury" mystery break.

"It wasn't just a standard one, it was 'luxury' one - three days, you got the rental car, I think you were supposed to get a bottle of wine but we didn't get that."

After the airline sent the information through, it was then he found out they were far- south-bound.

"I thought, ooh, Invercargill. This will be… okay… oh well, there must be something to do there, I don't know what."

"Bex looked at me and said, 'You're kidding aren't you? This is it.' I said, 'It would appear that this is it, yes'," Mr Koch said.

"The room was very poky, very small and it did have an 'eau de toilette' to it - we thought no, this is a bit... it's pushing it a bit far."

While he wasn't disparaging of Invercargill, or the hotel proprietors, he "didn't want to sound like a JAFA, but... for what we spent, we could have spent three nights in Bali."

"Yes, it's supposed to be mystery, and yes I realise that's what we bought, but when you look at the pictures and go on the website and you see what you're buying... what we were buying? What we got? Nah."

The couple decided to drive to Queenstown the next day, where they splashed out about $210 for a hotel room. 

But, there's a silver lining to the story - Air New Zealand on Monday afternoon offered the couple a refund.