All Black and Crusaders lock Luke Romano today launched Monarch Pursuits, New Zealand’s first full-service outdoor adventure and travel company.

Monarch Pursuits provides bespoke, tailored itineraries incorporating hunting, fishing and heli-skiing experiences in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Guests are treated to a world-class experience staying at some of the country’s most exclusive alpine retreats and exploring off-the-beaten track locations in a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.

Monarch is inspired by Romano’s passion for the outdoors, hunting in the high country, and his pride in NZ. Romano is financially backed in Monarch by a team of successful Christchurch business people and an operations team with extensive tourism experience.

“Monarch revolves around our love of the outdoors and generally showcasing New Zealand – whether it be through heli-skiing in the best back-country terrain, fishing in our pristine rivers and lakes or safely hunting introduced species in NZ’s largest estates,” Romano explains.

“We wanted to bring a high-end, luxury tourism feel to the entire experience, so from the moment guests land to the time they leave, everything is taken care of. We’ve partnered with a selection of outstanding lodges, guides and operators so guests receive the best of what our country has to offer. We want people to leave NZ with their minds blown, to go home to wherever in the world they’re from and say how fantastic NZ is.”

Romano is confident that anyone will love the Monarch experience: “Whether it’s an older couple who aren’t interested in hunting and just want to have a high-end holiday package put together and tour around New Zealand, to a group of mates who are coming over to do straight hunting or fishing before spending four-days enjoying all the excitement down in Queenstown, to families who want to do a little bit of everything. We want to appeal to every individual on the spectrum because we can cater to all their needs.”

Romano, who faces the Jaguares in the Super Rugby finals this weekend, will continue playing rugby for another year. He will be actively involved in the business dealing personally with all clients and, as his rugby schedule permits, he will be part of the hunting trips.

Romano is acutely aware of the prospect of ‘life after rugby’ at the age of 33. “A lot of rugby players will tell you that life after footy is probably the hardest adjustment to make,” he explains. “Obviously, I’m coming to the last couple of years of my career and I’m thinking, ‘What am I going to do to be able to support my family?’ I had to think about what it is I want to do. I love hunting and I love the outdoors, so why not do something you love?

“I’ve been thinking about doing this for a wee while but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I’ve been fortunate to have the support and financial backing of a team of experts in business and tourism, who know what it takes to be successful. I’m the practical side of the outfit with my hunting and outdoor experience so it’s a win-win for all of us.”

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