I think choice is choice. But some people find choice too much of a burden. Which, I guess, is what prompted Stu Koch and his partner Bex Rowling to book an Air New Zealand Mystery Break for a three-day holiday in June.

The gist of a Mystery Break is pretty simple: You land in a mystery city — somewhere on the Air New Zealand network — and you stay in a mystery hotel — booked through the airline's travel agency arm. You don't choose the city and you don't choose the hotel. Stu and Bex paid $1498 for their mystery break.

Why anyone would leave the destination of their holiday to chance is a mystery to me.

Stu and Bex's mystery destination: Invercargill.


The pair learned they'd be flying to the Jewel of the South only when they checked in at Hamilton airport — that's when the disappointment hit. "Because it was a mystery weekend Air NZ just put the tags on our bags and I just stood there with my mouth open when I found out we would be going to Invercargill," Bex told the Waikato Times.

(Worth noting: Air NZ has since refunded them after the accommodation wasn't up to scratch.)

Sorry folks, but you chose the Mystery Break. If Invercargill (or Palmerston North, or Hamilton for that matter) doesn't appeal as a holiday destination, don't leave the choice up to someone else. If you fancy a holiday in Queenstown or Wellington, book one! It may be more expensive — things you choose often are.