Authentic Vacations Celebrates UNESCO World Heritage Sites

This is a suggested itinerary for a private group with a minimum of 12 people traveling together. Some of these experiences are seasonal and may not be available. In those instances, we will source alternatives for your group.

Imagine an authentic tour of New Zealand. A trip that includes caves, lost treasures, and wine tasting at the top of the world. Perhaps you’d like unspoiled beaches, naturalists, and the wisdom of Māori guides. What could be better? Your New Zealand adventure begins in Auckland, a dazzling city of 49 dormant volcanoes and 190 ethnicities. 

From Auckland, it’s a short journey to Rotorua and Waitomo Caves. Enter a cave, lit by torches. Amazing. You’ll also take a helicopter tour and soar over pristine northern lakes, hot springs, and calderas—this is the New Zealand that few visitors get to see. Come with us to Fairy Springs and a Kiwi Hatchery. Once near extinction, these creatures have whiskers like a cat, massive feet, and they cannot fly. Being with them is a joy.

Two quite different experiences are up next. The first is a stylish, progressive dinner held at three of the top wineries in New Zealand. The next is a traditional Māori feast. Relax and feel time slip away. The city of Napier is a gem of Art Deco architecture, vintage fashion, and an extraordinary gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Christchurch is the place where urban innovation meets heritage. Go punting on the Avon River or explore the botanical gardens.

Stewart Island is a sanctuary of secluded bays, and you’ll discover rare birds with a knowledgeable guide. Feel the peace… From Te Anau, a catamaran sails you to an exclusive retreat; you may spot an albatross flying above. After a night spent cruising the Tasman Sea, you’re deeply aware of the magic here. Finally, you’re on to Queenstown, a vibrant city carved by glaciers and shaped by wild-eyed dreamers. Hop on a 4 x 4 for an off-road thrill through gold rush settlements and lush film sites. This extraordinary New Zealand vacation is pure wonder. 

Included Unique Activities

  • Private Introductory Auckland Sightseeing Tour
  • Footwhistle Glowworm Cave Tour
  • Experience a Helicopter Sightseeing Tour over Volcanos and Pristine Lakes
  • Behind the Scenes at The National Kiwi Hatchery Tour
  • A Twilight Odyssey Wine and Dine Tour
  • Half-Day Ancient Maori Village Tour
  • Christchurch Vintage Bike Tour
  • 3.5 Hour Private Ulva Island Guided Walk for 2
  • Evening Kiwi Guided Walk
  • Navigator Overnight Cruise Te Anau to Te Anau
  • Half-Day High Country Queenstown Tour
Christchurch Vintage Bike Tour

Christchurch Vintage Bike Tour

Flight from Napier to Christchurch

Flight from Napier to Christchurch

Footwhistle Glowworm Cave Tour

Footwhistle Glowworm Cave Tour

Behind the Scenes at The National Kiwi Hatchery Tour

Behind the Scenes at The National Kiwi Hatchery Tour

A Twilight Odyssey (Wine and Dine Tour)

A Twilight Odyssey (Wine and Dine Tour)

Half Day Ancient Maori Village Tour

Half Day Ancient Maori Village Tour

Rotorua Lakes, Mount Tarawera, Orakei Korako by Helicopter

Rotorua Lakes, Mount Tarawera, Orakei Korako by Helicopter

Auckland Introductory City Sightseeing Tour

Auckland Introductory City Sightseeing Tour

Accommodations

1 Night

Chic Heartfelt Hotel

2 Nights

5-Star View Hotel

1 Night

4-Star Art-Deco Hotel

1 Night

Award-Winning Luxury Inn

2 Nights

Secluded View Lodge

1 Night

5-Star Ideal Heritage Lodge

1 Night

Stunning Overnight Cruise

Transportation and Guides

  • Meet & Greet Private Airport Transfer on Arrival and Departure
  • Private Luxury Air-Conditioned Mini-Coach Transportation with Knowledgable Driver-Guide
  • Domestic flights from Napier to Christchurch, Christchurch to Invercargill
  • Queenstown Jet Boat Airport Transfer

Meals Included

  • Delectable Breakfast Each Morning
  • A la carte Dinner at Sugar Club Auckland
  • Home-cooked Lunch at Crosshills Homestead, 
  • A Twilight Odyssey Wine and Dine Tour at NZ’s Top Winery Restaurants
    • Includes Interactive Wine Tasting & Platter. Champagne Sunset from Te Mata Peak. Main Course with 3 Wines. Dessert & 2 Dessert Wines
  • Dinner at Pescatore - Christchurch's only 2 Hat Restaurant in the 2018 Cuisine Good Food Awards
  • Dinner at Rātā - Set Menu, shared bites followed by a choice of entree, main and dessert

Points of Interest

  • Auckland
  • Ngaruawahia
  • Waitomo Village
  • Arapuni
  • Putaruru
  • Rotorua
  • Mount Tarawera and White Island
  • Waiotapu Thermal Region
  • Kaingaroa Forest
  • Napier
  • Te Mata Peak
  • Otatara and Hikurangi
  • Christchurch
  • Stewart Island
  • Oban
  • Lake Manapouri & Lake Te Anau
  • Queenstown

Rotorua, North Island

2025

Available Dates

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

From $15,286 per person

"Annual Vacation - Self Drive of Ireland and Scotland"

Raymond

Henderson NV

Best two weeks ever! Jennifer at Authentic Vacations planned the most spectacular itinerary for my clients and did it with just a three-week notice. The itinerary, accommodations, and experiences were truly spectacular.


Very much look forward to working with Authentic Vacations and Jennifer again on another Ireland/UK/Iceland Trip.

"Family vacation and the ND/Navy Game in Dublin"

William

Deer Park, IL

We worked with Authentic Vacations as we planned a trip in Ireland around the Notre Dame/Navy game in Dublin. Specifically, we worked with Joleen and her team for planning and during our trip. I cannot express enough positive comments about how great this organization is to work with, and I have referred them to many friends that are planning trips to Ireland! The hotels were just amazing and in perfect locations for our travels, can’t say enough good things about the tours booked and choices and recommendations you provided. But what I was most impressed with was the ability to reach out to Joleen during our trip to make last minute changes to our itinerary! It was like I had a full-time person on staff that I could reach out to any time! All of my guest were so impressed and appreciative that we selected Authentic Vacations! Thank you very much!

"Iceland & Ireland - Mother & Son Adventure"

Mary

Washington

Amber, we just returned from our trip to Iceland & Ireland, and we had a wonderful time. I really want to thank you for putting our trip together. Everything went like clockwork! We will definitely be back in touch with you when we plan our next trip. Thank you again!!

"UK Ladies Adventure"

Megan

Tennessee

Ellie, I wanted to share the below with you!  I appreciate all you do to make it possible!!! This feedback is from my clients you helped me with.


Hey Megan- before I get too immersed in catching up at work, I wanted to take a minute and thank you. You knocked it out of the park! The hotels were so amazing and well placed for convenience, can’t say enough good things about the tours you booked and choices and recommendations you provided. It’s hard to imagine how it could have been any better with you in the background thinking everything through from airport transfers to day excursions. You’re my/our travel agent for life and we’re going to keep you really really busy. Thanks for everything- you created an amazing, fun, memorable, once in a lifetime intro to Europe that I’ll never forget.

"Scotland Chauffered"

Lavonne

California

Ellie, Thank you for the best, most beautiful and easiest vacation we have ever been on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jerry, our driver, was so knowledgeable and kind-hearted that I think it wouldn't have been so exciting to be there without him. HE'S THE BEST!!!! And you Ellie, what a God send that you were to our beautiful vacation. The Gordon Castle at the end was something we will never forget. THANK YOU FOR EXPERT KNOWLEDGE AND ALLOWING FOR US TO HAVE AN AMAZING TIME. (Oh, except our luggage got lost and we didn't get it until we got home. Jerry was nice enough to take us places to buy some new clothes !!!!! )

"Small Guided - Devon & Cornwall"

Steve

Ontario

Hi Joleen, thank you! We had a wonderful time - really enjoyed exploring the small coastal villages in Cornwall and the moors in Devon. Fascinating history and folklore - our guide Chris was very knowledgeable and made it very interesting. Some of the highlights for us was a visit to the Tea plantation Tregothnan as well as visiting Doc Martin’s house in Port Isaac! The Wells Cathedral was fascinating with its history and architecture, featuring a novel scissor-arches to sustain the weight of stone.  We enjoyed the small group (17 in total) and mantra - off the main roads and willing to take suggestions from the group - even to visit a small village for an Australian lady with family roots in Cornwall. The itinerary was well planned, without hurrying from point A to B - more like meandering through the countryside and catching some lesser-known sites, like an abandoned tin mine site near the sea, or stopping to mingle with Dartmoor ponies on a hillside in the moors. Having a free day to explore on our own was also great - we walked to a nearby village called Charlestown, which had an interesting museum on shipwrecks and Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica. The harbour is also featured in filming Poldark with a two masted tall ship alongside. All in all, I felt that this was a fantastic vacation for us and I’m very happy that we signed up for it. Thanks for your support in getting us prepared for this adventure- I hope there’ll be more!

"Ireland & Scotland Combo"

Charlene

Ohio

We had such a wonderful, beautiful vacation! Everyone thought the spacing of activities and traveling every few days fit us all perfectly. I loved that we started in the beautiful countryside and then had the city life keep building as we changed locations. Scott’s favorite activity was St. Andrews golf. They loved their car service driver as well! The guys had a rainy day of golf in Dublin, but still enjoyed the course. I think the guys were both sad they couldn't play Lacinth (spelling?), however, they did have lunch there and enjoyed. My favorite activity was the Guinness Connoisseur Experience. Loved the private bar, tasting, and pouring my own draft! Also, I loved the Military Tattoo. Perfect ending to the trip. All activities were spot on and enjoyable! My favorite hotel was Fiddle and Bow, so unique and cute in the country. Excellent breakfast! A nice add on that we didn’t expect was the Fringe Street shows in Scotland. We also visited the Queens Royal yacht. Traveling was easy. The Irish and Scottish people were very friendly and welcoming. We can’t say enough good things about the trip. Thank you for organizing such a wonderful, memorable trip for us Joleen! I love that you are always reachable and go above and beyond to help us when needed. You are truly amazing! Hopefully we can get something on the calendar for next year! Thanks a million! 

"Italian Honeymoon"

Daley

Minnesota

We worked with Mandie at Authentic Vacations to plan our Honeymoon. We picked the "Opulent Italian Lakes and Cities" trip and then worked with Mandie to customize a few pieces that made more sense for our trip. Let me tell you that this was the best trip of our lives! The hotels that we stayed at were beyond incredible, and there were the perfect number of activities planned. Everything went extremely smoothly, and we didn't have to worry about a thing while we were on our trip! We can't wait to book another vacation through Authentic Vacations!

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