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Curated Tours to
Take Your Breathe Away

View below an example of potential tours
“Taste of the Central North Island” and “Marlborough Food and Wine”

Share with us what you are most interested in experiencing and we will curate your bespoke holiday, so you will experience only the very best. Nothing is left to chance.

From day one everything will be taken care of, including all travel, restaurants, activities, with exclusive 'non-touristy' access to unique encounters that are interests you are passionate about, or might be on your bucket list.

Other regions to visit could include;

  • Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound
  • Bay of Islands, Queenstown,
  • Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park
  • Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers,
  • Abel Tasman National Park & the Abel Tasman Coast Track
  • Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
  • Kaikoura

We research "non-touristy" exclusive and unique locations and encounters, often free

Ballygelvar offers bespoke tours for individuals, couples, or small groups, that are designed to take our customers through some of the best experiences, views, food, and entertainment you'll find in New Zealand. 

We like to start by having a zoom meeting with our customers to really understand what appeals to them and then we curate a unique itinerary to suit.  

Designing a tour that includes travel within NZ, exquisite dinning, luxury and/or unique accommodation, all activities, and airport transfers etc. It just depends on exactly what they require.  

Although I am affiliated with New Zealand Tourism, I am not a Travel Agent. Travel Agents make their money through commission and this limits what they offer.  

We research "non-touristy" exclusive and unique locations and encounters, often free, in all genres, depending on their interests. Including (but not limited to) equestrian, art, history, golf, surfing, wineries, boating, biking, film locations, adventure tourism, skiing, gardens, and Maori culture, etc  

Meaning our customers encounter authentic, original experiences and nothing is left to chance. 

Essentially we are our guests "local knowledge" in New Zealand.

Day 1: Arrive into Auckland

Day 1: Arrive into Auckland

You will be met at the airport and from here you will travel into Auckland City.

Auckland, based around 2 large harbours, is the biggest city in New Zealand with approximately 2 million residents, nearly half of New Zealand’s population. In the centre, is the iconic Sky Tower where we take you to view the sprawling city.

Accommodation: Auckland City Premium Hotel
Dinner: Ahi

In the evening we will “Trust the Chef” and dine in the award winning Ahi restaurant. Ahi is a laid back and sophisticated food and wine experience, encapsulating the essence of New Zealand hospitality.

Ben Bayly, the award winning Chef, travelled the country in search of the very best that New Zealand has to offer. You can follow his journey on the TV Show, A New Zealand Food Story. After meeting the nation’s growers and suppliers, Ben has developed his own definition of what New Zealand food truly is.

Ahi’s menu has been devised as a culinary representation of what it means to be kiwi, celebrating the diversity of the New Zealanders who bring produce to our tables.

Included Activities:

  • Skycity Tower
Day 2: Waiheke Island/Auckland

Day 2: Waiheke Island/Auckland

Today we visit Waiheke Island, famed for its sandy beaches and glorious wine.

Board a ferry from Auckland – if you’re really lucky you may even see dolphins or orcas along the way. The day will be spent sipping your way around the island, stopping off at three unique wineries to learn about their production methods, and of course tasting the goods yourself.

You’ll also enjoy lunch on the island at a premium restaurant, there will be plenty of opportunities for beautiful photos. Return to Auckland in the late afternoon.

Accommodation: Auckland City Premium Hotel
Dinner: Dine at the award winning “The Grove”

Since its doors opened in 2004, The Grove has secured itself as one of Auckland’s top restaurants with a unique approach to both food and service. Intimate and warm.

Included Activities:

  • Waiheke Island - Day Trip by Ferry
  • Waiheke Island - Winery Visits with Wine Tasting
Day 3: Auckland/Coromandel (Puka Park)

Day 3: Auckland/Coromandel (Puka Park)

Today we get a taste of the Coromandel Peninsula

Renowned for its pristine beaches, misty forests and laid-back vibe, this area is one of New Zealand's most popular holiday destinations.

Our first destination is The Lost Spring Geothermal Spa in Whitianga. Surrounded by tropical plants and soothing waterfalls, the thermal waters flow from a spring deep within the earth’s surface. Unwind by soaking in naturally heated mineral waters. Then enjoy lunch by the pools.

Accommodation: Grand Mercure Puka Park

This beautiful property combines boutique elegance with retreat style tranquility. It offers the ultimate environment for you to take time out to restore, indulge and completely relax.

Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort is a secluded luxury lodge set amidst 25 acres of New Zealand native bush, on Mt Pauanui in the Coromandel Peninsula. Only two hours drive from Auckland, the resort features luxurious chalet accommodation in an idyllic bush landscape.

Dinner: Grand Mercure Puka Park Miho Restaurant

At the award winning Miha restaurant, you can be sure of a sumptuous dining experience in elegant surrounds, or dine al fresco on the large outdoor deck, with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop.

Miha’s menu reflects a Pacific Rim flavour with a modern European twist, with menus changing seasonally.

Their Head Chef brings a wealth of international culinary experience, innovation and flair and uses the freshest and highest quality produce.

Included Activities:

  • The Lost Springs Geothermal pools
Day 4: Coromandel/Rotorua

Day 4: Coromandel/Rotorua

Rotorua with the unmistakable scent of sulphur

Rotorua with the unmistakable scent of sulphur coming off the town’s many geothermal pools set on the shores of the second largest lake in the North Island 

Explore the canopy as you fly on a network of zipline, swing bridges, cliff-walks, tree top platforms and more. Experienced kiwi guides will keep you safe, make you laugh and bring the forest to life.

We pay a visit to Te Puia, with over 70 hectares of land within the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, dotted with hot springs, mud pools and geysers. A local expert will take you on a walk to learn about these geothermal wonders, including Pohutu, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere.

Next experience the Kiwi Conservation Centre where you’ll have the chance to observe the beloved nocturnal bird in a darkened enclosure and learn about the sanctuary’s efforts to protect them.

Lunch; Pātaka Kai Restaurant, It is the only restaurant in the world that overlooks a geyser as magnificent as our powerful Pōhutu Geyser. Each dish has a twist of authentic Māori cuisine then crafted with locally sourced and freshly prepared ingredients by our award winning chefs.

Accommodation: Treetops Lodge and Estate

Tranquil charm and serenity nestled in peaceful seclusion amidst the lush grounds of the Estate, surrounded by natural beauty and the melodic murmur of birdsong.

Dinner: Treetops

Estate to plate; discover the unique flavours of native plants and herbs and savour vibrant dishes shaped by the land and the seasons, created with care from organic ingredients grown right on the Estate

Included Activities:

Day 5: Rotorua/Blue Duck

Day 5: Rotorua/Blue Duck

Treetops to Blue Duck

Treetops to Blue Duck

The Chef’s Table at Blue Duck Station offers a unique fine dining experience under the stunning night’s sky.

Located on one of the highest points of the station affectionately known as the Top of the World, it has views of the Tongariro and Whanganui national parks.

Dining begins after a 2-hour ATV Bush Safari of the station’s ongoing conservation project to protect our native bird life and rainforest.

The fine dining experience entails a refined 10 course degustation menu from the land.

Accommodation: Blue Duck Station

Day 6: Blue Duck

Day 6: Blue Duck

Located in the Ruapehu District on the banks of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers, and surrounded by Whanganui National Park, Blue Duck Station is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground.

The station’s core values are to conserve its endangered wildlife, increase the health of native bush and rivers, and preserve the history of the area, while educating visitors about the endangered New Zealand blue duck, other native species and local history.

Early horse trek to see the sun rise over the most amazing landscape, with views from Mt Ruapehu to Mt Taranaki

Blue Duck Station has acres of tracked land superb for backcountry horse trekking. The scenery varies from native bush canopy to rivers and streams, ridge top tracks and mountain views.

The Bridge to Nowhere is just an hour and 15 minutes by jet boat from Whakahoro. Their guides will drive you to the Mangapurua landing and lead you up the 40 minute walk to the bridge whilst telling you about the history of the iconic New Zealand landmark and its surrounds.

Lunch at the Blue Duck Cafe

Included Activities:

  • Horse Trek
  • Jet Boat to the Bridge to nowhere

Day 7: Blue Duck/Cambridge

Day 7: Blue Duck/Cambridge

Discover a magical underground world during a tour of the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

Discover a magical underground world during a tour of the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Take a short walk through breath-taking New Zealand native bush to the cave entrance. There, your guide lights the candles setting the scene for an intimate cave experience, where you will see glow-worms and cave formations up close and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave.

Hobbiton - Enjoy a fascinating Exclusive Experience as you take a trip to Middle-earth and tour Hobbiton, where the iconic Lord of the Rings movies were shot.

New Zealand’s dramatic scenery - golden plains, towering mountains and enchanting valleys - plays the mythical world of Middle‑earth on the big screen in both. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy. Experience the real Middle-earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set, where you can step into the lush pastures of the Shire. 

Accommodation: Cambridge Premium Accomodation
Dinner: Alpino
A touch of Italy in the heart of Cambridge, warmth, flavour, and vivaciousness of Italy melded together with beautiful local produce.

Included Activities:

  • Waitomo Caves
  • Hobbiton

Day 8: Cambridge

Day 8: Cambridge

Enjoy an exclusive tour of Windsor Park Stud

In 2010 Windsor Park has again been honoured, receiving the Mercedes 'Breeder of the year' title for the third time as a result of breeding Victoria Derby winner Monaco Consul, New Zealand Derby winner Military Move, Hong Kong Gr.1 winner Beauty Flash and South African Gr.1 winner Gold Onyx. This remarkable achievement consolidates the stud's proven record of producing elite Group One winners on the race-tracks of New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and South Africa. 

In the 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/2007, 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons Volksraad won the prestigious Grosvenor Award for N.Z.'s Champion Sire, who they sadly lost a couple years ago. Thorn Park also won the Grosvenor Award in the following season of 2010/11.

For three decades the Windsor Park Stud name and S brand has been synonymous with many of the finest racehorses produced in Australasia and further afield. Dual Australian Horse of The Year and World Champion Stayer, Might And Power is a classic example of the type of high-class international performer bred by Windsor Park Stud over the years. 

Lunch: Gothenburg
Exquisite Tapas style restaurant overlooking the Waikato River

Hamilton Gardens - World renowned botanic gardens like no other, with its 58-hectares it is a world of horticultural skill and imagination.

Rather than focusing on plant collections, at Hamilton Gardens the emphasis is on different types of garden design. Traditional botanic gardens concentrate on plant collections, conservation, research and education, while Hamilton Gardens has the unique concept of showcasing the cultural meaning and context of gardens over the past 4,000 years.

Mystery Creek Polo
Owned by John-Paul and Nina Clarkin, both world class polo players.

Accommodation: Cambridge Premium Accomodation

Dinner: Ballygelvar
Your hosts Belinda and Peter will treat you to a home cooked kiwi dinner with an Irish influence.

Day 9: Cambridge/Auckland (or Blenheim - longer tour)

Day 9: Cambridge/Auckland (or Blenheim - longer tour)

Get dropped off at the airport to fly home after what we hope has been a memorable and throughly enjoyable 9 days. OR.....

Fly to Blenheim in Marlborough

Blenheim is situated in the heart of wine-growing Marlborough. It is one of the sunniest towns in New Zealand, with an estimated average of 2,438 hours of sunshine a year. Mountains frame the area and trap the summer heat. As the producer of 75% of New Zealand’s wine, there’s no better reason to visit.

1.30 Lunch Wairau River Resturant and Cellar door

This is one of the best-known restaurants in the province. The high-quality food focuses on the best seasonal produce.

Accommodation: Antria Boutique Lodge

A modern European castle in the heart of Marlborough's vineyards. From the moment you step through the Gothic front doors you can not help but be impressed by the unique contemporary European style that Caro & Hugh have created at Antria.

Dinner: Gramados Resturant and Bar
A little Brazilian flair in Blenheim

Included Activities:

  • Flight to Blenheim

Day 10: Blenheim

Day 10: Blenheim

Tour the regions Wineries meeting winemakers and tasting world class wines.

Fromm Winery
Fromm wines are carefully crafted and fabulously finessed. At their cellar door you can look forward to tasting intense pinot noir, sophisticated chardonnay and complex sauvignon blanc. Fromm wines are famously interesting, so expect to be surprised.

Framingham Wines
Accredited as 100% sustainable, Framingham Wines specialise in small batches of hand-crafted wines. A real stand-out here is dry riesling, which is deliciously complex.

Wither Hills
There's an emphasis on single vineyard whites at Wither Hills, however pinot noir has become a major strength for the winery in recent times. If you're serious about wine, this cellar door is a must-do in a magnificent setting.

Nautilus Estate
Nautilus produces a smashing Marlborough Cuvee Brut made with pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. They're also known for award-winning sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and rosé wines.

Giesen Wines
A New Zealand winery established by a trio of German brothers, Giesen turns on a cellar door experience that will quickly have you whipping out your phone for an Instagram shot.

No. 1 Family Estate
No. 1 is the home of brilliant New Zealand sparkling wine that's up there with the best in the world. Behind the brand is the Le Brun family, who are the equivalent of winemaking royalty in our country.

Clos Henry
Clos Henri is the Marlborough vineyard organically run by the famous Sancerre (Loire Valley, France) winegrowing family of Henri Bourgeois. The Clos Henri estate has three unique soil types on site which shape the different styles of Clos Henri wines.

Lunch: Cloudy Bay
A Cloudy Bay wine tour is a highlight of any Marlborough cellar door adventure and the environment is almost as enticing as the wine. The vast courtyard extends out to a glorious landscape that invites you to commune with nature while you sip your way through a tasting.

Accommodation: Antria Boutique Lodge
Dinner: Harvest Resturant
At Harvest, the ethos is simple - authenticity...

Included Activities:

  • Wine tour

Day 11: Marlborough Sounds

Day 11: Marlborough Sounds

With 1500km of New Zealand's coastline, Marlborough Sounds is a collection of ancient sunken river valleys filled with the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Forested hills rise steeply from the sea around an intricate coastline of sheltered inlets and sandy bays. The area has three main bodies of water - Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds. The Department of Conservation manages over 50 reserves in this scenic playground. 

Spend a day out in luxury yacht enjoying Champayne, fine wines and platters.

Lunch: Bay of Many Coves
This is a fine dining experience in a uniquely romantic setting with sweeping views across the bay. Enjoy a lunch filled with conversation and truly beautiful flavours, where their seasonal menus and expertly wine-matched signature degustations will create unforgettable culinary memories.

Accommodation: Antria Lodge
Dinner:  Arbour restaurant, Blenheim
With two hats from Cuisine and multiple awards from other respected sources, the degustation restaurant Arbour creates artwork on a plate. The food looks almost too good to eat, so you'll be forgiven for snapping pictures before you tuck in. Every dish showcases premium ingredients from the Marlborough region.

Included Activities:

  • Yacht cruise

Day 12: Blenheim - Auckland

Fly from Blenheim to Auckland in time to connect to your flight home