Multi-Day Tour

Welcome to Luxury New Zealand (15 days)

Swain Destinations

Auckland, New Zealand To Queenstown, New Zealand

Valid for Departures Now Through: 30 Sep 2018

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
01 Apr 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
None None
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2
02 Apr 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
None None
Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole - and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.
Day 3
03 Apr 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
Skycity Grand Hotel Breakfast
Once you clear customs and immigration, you will meet your drive at the pre-charted counter. You will then be transferred via private vehicle to your city accommodation.

SKYCITY Grand Hotel, Auckland
Indulgent, comfortable and stylish--you'll want for nothing in one of Skycity Grand Hotel's 312 superbly appointed guest rooms. A range of room sizes and configurations ensures that, from the presidential entourage to the footloose individual, every requirement is amply accommodated. Enjoy some of Auckland's best restaurants at the hotel, including contemporary Japanese cuisine, Italian fare made with seasonal ingredients, and classic local specialties.

America's Cup Sailing Experience
The America's Cup is the world's oldest and most prestigious sporting trophy and ultimate yachting regatta. Usually the domain of billionaires and elite professional yachties, NZL 40 and NZL 41 offer the unique opportunity for everyone to participate sailing on these grand prix racing machines.

Passengers become the crew and are encouraged to take the helm, exert energy on the grinders or simply sit back and enjoy the action as we sail down the Auckland Harbour. The trip suits people of all experiences and abilities and is the perfect activity in Auckland, 'City of Sails'.
Day 4
04 Apr 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
The Boatshed Breakfast, Lunch
Experience Auckland with a local Maori, who will guide you around this fantastic city and region, providing information about its interesting history, places and people throughout the tour. See this magnificent city with its 48 volcanoes, as well as the amazing West Coast with a Maori guide as your host.

Experience some of New Zealand's finest scenery in the Auckland region and explore historic sites and learn more about the fascinating Maori culture and history along the way. Walk on the crater's edge of an ancient volcano and learn about Maori myths and legends that accompany many of the special places you visit. Discover dramatic cliff tops, stormy seas, unique black sand beaches and much more on the famous 'Wild West Coast'. Gain an insider's view into Maori Culture through your Maori guide, see Takarunga (Mount Victoria) in Devonport, where significant Maori chief Patuone is buried and see Tamaki Drive, one of the world's most beautiful city drives with sweeping views across the Waitemata Harbour.

After your tour, you will be transferred to the Auckland Ferry Terminal for your ride over to Waiheke Island. This stunning island just off the Auckland coast boasts 92 square kms of beautiful beaches, vineyards, olive groves, native bush and laid back seaside villages. It's a great day out from Auckland as well as a superb holiday destination or a weekend getaway.

The Boatshed Boutique Hotel
The Boatshed offers chic luxury accommodation on Waiheke Island, sitting just above the bay and white sandy beaches of Oneroa. It is a hip, boutique hotel, with a casual and elegant atmosphere, that works in perfect harmony with its seaside location.
Day 5
05 Apr 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
The Boatshed Breakfast, Lunch
The Waiheke Island Paradise tour is for the truly discerning wine fan! Todays experience includes ferry transportation to and from Waiheke Island, all on-island transportation, three winery tastings and lunch with wine at a renowned restaurant.

Journey on your guide, Phil's premium Waiheke wine tour - to taste wines at three premium boutique Waiheke vineyards (from: Peacock Sky, Cable Bay, Kennedy Point, and Mudbrick vineyards). Enjoy a relaxed lunch at a renowned 5-star Waiheke restaurant. Soak in the stunning coastal scenery and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere on New Zealand's own Treasure Island of wine and food.
Day 6
06 Apr 2018
Christchurch, New Zealand
Otahuna Lodge Breakfast, Dinner
Today you will depart Waiheke Island via ferry to Auckland. From there, you will travel to the Auckland Airport for your flight into Christchurch.

A driver will meet you at baggage claim where you will be transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

Otahuna Lodge
Otahuna Lodge is an intimate retreat offering five suites and two master suites. Each retains architectural features from the 19th century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows. All suites offer super-king beds, fine custom-made linens, toiletries by Penhaligon's of London, deep bathtubs and separate rain showers.

The cuisine of the Lodge celebrates the best of seasonal New Zealand produce, with an emphasis on fresh estate-grown offerings. Dinner is a five-course chef's degustation menu, which changes daily, making use of the best fresh produce and guests' dietary requirements. At dinner, guests may elect to dine communally in the opulent formal dining room. Alternatively, they may retreat to a private table for two in the sunken wine cellar, the intimate library, the drawing room turret, or a location of their choosing.
Day 7
07 Apr 2018
Christchurch, New Zealand
Otahuna Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On this amazing tour, visit the extinct volcanoes of Banks Peninsula and view the beautiful harbors & green farmland. Stops are made at scenic places and include morning & afternoon teas and a cheese tasting at the Barry's Bay Cheese Factory. Once at Akaroa, enjoy a shared nature and harbor cruise on the Canterbury Cat. This cruise explores the volcanic harbor and sightings may be made of the world's smallest dolphin - the Hectors Dolphin, NZ Fur Seals and numerous seabirds. If time allows, stroll through the village and along the waterfront, taking in the quaint French charm, which is unique to Akaroa.
Day 8
08 Apr 2018
Christchurch, New Zealand
Otahuna Lodge Breakfast, Dinner
The afternoon tour departs from your accommodation for a drive through the city center to see the progress of the rebuild following the 2010/2011 earthquakes. Your guide will discuss the reasons for the event, its impact and the exciting plans for the future, as well as delve into the history of the area and also why New Zealand's flora and fauna is unique.

The Selwyn area is home to many vineyards that thrive on the flat Canterbury plains. Several wines reflect the vibrant qualities of the iconic Waimakariri River that provides a pure and constant water supply. Many of the vineyards in this area are family-run and are the local producers of award winning Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Depending on the season and the weather, your guide will take you to a selection of wineries where you will be able to experience the diverse range of different wines. Having the opportunity to speak to experienced wine operators will provide you with a comprehensive insight into each vineyard.
Day 9
09 Apr 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
Minaret Station Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
A driver will meet you at the front entrance of your accommodation to transfer you to the Christchurch Airport where you will fly to Queenstown.

Upon your arrival in Queenstown, you will be met by a heli team who will then fly you to Minaret Station.

Minaret Station
Minaret Station is located at the head of a stunningly picturesque glacial valley in the heart of the Southern Alps. Accessible only by helicopter, Minaret Station treats those fortunate enough to experience this wilderness landscape, to a level of comfort and style never before available in the New Zealand Mountains. Guests are hosted in luxuriously furnished Chalets complete with king beds, a private deck set with its own hot tub, full en-suite with double vanity and endless hot showers.
Day 10
10 Apr 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
Minaret Station Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The small, friendly and experienced Minaret team prides itself in providing guests with an intimate and personalized level of service from the moment that the first inquiry is made.

Guides are on hand to lead informative hikes or leisurely excursions around the lodge area, ranging from a gentle walk to neighboring waterfalls through to more challenging hill climbs from the valley floor. Minaret Station Heli-Adventures allow guests to experience the otherwise inaccessible breath-taking wilderness of the Southern Alps. The options are endless. From scenic flights to heli-biking, Minaret Station's wide range of Heli-Adventures means there is something for everyone. Explore the wilderness of the South Island with the friendly and experienced Minaret Station team.

Using fresh local produce, resident chefs and kitchen staff prepare modern European and Asian Fusion cuisine coupled with an extensive range of local and award-winning wines. Guests can choose to dine in the Mountain Kitchen's dining room, alfresco on the deck or in the privacy of their own chalet. The individual Chalets are separately positioned amongst native alpine grasses and herb fields, each harnessing unique vistas of the valley and surrounds.
Day 11
11 Apr 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
Blanket Bay Breakfast, Dinner
You will depart Minaret Station and fly over the Southern Alps and Milford Sound, and land on the front lawn of your next lodge, Blanket Bay Lodge.

Blanket Bay Lodge
Blanket Bay is situated at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, two miles south of Glenorchy and just 40 minutes from Queenstown. Built in the grand style of the finest alpine lodges, it is finished with native timber and stone. At the heart of the lodge is a 30-foot high Great Room with a massive log fireplace, vaulted wharf-timber beams and antique wooden floors. There are several dining options available; meals may be taken in the main dining room or a private dining room, both with views across the lake and large log burning fires.

Blanket Bay is a haven of comfort - a sanctuary from the outside world. The experience can provide you with endless ways to help restore your physical and spiritual well-being in this enchanted corner of New Zealand.
Day 12
12 Apr 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
Blanket Bay Breakfast, Dinner
The Wilderness Safari takes you on a spectacular 90-minute jet boat journey through the Dart's ever-changing braided river system, where you'll be surrounded by snow-covered peaks, hidden valleys and waterfalls. It includes an easy guided 30 to 40-minute walk through the 'Heritage Trail' at Paradise, where your knowledgeable guide will enliven your walk with an informative and entertaining commentary about the ancient native beech forest, the unique flora and fauna, as well as the fascinating Maori and colonial history of the area. You'll also journey by coach via a scenic back-road route, while hearing stories about the surrounding countryside and stopping to view scenery that has formed the epic backdrop for many international films, including 'The Lord of the Rings'.
Day 13
13 Apr 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
Eichardt's Private Hotel Breakfast, Lunch
You will depart Blanket Bay with your luggage and end at Eichardt's Private Hotel after your wine tasting experience. Your wine tour guide will tailor your day around how many wineries you wish to visit and suggest scenic stops along the way. The below is an outline for a typical tour, and can easily be adjusted to suite your tastes.

Heading out of Queenstown, visit the picturesque gold mining village of Arrowtown, with its colonial-style architecture, cute shops and galleries. Then head to Chard Farm Winery: set upon river terraces over- looking the Kawarau River, Chard is arguably the most scenic of the vineyards in the area, known for their Great Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Rieslings.

Then you will head to Gibbston Valley Winery. With New Zealand's largest wine cave, Gibbston Valley has pioneered the development of Pinot Noir in the region and has won numerous awards for their flagship Pinots. A platter lunch is included at Mt Difficulty Winery; a place perched on a hill over-looking the Cromwell basin with spectacular views. Finally, Brennan Wines is the perfect spot for a last glass of wine before returning home.

Eichardt's Private Hotel
The distinctive Eichardt's Private Hotel building is Queenstown's waterfront icon and has been for more than 130 years. Recently undergoing a complete renaissance, preserving the historic integrity of the property, Eichardt's is now regarded as the upscale hotel of choice in New Zealand's most popular tourist destination. This private hotel has merged its historic charm with the best of contemporary design. This is combined with the finest accommodation and uncompromising personal service, adding a sophisticated and exclusive new dimension to the choice of accommodation available in Queenstown.
Day 14
14 Apr 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
Eichardt's Private Hotel Breakfast
The best of native flora and bird-life, with magnificent lake and mountain views in an area with its own micro-climate; plants are protected from the elements so species are much larger than elsewhere. Native birds are readily seen and heard, and you'll be introduced to an array of edible and medicinal plants used by Maori & European settlers on this fun half-day walk.
Day 15
15 Apr 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
None Breakfast
Today a driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel to transfer you to the Queenstown Airport for your flight back to the USA.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

Discover a warm welcome to the people, places and culture of New Zealand and experience some of the most intimate, luxurious lodges. Begin your journey of discovery in Auckland, the City of Sails. Explore Waiheke Island - a haven of beautiful vineyards, olive groves and beaches before heading to the South Island to indulge in the culinary delights of the historic mansion, Otahuna Lodge. Head further south to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown, where you will craft your own heli-experiences with your hosts from Minaret Station. A seamless blend of culture, adventure and relaxation awaits.

About Us

For over 30 years, Swain Destinations has been providing fully-customized travel experiences to Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific Islands, Africa, Asia and India. The destination specialists at Swain Destinations provide you and your clients with a special combination of expertise and local insight in itinerary planning. We offer flexibility in accommodating a wide spectrum of personal tastes, travel needs and budgets from the ultimate in luxury and private touring to more moderate arrangements. Swain Destinations has been nominated for 9 consecutive years as one of the top 5 FIT companies within the Virtuoso network

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions are posted on our website - click here for details.



The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Swain Destinations

92%

of 83
guests
recommend


Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by

Not Recommended

Fair

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

I suspect that there are better travel guides in China. We prefer guides with a more professorial/academic approach. Also, we do not like being taken to tourist sites (as in a tea house to sell us tea items) or a bad tourist restaurant.
  Loading comments. Please wait...
Not Recommended

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 21 Nov 2013

the arranged transport at sydney airport a debacle, hotel in auckland did not have rooms ready - a room rate of $300/night steep when check in is 3 pm you don't get in until 4 pm and check out is 9 or 10 am - steep hourly rate. hotel shuttle service was substandard . arrangement for a rail pass poorly done confirmation numbers provided did not match those for the rail provider

Australia adventure

By: stanford GSB Grad


Reviewed on: 24 Nov 2013

The trip was wonderful. Every accommodation was excellent except for the hotel in Cairns. The public areas were very nice and the food was good but the room left a lot to be desired. All in all though the trip was well worth it.

Highly Recommended

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 21 Jan 2014

Swain provided a very helpful booklet of our itinerary, vouchers & connections, including where to be at what time and what call-in confirmations to make in advance. Everything went off without a hitch.
Travel Advisor:  Kathy Moran

Highly Recommend

By: KJ


Reviewed on: 21 Apr 2014

We continue to be amazed at the complexity of our flight and transfer arrangements made by our Swain's representative.  Our travel was seamlessly enjoyable, and our hotels perfect.  24 days in Australia and New Zealand without a glitch, amazing!!  We definitely are Swain believers.
Travel Advisor:  Carol Asivido

Honeymoon

By: Ro


Reviewed on: 10 Jun 2014

Were easy to get a hold of and helpful in providing us knowledge in a foreign land.
Travel Advisor:  Kathy Moran

By: Joanne K.


Reviewed on: 27 May 2014

Michelle at Swain travel put together a great package for our Australia and New Zealand vacation.
Travel Advisor:  Carol Asivido

Fabulous trip with help from Swain

By: Onespud


Reviewed on: 06 Jul 2014

Swain did an excellent job of taking care of us.  All drivers were on time and delivered impeccable service.  Arranged tours could not have been better.  Our hotel locations were so close to restaurants and shopping.  Could not have been better.
Travel Advisor:  Theresa Quintarelli

Great Trip

By: Kim849


Reviewed on: 12 Oct 2014

Swain planned all of our transportation, hotels and activities and did a wonderful job! Made our vacation very relaxing.
Travel Advisor:  Julie Raines

Swain was great

By: Jill


Reviewed on: 17 Feb 2015

Every detail was perfectly handled. Trip exceeded my expectations.
Travel Advisor:  Sigrid Braeckeveldt

Great trip.

By: Kathy51


Reviewed on: 06 Mar 2015

Trip well planned given the time frame we were traveling in. Out of 23 days, only one poorly planned day. Terrific knowledge of all areas visited with fantastic recommendations on tours, hotels, etc. Helped resolve one problem.
Travel Advisor:  Lydia Ganz

Great operator

By: Mikeshy


Reviewed on: 24 Mar 2015

My wife and I just completed an 11 week trip in Australia and New Zealand hat had two cruises and two fly/drive segments. Swain provided ; all transfers between the airports and the cruise ships, three car rentals, lodging in 16 different cities as well as small group tours in most cities that we visited. We only experienced a couple of "hiccups" which is amazing considering the number of arrangements that were made on our behalf. When I did have a problem, it was resolved quickly after making 1 phone call. We had requested that our lodging accommodations would be in high end, small boutique hotels or B&B's. The quality of our accommodations was excellent. Between Jodi Fox, our travel advisor and Swain, they "nailed it!". With only one exception, we loved our accommodations. We had many, many small group tours that ended up being a private tour. The quality of the vehicles and the professionalism of the drivers/tour guides was also excellent. They did a great job.
Travel Advisor:  Jodi Fox

Great Teamwork and Travel Materials

By: rpw128


Reviewed on: 26 Mar 2015

Having done most of our work through Cindy Goldberger she did most of the interaction with Swain in the beginning. They provided valuable LOCAL feedback which proved critical to the enjoyment of our trip. They had activities that I could not believe that we would ever get to try, it was such a unique itinerary. Once we had everything the way we wanted it Swain sent over the travel documents which great and organized, just the way I was so I combined my documents with theirs and didn't miss a beat. Upon arrival they had a car service ready for us and our honeymoon began. It was such an easy experience after everything was booked we didn't have to worry which increased the enjoyment 100 times!
Travel Advisor:  Cindy Goldberger

Hands On

By: Lainey


Reviewed on: 21 Oct 2015

Trip of a lifetime!
Travel Advisor:  Jane Rosenkrantz

Australia

By: Daniel


Reviewed on: 30 Oct 2015

Swain, in coordination with Alicia, have planned a wonderful trip so far.
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Ann Wilson

Expert friendly service from Swain

By: Lynne55


Reviewed on: 11 Nov 2015

Every tour that was arranged by Swain was met with friendly smiles and professional service! We always were amazed at the knowledge and attention to our needs at every moment of our tour. They would go out of their way to accommodate us and told stories about the destinations that were not only fascinating but always intertwined with humor. This was an A+ tour company and would highly recommend them to any traveler!
Travel Advisor:  Wayne Muhlstein

Honeymoon In Australia

By: Richard


Reviewed on: 17 Nov 2015

Everyone at Swain Destinations did a great job in helping us plan our Honeymoon! We loved the little details like the Champagne bottles and desserts they had for us at each hotel we stayed. At the airports they would pick us up with a sign with our names and Swain destinations so we felt special. All the tours we went to in Australia were awesome and we could not have asked for a better Honeymoon. My wife Erika and I highly recommend using Swain Destinations for your next vacation.
Travel Advisor:  Sarah Lee

documents very complete and helpful

By: Bill67


Reviewed on: 04 Mar 2016

The documents provided were very helpful during the trip.
Travel Advisor:  Becky Hayes

Great Trip!

By: EdLaura


Reviewed on: 21 Mar 2016

Our Swain trip was a great view of New Zealand and Australia. We felt like we got to see everything we wanted in a relatively short amount of time. Our tour guides were outstanding and the group was very congenial. Thanks for a great trip!
Travel Advisor:  Marian Blessing

great trip

By: Craig


Reviewed on: 29 May 2016

All arrangements went off without a hitch, from the car rentals to transfers to pickup of cars at a new location, the cars were always waiting and the pickups and drop offs were fast. The hotels/B&B's were all outstanding, Swain always picked the best places to stay, the coupons for the stays worked well with no issues. The tours/trips were all outstanding, the coupons worked well with no issues. All airline flights also went off without a hitch. Our only issue, its a small one, would be that we never saw or met a Swain representative, we though we were supposed to meet a rep when we arrived. The way the arrangements were a rep was not necessary, but it would have been nice to have someone there to meet us and just say hi and make sure we knew what to do initially and make sure there were know issues.
Travel Advisor:  Jesse Taylor

Great trip

By: Rachel


Reviewed on: 14 Sep 2016

We had a wonderful time with everything planned well. We only had a few very minor complaints with White Sands Tours in Mauritius but otherwise was exceptional
Travel Advisor:  David Mellon

A good trip package and value.

By: Jack


Reviewed on: 08 Nov 2016

It was a good package, everything was delivered as promised.
Travel Advisor:  Becky Lukovic

Don

By: Don


Reviewed on: 10 Mar 2018

Helpful when needed and responsive.

Swain

By: CAR


Reviewed on: 14 Apr 2018

They took care of everything. We never had one issue
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Macleod

Helpful service

By: kerful1


Reviewed on: 26 Nov 2016

The Swain folks were my local contacts for any issues or changes to my itinerary. I requested a change in my itinerary in New Zealand, moving sailing in Auckland to a different day so that I could add a day trip to Hobbiton, and they took care of everything. It was great to have a local phone number and email to contact in case I needed anything with any part of my itinerary.
Travel Advisor:  Peg Aikman

When I go to New Zealand again, it will be with Swain

By: Tina Lou


Reviewed on: 08 Dec 2016

The materials that they gave me for my trip to New Zealand was the right information, organized so I could find it quickly. Less stress, all I had to do was read it the day before my next adventure to be there to experience it.

Experts on South Africa and Zimbabwe

By: GeoStone1


Reviewed on: 20 Dec 2016

Swain Destinations coordinated the South Africa and Zimbabwe portions of our once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa. Swain's representative met us in Cape Town at our hotel to discuss how well our trip was going and to check with us to see if any changes were needed. Ditto in Victoria Falls. What special service! Swain has the knowledge and expertise that resulted in our stay at 1st class accommodations throughout our trip, coordinate our ride on the luxury train between Pretoria and Cape Town, and our flights within South Africa and to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. A total success! We highly recommend Swain Destinations!
Travel Advisor:  Wayne Muhlstein

Private Wildlife Trip

By: Khalid


Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2017

It was a fantastic trip. The guides were professional, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I got more out of the trip than expected. I had lost my cell phone twice but the problem was resolved quickly by the company. That was a big relief.
Travel Advisor:  Cindy Moore

austraia

By: op


Reviewed on: 04 Feb 2017

Excellent service
Travel Advisor:  Julie Boulanger Taylor

Blue Mountain Day Tour

By: Kathy Siefken


Reviewed on: 03 Feb 2017

Wonderful day with Swain Tours. We loved the tour and while it was a 100 degree day in Australia, we enjoyed our time on the tour and exploring the Blue Mountains.
Travel Advisor:  Jessica Griscavage

Australia and New Zealand

By: Mary Nell


Reviewed on: 06 Feb 2017

Swain is the very best tour operator for Australia and New Zealand. We had heard that before we took our trip and then we heard it during our trip and certainly experienced it to be a very true statement! The coordination of all the details for 3 weeks was amazing. Swain had drivers planned for our entire trip and without a doubt, they were all prompt, courteous, informative, safe and fun, plus they all had new beautiful cars!! I would highly recommend Swain to anyone that is planning a trip and wants to be assured that every detail will be handled. Australia was our 7th Continent to travel and explore and Swain made it a great journey. Wonderful memories!!
Travel Advisor:  Tina Aikman

Australian trip

By: Geri


Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2017

All contacts through Swain were prompt, courteous and informative. Our only glitch was our initial flight with Quantas but everything afterwards was uneventful.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Australia tour

By: Betty & Allen


Reviewed on: 07 Feb 2017

What can I say. Everything worked out perfect. Our drivers met us on time and our guides were excellent. Everyone's expectations were met and exceded. It was a wonderful tour and I would recommend Swain to all who are seeking adventure and don't want to do the legwork.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Wonderful Experience

By: Poppy


Reviewed on: 11 Feb 2017

All the arrangements, transfers and tours packaged for us by Swain staff were reliable and the services generally very good. The ability to customize our itinerary (even in country) was a new and wonderful experience. Most hotels and guides were exceptional, a few less so. Overall our extensive travels in Australia and NZ a fantastic adventure. The grand finale 3 nights at Matakari Lodge beyond 5⭐️
Travel Advisor:  Corinne Levine

Au

By: Hutch


Reviewed on: 05 Mar 2017

The trip went off without a hitch. Every plane was met, drivers were personable, guides were tremendous and we had complete confidence that our needs would be met.
Travel Advisor:  Cathy Dorton

australia new zealand

By: betty


Reviewed on: 02 Mar 2017

they were very professional
Travel Advisor:  Ingeborg Sanders

swain

By: Lisa


Reviewed on: 10 Mar 2017

Perfect- thanks to Wayne. We recommend him to our friends.
Travel Advisor:  Wayne Muhlstein

Australia - Feb 2017

By: J


Reviewed on: 13 Mar 2017

Except for 9:45pm event, followed by 4:30am event, everything went off very well.
Travel Advisor:  Christine Collins Bolus

New Zealand

By: Meagan


Reviewed on: 21 Mar 2017

Swain's knowledge of the local area helped us to find activities and sites to see what I had on my list, even if it wasn't the exact place. Their recommendations for local company's or sites to use/see while there or while driving from one place to another was very helpful. I know that they also worked with Deborah to help reschedule some things so I am very thankful for that.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Great job!

By: NurseL


Reviewed on: 12 Apr 2017

Swain Destinations did a great job with our itinerary! The excursions were exactly what I wanted in my bucket list vacation! We had to call George from Swain Destinations while in Australia to make some last minute changes to our plans and he was able to make the requested changes without any problems. I also want to recommend the drivers we had to and from each airport to our hotels. They were all very friendly and super knowledgeable about the area. We felt comfortable asking them for recommendations for things to do while in each city. Great experience!
Travel Advisor:  Theresa Quintarelli

Bucket list New Zealand

By: Steve Strake


Reviewed on: 07 Apr 2017

Fantastic vacation. This company know how to create a fun trip.
Travel Advisor:  Sandra Ortiz
Not Recommended

12 days in Japan

By: Charlie


Reviewed on: 17 Apr 2017

We did not work directly with Swain but the results of their efforts bring into question their dedication to good service and flawless execution. Our experience reduced our opinion of their abilities to meet customer expectations.
  Loading comments. Please wait...
Not Recommended

Trip to Japan

By: Joe


Reviewed on: 18 Apr 2017

Our trip to Japan had some rough edges. The initial arrangements in our proposed itinerary were incomplete regarding a number of important details (e.g., who would meet us, what type of transport would be used), subsequently clarified. The descriptions used for events and services in our itinerary were sometimes unclear, ambiguous or incomplete, also subsequently clarified but with difficulty. Once in Japan, the private guide arranged in Kyoto for 1-1/2 days was less than satisfactory in terms of her job skills. Finally, the Ritz-Carolton Kyoto provided some of the poorest dining room service we've encountered in a long time - very young staff, not well trained, although well-intended. We were left with the impression that both in terms of office organization in the US and on-the-ground experience in Japan that our group was not well served by Swain, relative to the prices we were paying.
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Excellent Itinerary

By: brea2942


Reviewed on: 09 May 2017

We had an excellent trip arranged by Swain Destinations for our land portion of an Australian/New Zealand vacation. Swain arranged our internal flights, tours and lodging. We gave them specific input as to where we wanted to go and many of the things we wanted to do and they put together an itinerary that was very good for us. We had no problems with any of the transfers (everyone arrived on time or ahead of time to transfer us from hotel to airport to cruise ship, etc.) and the lodging they chose for us was excellent. Overall, this was a stellar vacation itinerary!
Travel Advisor:  Marsha Dolbow

China

By: jalousie


Reviewed on: 03 Jun 2017

We had a flawless/seamless trip through Swain. Guides were wonderful and so helpful. The accommodations were first-rate
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Australia, the perfect destination

By: Davonia


Reviewed on: 23 Jun 2017

Deborah Barth of Brownell Travel sought the help of Swain Destinations for the Australian portion of my recent trip. From drivers to lodging to tour guides our trip was perfect. The drivers were outstanding, always on time and in wonderful vehicles. Lodging was exceptional. Tour guides were great. Deborah worked closely with Tanya at Swain to be sure the Australian portion of our trip met our needs. Everything worked beautifully. Leave the details to the professionals!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Great touring experience with Swain

By: Michael Yu


Reviewed on: 11 Jul 2017

All the details were taken care of from hotel reservations, to air and train bookings, to great daily itineraries. No miscues on the ground through the whole trip except for the rainy weather in Hakone (delayed one boat tour and hid Mt Fuji). Professional bilingual guides (had 2 different guides, 3 days each). Private van transportation made the touring very efficient and less taxing on the body and feet. Seemless pickups and drop offs made for worry free travel which is what you want when you are on vacation. Great private origami lesson for the family made for great bonding. No complaints, good value for the wrap around service.
Travel Advisor:  Marsha Dolbow

Tour arrangements

By: Bud


Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2017

Mary Lou Yeager worked with Swain to arrange private tours and transportation in Dubai, the Winelands and Cape Town. All the arrangements worked perfectly. The tour guides were knowledgeable and quite accommodating. We had a wonderful time!
Travel Advisor:  Mary Lou Yeager

Excellent

By: Allie


Reviewed on: 18 Aug 2017

Absolutely fantastic.
Travel Advisor:  Jessica Battista

Awesome Tour Operator

By: Chris


Reviewed on: 11 Sep 2017

Swain has coordinated our trips to Australia/New Zealand and to South Africa, and each trip was fabulous. We highly recommend them. We spent our time enjoying our trip and experience and no time on worrying about rides, hotels and activities. They took care of everything!
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Anderson

Honeymoon - South Africa

By: Kmiq


Reviewed on: 02 Nov 2017

Swain was top notch. Every employee we came in contact with was personable and pleasant. In particular, our driver/tour guide, Gary, for the half day tour of Cape Town and the day drive to the Cape of Good Hope was fantastic. His knowledge of the plant/animal life, geography, and history of the City / Country was immense. There was no question Gary couldn't answer, and he always had interesting facts/trivia to share. Gary even made us a romantic lunch reservation on the bay so we could enjoy some alone time and whale watch. Would recommend to anyone traveling to South Africa!
Travel Advisor:  Jessica Griscavage

Australia

By: PR


Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2017

The trip was perfect in every aspect
Travel Advisor:  Roz Gibel

Australia Trip - October 2017

By: MK


Reviewed on: 05 Nov 2017

Swain Destinations provided documentation, travel vouchers, etc. for our trip. The documentation was very professionally presented and organized, which made for easy reference during travels. Phone numbers were provided for questions before and during our trip for added peace of mind. Overall they did a great job of preparing us for the trip!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Trevino

Japan

By: Leighsa


Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2017

Outstanding. A fantastic collection of places to visit and things to do. Will definitely use Swain Destinations again.
Travel Advisor:  Arlene Humble

NZ/Australia Trip

By: Linde


Reviewed on: 19 Nov 2017

The trip details indicate Swain's thorough knowledge of trip locales.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Trevino

New Zealand and Australia

By: Nat


Reviewed on: 04 Dec 2017

Our experience with Swain Destinations was phenomenal. They were incredibly receptive to all of our requests. They helped to put together a 17 day itinerary for our travels to New Zealand and Australia. There were certain things we requested to do on our trip but we also let them use their judgement to suggest excursions and places to stay. All of our excursions were amazing and the accommodations were delightful in every city we stayed in. We wouldn't have changed a single thing about our trip, it was all wonderful!
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Ellis

Our First Try

By: newbies


Reviewed on: 13 Dec 2017

Swain recommended, and then booked, excellent accommodations and travel arrangements. It was a seamless part of our trip.
Travel Advisor:  Amy Paderewski

No problems experienced

By: Patch


Reviewed on: 12 Dec 2017

Swain made sure that every aspect of our vacation was taken care of. We never had any worries. I loved knowing that our escorts and tour guides had all the answers and so I could relax. All tours and drivers were professional and expert.
Travel Advisor:  Tish Kelly
Not Recommended

The Bad

By: Grumpy


Reviewed on: 11 Jan 2018

The night before we left on our trip they called for a medical release, very unprofessional.
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Australia

By: Brad


Reviewed on: 06 Jan 2018

Loved the intinerary put together by swain. We had a great trip and loved everything planned!
Travel Advisor:  Laura Epstein

New Zealand Excursions

By: Shelley


Reviewed on: 16 Jan 2018

We had booked our excursions through Swain. We were overall very pleased with the guides and tours we took as we were booking several. Some tours were better experiences than others so once Swain has given the information on the tour company it would be worth a quick glance at their website to make sure your expectations meet the experiences. We had a little bit of time miscommunication with one of our tours (one-on-one guided fishing) and that was discouraging. So my only feedback is to double and triple check the confirmed times at least 2 days before directly with the tour operator.
Travel Advisor:  Laura Bassett

Great!

By: Jan


Reviewed on: 24 Jan 2018

We lined up a lot of activities over our 3-week vacation that Swain helped put together. Everything went very smoothly except for a glitch with our car rentals, and one call to Swain helped sort it out. Very pleased.
Travel Advisor:  Tisha Neufville

Great Choices and Knowledgable

By: JeannieM


Reviewed on: 08 Feb 2018

Our agent primarily worked with Swain, but our experiences were all positive. They made excellent selections in accommodations and day trips in an effort to meet (and exceed) our desired activity goals. The companies utilized were professional and fun. The 1 transportation confusion was addressed swiftly, pleasantly and effectively. Swain was knowledgable and knew the best choices in New Zealand - I wouldn't hesitate to use them again!
Travel Advisor:  Candy Overland Davis

Tour of Australia and New Zealand

By: Roweana


Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2018

Our experience with Swain Destinations was highly recommendable.
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Anderson

Swain knows Australia

By: Andrew


Reviewed on: 15 Feb 2018

My California based travel agent contacted Swain for their local knowledge and contacts for arranging multiple trips within Australia. There was a small mix up while I was in Australia and they quickly cleared it up and acted on my behalf. They were very professional and helpful during the entire process
Travel Advisor:  Theresa Quintarelli

Trip of a lifetime

By: Simpson


Reviewed on: 27 Feb 2018

Everything was first class from start to finish...
Travel Advisor:  Vivian Paesano

swain

By: Australia


Reviewed on: 11 Mar 2018

Good the drivers were well informed. One excursion was not as described we complained and were refunded 1/2 of our money.
Travel Advisor:  Kathy Grant

Swain does it right

By: Aussie traveler


Reviewed on: 08 Mar 2018

Excellent. They have great options. Everything set up very well based upon our input and came off without a hitch. All of the guides were very personable, very professional and very informative. Airport transfers went smoothly. Drivers and guides arrived on time for all activities
Travel Advisor:  Mary Porter

Australia and New Zealand

By: Susan


Reviewed on: 03 Apr 2018

The places we stayed were amazing! Wharekauhau was over the top wonderful. The service here was amazing. Nicholas, Grant, Matt and Shannon were especially memorable. We felt very pampered here. Treetops was also amazing. Another place with impeccable service. We loved everything about this place. Cape Kidnappers was also amazing and we had a great day of golf. Blanket Bay was unbelievably beautiful and especially memorable. And of course Southern Ocean Lodge in Kangaroo Island made me feel like I was in a James Bond Movie. Over the top wonderful. These are truly my 5 favorite places I have ever been in the world. I loved having pre dinner drinks and dinner included and it was fun getting to know others at the pre dinner drinks. The food was amazing everywhere. The service was the best at all of the places. Better than anywhere else we have stayed anywhere in the world. I would recommend the same trip to anyone.
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Jaykus Peck

Australia and Fiji

By: Cydney


Reviewed on: 11 Apr 2018

Excellent! The hotels were fabulous as were the many, many adventures and excursions they planned for us!
Travel Advisor:  Arlene Humble

New Zealand

By: Fran


Reviewed on: 21 Apr 2018

Our trip was seamless due to the employees of Swain. They were friendly and prompt always. We had a great trip.
Travel Advisor:  Gloria Welles
Not Recommended

Cookbook

By: Newbee


Reviewed on: 28 Apr 2018

I felt like this personalized tour was created like every other tour with the same stops and excursions as every tour I read online. Did not feel any thought went into it as an individual
  Loading comments. Please wait...

So-So

By: alice1


Reviewed on: 07 May 2018

Swain is usually above reproach. However the arrangements in Perth did not go as planned. However, Georgia spoke with them and they refunded me a portion of my money.
Travel Advisor:  Georgia Schley Ritchie
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Very good

By: Luis


Reviewed on: 17 May 2018

Very knowledgeable and very friendly.
Travel Advisor:  Peter Rubin

Overall trip to New Zealand and Australia

By: Mary


Reviewed on: 28 May 2018

Overall, very good. Only one thing we'd rather have gone on the Hobbit Tour instead of the Glow Worm Cave. Other than that, tour was great.
Travel Advisor:  Theresa Quintarelli

Not all promises were delivered

By: Carolyn


Reviewed on: 07 Jun 2018

Their overall proposal for our trip was adhered to in broad strokes, but important details were changed without our permission & to our disappointment. When we contacted them directly, during the trip, they responded promptly. We felt like we were promised, & paid for, one description of our trip & we received a lesser version - leaving us wondering about what happened to the money we paid, when we received less. As there were no itemized expenses ever presented, it was easy for them to "shortchange" us. Their site recommendations were, in general, wonderful, but one or two of their guides were not up to the Virtuoso level (& one was beyond awesome!), nor were some of the "experiences" they booked. They dropped the ball on a fairly routine train trip, causing an unnecessary interruption, requiring additional ticket purchase & on two occasions asked their guides to handle issues that were strictly administrative (causing confusion for guide & traveler). Wish there'd been fewer snags
Travel Advisor:  Carol Brant

Perfect Trip!

By: AGW


Reviewed on: 14 Jun 2018

Swain developed a wonderful itinerary for my first trip to New Zealand! Loved it all and they were easy to work with and very responsive. I would definitely use them again!
Travel Advisor:  Linda Terrill

Great Company!

By: Lissa


Reviewed on: 05 Jul 2018

They did a wonderful job planning our trip in Australia! They were very helpful, especially taking care of some changes! All of the tours were perfect! And the drivers and guides exceptional! I would definitely use them again!
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Boyles

Quick Trip to India

By: mj


Reviewed on: 29 Jul 2018

This is the second time I've used Swain Destinations and they did not disappoint. The first time was for a trip to Australia, and it was spectacular. This trip to India lived up to those expectations. The Swain recommended accommodations were flawless, the drivers were punctual and helpful and the guides were fantastic.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Trevino

Reps Knowledge

By: Brenda


Reviewed on: 19 Aug 2018

Contact at Swain was helpful in knowing specific answers to several questions I had regarding Australia to help me make my final decisions.
Travel Advisor:  Debbie Kellogg

Trip to Australia

By: Kristi


Reviewed on: 23 Sep 2018

Our trip to Australia was perfectly planned and executed- we had a stress-free amazing vacation!
Travel Advisor:  Catherine Parkin