Kiwiness Tours is a locally run company founded by Vanessa (Ness) Wards, a born and bred Matakana local with big ideas for tours around her beloved home region. Ness has recently returned to the area along with her partner, Brendon and fur baby Joey, the Kelpie (yes the tour van is named after the dog)! Ness has relocated the company from Queenstown, where she was based for the last few years, now specialising in Matakana Coast tours, Auckland day tours and private New Zealand wide guiding and itinerary design.
From evening Kiwi sanctuary tours at Tawharanui, to wine and beer tasting tours, Ness believes that the true way to experience a place is with a local. These local services include set itinerary day tours following the Matakana Wine Trail, craft beer tasting, scenic day tours, beach visits, art and sculpture trails, as well as any kind of customised transport and special occasion tours required.
"Matakana is definitely on the map for places to visit in New Zealand, so I think it was a natural progression to move my business from Queenstown (the Tourism Mecca) and transition it into an area with so much population growth as well as tourism potential.” For Ness it was a no brainer - being able to use the skills she had acquired guiding in the South Island, alongside her passion for the outdoors, people, good food, wine and craft beer, and team up with the resources and amazing businesses on offer up here in the North.
“Gaining concession to take small group tours into Tawharanui Open Sanctuary has been a surprising hit! I started it as an Airbnb experience, and soon realised that whether its international tourists or locals, we have the chance to listen and maybe even sight our national bird in a wild habitat just one hour from Auckland City! It’s absolutely incredible, and something I am very passionate to share,” she tells us.
With the craft beer scene exploding in New Zealand in the last decade, it is truly a proud time to have so many quality brews coming out, especially from the local region. Kiwiness Tours offers the first of its kind in specific craft beer tasting tours in the area. 'The Beer Swagger' is a full day tour showcasing award winning breweries such as Deep Creek, 8 Wired and Sawmill Brewing. A typical tour includes tasting paddles, informative behind the scenes access and a fun day out amongst craft beer connoisseurs. All this, while in the safe hands of your professional driver guide. For those on the fence with beer, or have both wine and beer lovers in their group; how about the 'Beer n Wine Mixer'. This tour is all-inclusive providing local tasting stops at a chocolate boutique, winery, craft brewery and even gourmet pizza at the locals’ favourite eatery. With a late afternoon departure, it’s perfect for those staff incentives, team bonding or after work get togethers!
021 100 3275