Soak up the experience

The Innovative Travel Company prides itself on working with tour hosts who are experts in their fields and who each add very special ‘insider’ knowledge to enhance our clients’ experience, adding unique insights to their tour. We are very privileged to work with some of New Zealand’s most reputed and trusted personalities from all walks of life.

Previous tour hosts include Dame Malvina Major (Member of the Order of New Zealand); Jeremy Coney (former New Zealand cricket captain and commentator); Bernice Mene (former New Zealand netball team captain); Lois Muir (former New Zealand netball coach); John Hawkesby (Radio and television personality); and Peta Methias (Chef and Author).

Brand Ambassador

Jane Daniels

Fashion designer Jane Daniels is an experienced and discerning traveller and an avid reader of travel literature. She is the perfect litmus test for our Ancient Kingdoms Holidays. For the past 10 years she has acted as our travel ambassador. With Jane Daniels, the Innovative Travel Company has found a great synergy. Both our companies were established over 25 years ago with a passion to create only the best for our clients, combined with a mutual fascination for history.

A note from Jane: "Every one of my many trips with Innovative Travel has been a fabulous and unique adventure. First in the Ancient Kingdoms of the Middle East and then into colourful Asia. Many of my destinations with Innovative Travel have been along and around the ancient Silk Road, and on my next adventure, I will be travelling to the source, the gateway to China, where the Chinese set out in search of Ferghana horses and then in turn introduced silk, gunpowder and paper to the West. East met West along these fascinating ancient trade routes."

Tour Hosts

Mike & Nicky Doyle

Mike is an intelligent, retired and successful businessman, a natural people person, and a caring tour host who believes that every trip must be an exciting and memorable adventure. He is also a competent pianist and will entertain the guests whenever the opportunity arises. Mike is also a keen shopper and will assist if required. His wife Nicky, is always happy, outgoing and adventurous, and as the golfer and a member of the Tauranga Golf club, will be supporting Mike, if any guests have any specific requirements. Mike & Nicky have had a great many travel experiences and will provide the perfect balance of fun, relaxation and travel wisdom.  

Rene Wilson

Rene Wilson, Former New Zealand Ambassador to Egypt, recently concluded an illustrious diplomatic career with a diverse international focus; notably becoming High Commissioner to South Africa, New Zealand’s first resident Ambassador in Cairo, and most recently representing New Zealand in the Asia Pacific region.

For four years Rene represented New Zealand at the annual commemorations of the Battle of El Alamein, attending remote and seldom visited sites in order to lay wreathes and pay homage.

Rev. Mike Hawke

Previously the Vicar of St Christopher’s Church in Avonhead from 1988 - 2010, Mike transitioned into the Anglican Mission Board as its Church Support officer, a role involving key work within New Zealand and the Pacific in order to garner a wider view of the church & its communities. Mike is now the Dean of Nelson Cathedral.

In 2010, Reverend Mike Hawke co-hosted a tour to Jordan, Israel and Oberammergau. The tour’s popularity generated renewed interest to revisit the Holyland & Jordan in 2012 & 2015.

Colleen Doyle

Colleen Doyle hosts exclusively for Travel Companions.Club and Innovative Travel. She brings with her over 27 years’ experience with tour groups to Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, Africa, Canada and the Pacific.

In 2018, Colleen hosted the successful inaugural Travel Companions Club tour to Vietnam and Cambodia. In 2019, she is hosting the sold-out Trans-Siberian Tour.

Colleen’s unique style, sense of humour and genuine concern for passengers makes each tour special. Comments from past clients include words like: unflappable, loads of fun, innovative, organised and caring.

Mike Yardley

Homed in Christchurch, with twin passions for news and travel, Mike is a current affairs writer, travel columnist and correspondent on print and radio. He is Newstalk ZB’s travel correspondent, with a weekly slot on the Jack Tame Saturday Morning Show.

Travel has been an abiding life-long passion. Mike has travelled to 77 countries, worked on-board a Greek cruise ship, and has been an international tour group leader in recent years, leading two group tours to Gallipoli for the ANZAC day commemorations.

Roy Ferguson

Roy Ferguson has been a career diplomat serving in a variety of posts over a 40 year career. He was New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United States from 2006 – 10 and prior to that Ambassador to Korea. His grandfather’s fought in the Boer War and the First World War. His Dad served in the Pacific and in Italy in World War II. He has spoken at ANZAC Day Services in the Republic of Korea and also on several occasions in the United States at the National Cathedral in Washington.

Dr Damien Fenton

Dr Damien Fenton is a military historian based in Wellington, specialising in Australian and New Zealand military history. This interest has seen him work in both Australia and New Zealand as an academic and a public historian. Raised in Mt Maunganui and an alumnus of Waikato University, Damien then moved to Australia to complete this PhD.

His first book 'A False Sense of Security: the Force Structure of the NZ Army 1946-1978' was published in 1998. He is the author of 'New Zealand and the First World War' (Penguin NZ, 2013), one of the first books to be published as part of the official Centenary History of New Zealand and the First World War series.

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Tel: (03) 3653 910

NZ Toll Free: 0508 100 111

Aust Toll Free: 1800 157 163