Australia where the landscape is epic and it’s Opera House, famous around the world. The coasts of Australia and New Zealand are well known for their stunning scenery and fantastic weather. Many cruises departing from Sydney or Brisbane sail along Australia’s east coast. Australia is regularly voted as one of the world’s top cruise destinations for its endless summer weather and beaches along with incredible landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef and the stunning Kimberley Coast. It is also known for its deserts, mountains and rainforests and let’s not forget those cute koala bears.
Australia is a year round cruise destination although the wave season of October to April is when it is at its busiest thus provides the greatest choice of departures and itineraries. Nearly all major cruise lines visit Australia at some point with many lines home porting there. P&O Australia is the local mainstream cruise line catering mainly for Australians from ports such as Sydney, Melbourne and Freemantle for Perth. Carnival, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean have ships that sail in the area too. The luxury cruise lines such as Crystal, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas and Silverseas also visit Australia as part of their world cruise or sectors from the world cruise.
With the time and distance required to travel Australia and New Zealand extending your cruise with a land tour or a pre or post cruise stay would maximise your holiday.
New Zealand is known for its beautiful rugged coastlines, fjords, mountainous landscapes, thermal activities, sheep herding, beautiful greenery making for wonderful lush and picturesque landscapes. It is also well known for the indigenous people, the Maori who are the descendants of the Polynesian explorers who settled there more than 1000 years ago. The Maori are famous for their pretty intense tattoos and tribal dances.
New Zealand is split into two halves. The north and south islands are separated by the Cook Strait which, at its narrowest, is only 19 kilometres wide. The north island is more heavily populated with the larger cities such as Auckland and the capital, Wellington. The south island is famous for its mountains, lakes and glaciers. From the Bay of Islands at the top of the north island to the dramatic fjordland in the south and from the sweeping deserts vistas to pristine sunny beaches, you will discover ancient cultures full of inspiring wisdom and transporting beauty.
New Zealand is best enjoyed the peak summer months of December to February although the cruise season starts in Early October and runs until April.
The main ports in New Zealand are Akoroa, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Christchurch, Dunedin, Tauranga and Wellington and you can also visit the breathtaking Fiordland National Park and its crown jewel, Milford Sound. Many voyages sail round trip from Melbourne and Sydney. No visit is complete without a ride on the Terry Gorge Train into historic Dunedin. You can visit the imposing Larnach Castle along the Otago Peninsula. In Wellington, Lord of the Rings fan will thrill at a visit to Hobbiton and other motion picture filming locations, including a stop at the wondrous WETA workshop, a world leader in movie design and special effects. In Tauranga, you can see to the rich traditions, myths, and legends of New Zealand’s native Maoris at the Tamaki Village. Wine lovers may be interested in heading to some of the premier wineries on the Auckland Wine Trail.
A trip to new Zealand can be so much more than you ever imagined.