Breathtaking & Heart Stopping
With the breathtaking scenery of New Zealand and Australia and the heart stopping extreme activities like bungee jumping, there is room for every passion
Depending upon the amount of time you have available for your holiday, you have several options. You can take a cruise that sails round-trip from Australia, one that goes from Australia to New Zealand, visit as part of a world cruise or join a ship from the US as it repositions. For cruises originating in Australia and New Zealand, you can get a great holiday on a variety of cruise lines without needing to invest more than about 14 – 16 days of your holiday time. Most of these excursions will stop at key points in both countries, including Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart (Tasmania) in Australia and then Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Napier and Auckland, New Zealand. There are also itineraries of as little as seven days that will show you at least some of these areas.
If you have more time available, you have a couple of additional options. If at all possible, take a land tour after or before your cruise. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef alone could occupy days of your time, with its plethora of multi-coloured coral and sea life. Then there are the natural wonders of both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Go “tramping,” that is taking one of the many published self-guided nature walks, and you are sure to see sights that will truly amaze you. For the extreme adventurer, visit Queenstown, known as the adrenaline capital of the world – the home of “bungee.” There you can engage in a variety of heart-stopping pursuits, including leaping off bridges with large rubber bands around your ankles and taking extreme jet boat rides that will leave you hoarse from screaming.
For the tamer among us, of course, there is much to see and do of a cultural nature. Take a scenic bus tour; enjoy afternoon tea at an elegant sidewalk café. All of these things are available too, and that’s what makes this region truly appeal to just about everybody.
The best time to go is when it is wintertime on our side of the world, since it is summertime there. Their seasons’ run just about the same as ours do, only at the opposite ends of the calendar from ours.
Auckland is located on the North Island of New Zealand and has a population of over 1.4 million, making it one of the largest urban areas in New Zealand.
The city enjoys a temperate climate all year round and the highest temperature recorded was 30.5°C. Auckland tends to have lots of rain throughout the year, but mostly in winter and there have been violent hailstorms on occasion and even tropical cyclones.
There are some beaches that are especially suited to children, such as those at Judge’s Bay and Mission Bay, not far from central Auckland.
If you are looking for a holiday where there are plenty of water activities on offer then Auckland is the perfect destination. There is Goat Island Dive, where you can hire diving gear and explore a variety of locations or you can visit Kiwi Sail, where you can choose to sail in the morning, afternoon, evening or even all day if you wish. If you enjoy fishing, then you may want to take a trip to Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, where you will find snappers, sharks and much more. You can also swim, surf, snorkel and go scuba diving on one of the many beaches.
Brisbane enjoys a subtropical climate with warm or hot weather for most of the year. The hottest month is December with an average temperature of 30°C and even in the cooler months of June and July the average temperature is a pleasant 21°C. Most rainfall is in the summer months, the wettest being January with an average rainfall of 150mm.
There’s a great choice of cruise lines that start or stop off in Brisbane including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Cunard. The majority of cruise liners dock at the Portside Wharf Cruise Ship Terminal located in the inner city suburb of Hamilton and the larger cruise ships would use the Port of Brisbane.
Cairns - Qld
The tropical climate in Cairns ensures you’ll have warm weather to enjoy all the activities the region is famous for including diving, snorkelling, reef tours, bungee & much more.
This modern, sophisticated city with its extensive shopping and dining experiences, magnificent mountain backdrop and direct access to the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage Tropical Rainforests makes Cairns an extremely attractive cruise and fly/cruise port.
Lyttelton harbour is a beautiful scenic harbour located right beside the city of Christchurch. It offers the visitor spectacular scenery, a fascinating Maori and European history and an abundance of recreational opportunities. you can experience Lyttelton harbour for yourself by driving the short distance through the Lyttelton Road Tunnel or over the Port Hills.
Lyttelton harbour is the northern major sea inlet on Banks Peninsula, the one prominent feature on the coast of Canterbury, New Zealand. Banks Peninsula was once a volcanic island and Lyttelton harbour the sea-filled crater of a volcano that erupted 11 million years ago.
In the middle of the harbour lie three fascinating islands - Quail, Ripapa and King Billy.
At Jumping Crocodile Cruise there are more than 80,000 Saltwater Crocodiles which now roam the waterways of Northern Australia, yet they are rarely ever seen. Here on the Adelaide River, the crocodiles know the boats, they leave their place of hiding, knowing they may be fed. It is about an hour’s drive out of Darwin.
Litchfield National Park is a truly beautiful destination found just an hour and a half away from Darwin, with stunning tropical waterfalls and swimming holes.
Fremantle - WA
Fremantle has world-famous heritage buildings and a fascinating maritime and convict history. And it boasts the best-preserved example of a 19th-century port streetscape in the world. Essential stops on the history trail include WA’s earliest convict jail, the Roundhouse, Fremantle Prison and WA Maritime Museum. Freo has retained its authenticity, anything-goes attitude and creativity. It’s also a shopaholic’s heaven. Browse through crafts, clothes, jewellery, food and curios in the bustling Fremantle Markets.
You can get around most of central Fremantle for free on the CAT (Central Area Transit) Bus which runs every ten minutes during daylight hours. It is orange with a large black cat on the side. Look for the CAT symbol at bus stops, and maybe even paw-prints on the footpath. The CAT Bus is wheelchair and pram accessible, including kneeling (automatic lowering suspension) and ramp access. Stop #8 is right at the Passenger Terminal.
There’s more to Melbourne than meets the eye with gleaming modern architecture but if you look closer you’ll find the Australia of yesteryear with restored workers cottages and quaint old pubs paying homage to the bean and barley in typical Melbourne style tucked into gleaming high-rise neighbourhoods with stylish dining, drinking, entertainment and shopping venues. Whether you prefer people-watching or getting into the heart of the action, there is something for everyone.
Melbourne enjoys warm summers, glorious springs, mild autumns and crisp winters. With its variable climate, Melbourne hots up in the summer months of December to February then cools down in the autumn months of March to May. Melbourne’s top temperatures are usually in January and February. Those months are often dry and hot with June and July being the coldest months and the most rain falling in October.
Cruising to Napier in New Zealand means that you will berth at the Port of Napier, which is a kilometre north of the city’s centre. The port of Napier is a working port and does not have pedestrian access. That means you will need to catch the port shuttle to get into the city. Once you are in the city, it is very easy to get around Napier using the local bus services. The Port of Napier receives dozens of cruise ships each year.
Many of the large cruise companies, such as Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, and P&O, feature cruises to Napier, and you will also find some smaller specialist companies that offer tailor-made cruises. Some cruises cover Australia and New Zealand, with passengers flying to Sydney to join the cruise, which will take them around the North and South Islands. New Zealand is an excellent destination for cruises, as many of its attractions are close to the coast. There is also the option of choosing stopovers in cities in Asia or the USA if you have a few days to spare before or after the cruise.
Although Aussies who hail from other towns often disparage Sydney for its flashiness and hectic pace, urban inconveniences seem minor here compared to places like New York and London. Tourism is a huge industry around Sydney, and locals are accustomed and happy to provide visitors with service, helpful directions and a warm welcome to the stunning city that they call home.
Sydney is a definite stop on just about any cruise that travels Down Under and often serves as a starting or ending point for ships that also travel to New Zealand. It is the largest city in Australia, and while many of the nation’s cultural and financial institutions are located in Sydney, the city’s real draw is its dramatic natural scenery.
The smaller ships dock at Queens Wharf cruise terminal, located in the centre of Wellington. Taxis are generally available at the pier if you wish to go farther afield.
The big ships dock at Aotea Quay, between the Inter-Island Ferry Terminal and the train station. It’s a 5-minute walk to the train station, which has cafes, newsstands and small shops and local bus terminal for rides into the city. It’s a 20-minute walk to the city. A shuttle service is provided at Aotea Quay. There may be a cost for the shuttle depending on the cruise line.
The city of Wellington provides a shuttle to help passengers get from the cruise terminal to the centre of town. It costs NZD$7.50, cash only in NZD, USD or AUD, tickets are purchased at the terminal and can be used all day. The shuttles operate on a continuous loop and run frequently throughout the day.
Port Douglas - Qld
From its early days as a fishing village, Port Douglas has grown into a sophisticated and upmarket resort town that’s quite a contrast to Cairns’ hectic tourist scene. The outer Great Barrier Reef is less than an hour offshore, the Daintree Rainforest is practically in the backyard, and there are more resorts than you can poke a snorkel at.
Apart from easy access to the reef and daily sunset cruises on the inlet, the town’s main attraction is Four Mile Beach, a broad strip of palm-fringed, white sand that begins at the eastern end of Macrossan St, the main drag for shopping, wining and dining. On the western end of Macrossan you’ll find the picturesque Dickson Inlet and Reef Marina, where the rich and famous park their aquatic toys.