As one of our closest neighbours, both geographically and culturally, New Zealand is a country whose attractions are well-known to most Australians. A holiday across the Tasman is a great idea for many reasons: they speak the same language (most of the time), the locals are friendly (as long as you don’t bring up sporting rivalries) and the scenery is pretty spectacular… and a cruise is a great way to experience all that New Zealand has to offer.
After you’ve settled into your stateroom, it’s up to you how you spend your days. Onboard the ship there’s plenty to keep you entertained, from live shows to art galleries, fitness facilities and great restaurants. Once you arrive in New Zealand waters, you can choose how you spend your time ashore: here’s a taste of what you can expect from a cruise holiday in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
The southwest corner of the South Island offers some of the most spectacular scenery in a country that’s jam-packed with photo opportunities, but much of it is only accessible from the water. Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound are remote and beautiful locations that feature an abundance of towering mountains and inquisitive wildlife, including cute fur seals, playful dolphins and comical penguins. Far away to the north, the sub-tropical waters of the Bay of Islands are dotted with lushly-forested islands and fringed with beautiful beaches, and there are plenty of scenic attractions between these two extremes.
Your time ashore can easily be tailored to your preferred level of excitement, ranging from downhill mountain biking to white water rafting to the heart-stopping thrill of a jetboat ride. Try your hand at surfing, diving or game fishing, or, if you prefer something more sedate, there’s wine tasting, art gallery tours or shopping.
New Zealand produces some of the world’s best wines, so no visit would be complete without a chance to sample the wares. From the lovely Art Deco city of Napier to the French-influenced harbour of Akaroa, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find out what all the fuss is about.
Auckland is widely considered the Polynesian capital of the world; Wellington styles itself as the nation’s cultural epicentre; Christchurch is the most English of cities and Dunedin is fiercely proud of its Scottish culture.
Fiordland isn’t the only region to offer the chance to encounter unique and fascinating wildlife up close. An eco-cruise in the Bay of Islands offers the chance to see whales, dolphins, penguins and marlin; in Dunedin you can visit an albatross colony or you can play with meerkats or stroke a cheetah at the acclaimed zoo in Wellington.
A cruise is a great way to explore all the natural wonders that New Zealand has to offer: ask your personal travel manager to recommend an itinerary to suit you.