Next year ( Feb. 17, 2008), my wife and will be going to Australia and New Zealand. We know nothing about this area. We would appreciate your help as we plan our shore excursions. We often use independent tour operators for many of our other cruises, but we think it would be best to use Celebrity's tours for this trip? We love to walk and will often walk 10 or more miles with our dog. Would there be many attractions within walking distance from the dock? Here is our itinerary:
Thank you for any help on these ports. Are there any "don't miss" attractions?
Re: Shore Excursions?
Using the cruise line tours is probably the best way to go as we do have tourist based companies but they are hard to find as cruise ships are not a regular thing like they are in the Caribbean zone.
Dunedin is a very Scottish city as it reminded the settlers of their home country, as it is very chilly in winter. LOL
The must see here I think would be "Larnach Castle" which has a very tragic story behind it and is apparently "Haunted"!
I am not sure of how far the city is from the port on this one?
Also the best way to find out about all these ports would be to go to http://www.google.co.nz/ enter the name of the city and select "pages from New Zealand"
This will give you lots of info.
This city was settled by anglican english people in the main so it was a designed city so has a lot of geometric designed streets.
There are a lot of classic architectural buildings in CHCH including "The Cathedral" in "The Square" which is the center of the city.
The ship docks in Lyttelton (CQ2 zone) which is in an extinct volcano and is separated from the city by the hills of the crater.
The city is approx. 12Kms from the port and the road to the city goes via a 2 Km tunnel through the hills with no walking paths. (vehicles only)
You could however take the settlers track which goes over the hill and would only be suitable for "fit" people as it is quite tough and you would still have an 10K walk to the city.
On the other side of the hill is a gondola ride to the top which provides a great view's of the "Canterbury Plains" all the way to the "Southern Alps" (backbone of the South Island) on a good day.
The US air force runs their support system's for their and our Antarctic bases through CHCH airport called "Operation Deep freeze", I think?
There is also a visitors center in the area to experience what it is like down in Antarctica including a penguin house and a Snow vehicle extreme ride.
Here is a Lyttelton search page
Travel 25--We are doing the Syd-Auk sailing before yours, Jan. 20. Last week I browsed through the list of Celebrity excursions for our cruise and there seems to be a nice selection. I am really eager to see as much of the wildlife as possible. There are lots of walking tours, too.
We are going to have an extra day in Syd. and two extra days in Auk. which will give us even more time to sightsee. No sense being in Aukland if we can't see anything but the airport. This will be our only trip to these places. People I know who've been to NZ say how beautiful it is, even more than Aust.
To check out the excursions, go to the Celebrity website and click on Shore Excursions and Australia/NZ. It was fun to see them and have more to dream about. :)
1/02 Explorer E. Carib.
1/03 Explorer W. Carib.
8/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour
2/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/06 Jewel Brit. Isles/Nor. Fjords + 3 days in London
1/07 Mercury Mexican Riviera
1/08 Mercury Aust/NZ
We sailed earlier this year on the Stadenham and visited Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, fiordland, hobart (cancelled due to rough sea)2 days in Melbourne and then Sydney.
Tauranga if you like wildlife i reccommend the wildlife/maori tour. It is very interesting and we organised this through the ship.
Wellington - DIY. A group of 8 of us caught the yellow circle busses (every 20mins) 3 or 4NZD hop on/hop off. This is excellent and lets you see everything at your pace - Te papa museum is a highlight. The maratime museum is interesting as is parliment house.
Christchurch- Tranz alpine train trip - absolutley fantastic journey into the southern alps. Scenery to die for. Must do.
Dunedin - We booked ahead with back to nature tours. This is the scottish city of NZ and it was fitting our guide Chris had a scots accent. He was charming and knowledgable on the wildlife as they specialize in wildlife tours on penguins and albatross. We managed to fit a lot in the day at a relaxed pace - I highly recommend Lanarch Castle because of the wonderful gardens and make sure when you book your tour you get a city tour because the archeticture and viewpoints in this city are great. Highly recommended A+++++
Fiordland - the scenery here is unlike anyting you could imagine. Mountains up to 1600m rise from the sea. It rains a lot there (2 out of 3 days) so be prepared for low visibility.
Melbourne - If you enjoy a coffee go to Lygon street. The transport in this city is great. A free pass for the trams,trains and busses is only $5ausd for unlimitted travel. We just got lost in this city and discovered a lot of stuff we'd never even thought of. The Victoria Markets was great.
I hope this gives you an idea of some of things you could do...happy cruisin
I have just returned from cruising New Zealand on the Rhapsody of the Seas. I was lucky enough to find a tour company before I left Sydney. I got in touch with Des Harris who is the owner of Indigenous Trails (www.itrails.co.nz) and booked a tour with him from Tauranga to Rotorua.
He impressed me straight away by telling me he would not be putting the charges through my credit card until the day of my tour in case of delays, etc. I told him I would be telling other people on the ship about his tour We arrived in Tauranga and there were 6 who did the tour. It was an AMAZING tour. Des went out of his way to show us as much as he could. I was really pleased by the fact we finally had a local (Maori) guide to show us around. Des pulled a lot of strings to show us things no normal tourists would have seen. One of them being Gideon's Fields. Such a lovely, spiritual place with 2 beautiful people, Jan and Brian taking us on the trail to see the waterfalls and the walks.
This tour was the highlight of our 14 days cruise. I recommend that you should try this company if you are looking for something unique and cultural as well as not too touristy!
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