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-   -   Australia/NZ cruise questions? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/australia-new-zealand/346819-australia-nz-cruise-questions.html)

kmm44 February 17th, 2008 01:01 AM

Australia/NZ cruise questions?
 
We are recently off the Mercury to Aust/NZ. I posted a couple of replies to questions on the Celebrity thread and the host suggested I check in here, too. We had a great time, in spite of the looong flights over and back. I would be happy to answer questions for future Australia/NZ cruisers. Our itinerary included:
Sydney 2 nights-- 1 hotel and 1 on ship
Sea
Melbourne
Sea
Hobart, Tasmania
Sea
Sea
Sea--Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds
Dunedin
Christchurch
Wellington
Sea--Volcanic White Island
Tauranga
Aukland--2 extra nights here in hotel.
While on the cruise we booked a S. Carib. cruise for next Jan. It's always nice to have something to look forward to. :D

JimmyD February 17th, 2008 11:26 AM

kmm44, What did you do with your 2 days in Sydney? We will actually be there 3 days (1 on the ship and 2 in a hotel). We had to stay the extra day in order to get a business class seat on our flight back, but that gives us more time to see the area. Any recommendations for how to split up our time? Would also like to hear from anyone else for suggestions. We are early 70's and get around very well. We are presently undecided as whether we should book our hotel near the airport or near the port. We will probably do most of our port area sight-seeing during our day on the ship. We will be in Sydney Dec 7-9.

kmm44 February 17th, 2008 01:50 PM

We flew in the day before boarding. Unfortunately, it was raining and we didn't do as much as we'd hoped. We did walk around the area of the hotel, found a food court for lunch in a mall created in an historic building.
Later we took a local bus to the Marriot for an early get-together of people on our CC (the other cruising website) roll call. We ended up walking back and finding a pub for dinner.
After lunch on the ship the next day we went across the street to The Rocks, an open air marketplace and did some browsing and shopping with another couple we met last year, also on Mercury. The famous opera house was right across from our cabin window. We opted to skip the bridge climb, but if you want to do that you should get reservations in advance. The Hilton had an X rep on site and the concierge was very helpful.
There is a Hop On/Hop Off sightseeing bus you could take since you have more time than we did. Our cruising friends came in the day before we did and had booked a private tour to the Blue Mts. and Featherdale Wildlife Park, instead of doing the cruiseline tour on sailing day like we did.
Check this and the other cruising website to see if there is a roll call for your cruise. You may be able to hook up with someone and roam around together.
Don't forget to get your Australian visa before you go. You can do it your- self from the visa (ETA) website for $20 AUD or your TA can do it for you at no cost. There is a $25 pp departure tax that must be paid before you leave NZ. We used NZ cash, but you can use a credit card. They seem to get you coming and going, lol.

JimmyD February 17th, 2008 02:30 PM

Thanks! My better half does the other place, and I do this one. She says she is on the roll call for this cruise and has made contacts.

JimmyD March 5th, 2008 06:05 PM

Re: Australia/NZ cruise questions?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kmm44
We are recently off the Mercury to Aust/NZ. I posted a couple of replies to questions on the Celebrity thread and the host suggested I check in here, too. We had a great time, in spite of the looong flights over and back. I would be happy to answer questions for future Australia/NZ cruisers. Our itinerary included:
Sydney 2 nights-- 1 hotel and 1 on ship
Sea
Melbourne
Sea
Hobart, Tasmania
Sea
Sea
Sea--Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds
Dunedin
Christchurch
Wellington
Sea--Volcanic White Island
Tauranga
Aukland--2 extra nights here in hotel.
While on the cruise we booked a S. Carib. cruise for next Jan. It's always nice to have something to look forward to. :D

What is the best way to get into Wellington (city area) from the cruise ship dock? About how far is it? Is it an area that's okay to walk in? Did you take a tour here?

kmm44 March 5th, 2008 09:57 PM

We did the cruiseline sponsored Wellington Highlights excursion. There is a shuttle available from the ship for $6usd each way. Tickets could be purchased on board charged to your SeaPass. It's a 10 min drive, so might be too far to walk.
On our excursion we stopped at the botanical gardens, the cable car, Mt. Victoria,Old St. Paul's Church,the waterfront, Parliament House and the "Beehive", another distinctive government building. We drove all around the city with our hilarious bus driver--he should have his own show, lol.
Except for Hobart and Wellington, all our excursions were day-long and included lunch.
When are you going and what ship?

JimmyD March 5th, 2008 10:09 PM

Millennium- Nov. 23, 2008

Lombard March 9th, 2008 05:09 AM

The Wellington CBD is a short 5 minute walk from the dock.
If you choose to do the walking thing then there are a few things you need to know.

I hate to admit this but Wgtn does not have a dedicated cruise dock.
When you get in you will be parked near the wood/timber exporting area.
The walk to the CBD starts exiting the secure area to a badly sealed footpath next to old rail lines.

The first set of traffic lights is where you should cross to the right hand side of the road (and use this crossing on the way back).
Watch out for big trucks (semi's to the yanks) and lots of other traffic as this is the entrance/exit to the port for all traffic.

The CBD area starts at the Wgtn railway station (a big brick building on your right).
Rail enthusiast's should take a round trip on the "Johnsonville line" which is about an hour in total.

Having said all of the above the best way to visit Wellington would be one of the guided tours as there is so much to see that a walking tour would not do my hometown justice.

The web page for "Centerport" (Wgtn port) is here http://www.centreport.co.nz/

kmm44 March 9th, 2008 02:38 PM

Lombard, Wellington isn't the only port with huge amounts of lumber next to the pier. We were amazed to see it at every port. Logs in all stages of finishing, boards, wood chips, you name it. It is a evidently major industry in New Zealand.
I agree that a motorcoach tour is the best way to see the highlights without wearing yourself out.

sueted February 2nd, 2009 10:04 AM

I am going on a circum navigation of Australia and NZ Can anyone please tell me where the cruise terminals are in relation to Bunbury Albany Adelaide Melbourne (Aus) Burnie (Taz) Hobart (Taz) Dunedin Christchurch Wellington (NZ)
Do free shuttle buses run into town from all these We dock in Port Chalmers for Dunedin and Lyttleton for Christchurch
I would like to visit Tingle Forest and Valley of the Giants from Albany is this possible under my own steam?
I would also like to visit Kangaroo Is from Adelaide
Basically my idea would be to travel as cheaply as possible by public transport and to visit these places to walk around at my own speed
Why dont cruise lines at least give basic info about transport - I know they want me to book an excursion - but I prefer not to if poss
Thanks in advance
this is a general question but any help you can offer on these destinations would very welcome

Marvia November 26th, 2009 12:39 AM

NZ/Australia 12/22/09
 
We're going on Diamond Princess to New Zealand and Australia. Has anyone been on this type of cruise before? Shore excursion suggestions? Weather very hot?? Any help would be appreciated.

hopek November 28th, 2009 10:56 PM

Hey Marvia,

What dates are the cruise that you are on? I grew up in Tasmania and work in the industry so I can definitely help you out with some of your questions? Here is a little bit about what I know and then let me know if you do have any other questions.

Hobart (my home town) - is great for sightseeing and the port is very well set up for passengers with free shuttles into town and back to the ship. Hobart, especially Salamanca Place is beautiful and does some amazing souvenirs, arts and crafts!

If you elect to do a tour Hobart and surrounds is very picturesque and lot of beautiful natural scenery. Port Arthur is extremely well know for its fascinating history and past, but it is a bit of a drive and can get quite crowded, especially when a ship is in. Some amazing alternatives are Tahune Airwalk, Richmond Village, Russell Falls and Bonorong Wildlife (will mean you can see the Tassie Devil), Mt Wellington, winery tours etc - there are lots of options. If you are interested in organising a private tour or booking with an independent tour operator I can also provide you with some great information for Hobart. I am currently setting up a website Shoretours.com.au which allows cruise ship passengers to help find local operators and if you would like I can send you a brochure.

The other port I know a lot about is Sydney, its where I live now and I think its one of the most beautiful cities in the world! I hope that you are able to spend at least a few days here, Bondi Beach, Opera House, Circular Quay, Blue Mountains Hunter Valley are all beautiful and different to what you will see in the other ports.

Weather wise - I am sorry to break the news to you but you will need to pack for all 4 seasons! Sydney has been incredibly hot already this season - we have already had 41C this year! And Hobart and NZ are quite a big farther south so I would still recommend pants, jeans, light sweaters and a jacket. Please do not forget your sunscreen! We are not kidding when we talk about the Australian sun, even for Hobart.

Like I said, if I can help with anything else let me know, else enjoy your cruise, you are coming to a beautiful part of the world!

Hope

Marvia December 14th, 2009 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hopek (Post 1260265)
Hey Marvia,

What dates are the cruise that you are on? I grew up in Tasmania and work in the industry so I can definitely help you out with some of your questions? Here is a little bit about what I know and then let me know if you do have any other questions.

Hobart (my home town) - is great for sightseeing and the port is very well set up for passengers with free shuttles into town and back to the ship. Hobart, especially Salamanca Place is beautiful and does some amazing souvenirs, arts and crafts!

If you elect to do a tour Hobart and surrounds is very picturesque and lot of beautiful natural scenery. Port Arthur is extremely well know for its fascinating history and past, but it is a bit of a drive and can get quite crowded, especially when a ship is in. Some amazing alternatives are Tahune Airwalk, Richmond Village, Russell Falls and Bonorong Wildlife (will mean you can see the Tassie Devil), Mt Wellington, winery tours etc - there are lots of options. If you are interested in organising a private tour or booking with an independent tour operator I can also provide you with some great information for Hobart. I am currently setting up a website Shoretours.com.au which allows cruise ship passengers to help find local operators and if you would like I can send you a brochure.

The other port I know a lot about is Sydney, its where I live now and I think its one of the most beautiful cities in the world! I hope that you are able to spend at least a few days here, Bondi Beach, Opera House, Circular Quay, Blue Mountains Hunter Valley are all beautiful and different to what you will see in the other ports.

Weather wise - I am sorry to break the news to you but you will need to pack for all 4 seasons! Sydney has been incredibly hot already this season - we have already had 41C this year! And Hobart and NZ are quite a big farther south so I would still recommend pants, jeans, light sweaters and a jacket. Please do not forget your sunscreen! We are not kidding when we talk about the Australian sun, even for Hobart.

Like I said, if I can help with anything else let me know, else enjoy your cruise, you are coming to a beautiful part of the world!

Hope

Thanks, Hope! I wrote a long reply, but I don't see it posted -- wonder what happened to it. Anyway, we'll be in Tasmania 12/30/09. We were close friends of a native Tasmanian, John Forward, in our U of Michigan years (1964 to 1971). We lost touch but often wonder if John went back home after his divorce from his wife, Kay.

We're looking forward to our cruise. My hubbie always gets annoyed with me for all the clothes I bring. Wait until I tell him we'll need 4 season clothes!! Can't wait to sail.

hopek December 20th, 2009 07:29 AM

Hobart - Great Time of Year
 
Hi Marvia,

You are going at the perfect time! Hobart experiences one of the best weeks of the year from Christmas to New Years when we celebrate the Hobart Summer Festival. The whole waterfront is packed with entertainers, stalls and people! The main reason being the Taste of Tasmania festival which is held in one of the shipping warehouses near Salamance Market. The Taste of Tasmania is amazing and is literally a market of all the best restaurants and produce we have to offer. Each stall only serves sample size plates so you can enjoy a whole range of amazing little meals! There will be buskers, bands and performers there as well. I would recommend this as my number one things to do in Hobart. If you do decide to do a tour, just make sure it is a half day so you have plenty of time to wander Salamanca and the Taste and really enjoy the atmosphere of the wharf.

Clothes-wise, please break the news to your husband gently! But remember you can also get some lovely clothes here in Aus, though a lot more expensive than the US.

Have a fantastic cruise!

Roddonn August 2nd, 2010 03:10 PM

We'll be in Hobart on Dec. 14, 2010, and after reading your post, I'm hoping that
this summer festival will start a bit earlier than the Christmas week. It sounds
fantastic, and would hate to miss it all. After doing quite a few tours in NZ
(HAL's Volendam) this would be a welcome change. Any other advice?
Donna

Lombard August 4th, 2010 04:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roddonn (Post 1306986)
Any other advice?
Donna

On what?????


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