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About KiwiIan

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, New Zealand
  • Interests
    Travel, history, skiing, walking, motorcycles, classic cars, flying, people.
  1. There are plenty of tour companies in Tauranga that the i-site sells tours for, try here http://www.i-site.org.nz/bay-of-plenty-coromandel but best to do some research before you get to port so there is no rush and you get what you are looking for, other CC members can no doubt recommend ones they have used with success but can not do this here.
  2. Yes, a lot of money, and basically you are paying again for bed and food when you have already paid for it on the ship. You will miss the cruise through some of the most beautiful waters in NZ. My suggestion if you want to see som einland areas is to get a few together and book a flightseeing option from the Airport in Milford Sound, either fixed wing or helicopter, they can do a trip over the mountains into Quuenstown, have lunch and some sights there and then fly you back to join the ship, same sort of money but what a trip. Do some google resaerch and we are sure you can find a company to arrange this for you, works the other way as well if you want to fly from Dunedin.
  3. If your flight is at 6.30am then check in would be 4.30am, so an airport hotel would be best, Novotel only just opened and a good hotel, 2 minutes walk to the terminal, can book a day tour with a local tour company who will collect you from the ship, get them to meet you at the reception of the Hilton Hotel which is 50 metres from the cruise terminal, otherwise there are often security stopping buses getting onto the wharf to meet cruise passengers, but they never stop us getting to the Hilton, at least you have a good place to wait while your tour guide shows up. You can see a lot in a full day in Auckland, the i-site http://www.i-site.org.nz/auckland can assist with finding a good local company, go for one who is Qualmarked. They will drop you at the Novotel that evening. Its a 25 to 30 minute drive from the City to the airport and you will probably want an early night anyhow. Hope your cruise goes well,
  4. You can find a good local tour company by going to the NZ i-site network, http://www.i-site.org.nz/auckland These are council run informatioon centres who have details of all the best tour companies, you can try google to find them also, most will meet you at the airport, provide a half day tour [that would be enough after a long flight i think] and then drop you at the ship which you can normally boatd around 1 to 2 pm. They would look after your luggage, do a tour share and then share the cost of this with others if you are on a budget.
  5. Yes, been away for a while, busy running the business, used to love seeing all the various input to the CC boards, will try and keep any eye on them for now and put straight any issues that i see. Regards. News today re the RENA ship wreck, weather a little worse so pumping of oil stopped but should resume after a day or so as good weather expected. Having visited the Incident Control Centre today here in Tauranga and spoken with some of the key players i really am confident that we can deal with this issue. It will be a long haul and there may be some more oil spills but these will be short term issues cleaned up quickly by an army of volunteers [the first time volunteers used in such an incident anywhere in the world i am told] mainly and the beaches will be back to normal soon. Great Photo opporunity for the cruise passengers as well, though you will need a telephoto lens as we have an exclusion zone and the cruise ships will be taking a wide berth around the reef i am sure. So no worries about come to Tauranga on the cruise boats or even just a shore based holiday, we need your support as many businesses will be affected for a while. Two ships in port tomorrow so another busy day.
  6. This has all changed this year as the ships made the port kick off the operators who used to line up by the ship, too much competition, now you must buy tours through the port i-site which is just 100m from the ship, lots of options [around 40 i think] but there could be some long queues so its best if you want to be sure of getting what you want on the day to research via the web, like here, and pre book your private shore excursiosn.
  7. Ship provides shuttle to the city i-site where you can buy tours from local operators [all authorised], some ideas would be. 1] Take the ART DECO society guided wlaking tours. 2] take a longer tour in a clasic Packard car from the 30's out to wineries etc, book by the hour. 3] visit the marine aquarium about a 20 minute walk from the i-site. 4] Visit the wineries this place is famous for, need a guide and car etc, plenty of options. 5] Take a cycling tour with one of a nunber of comapnies [flat land makes it easy] 6] Try the DUCK tour! 7] Get out past CLIVE and see the Te Mata peak, a great viewpoint over the vineyards. 8] Spend the day in the open air pools just up the road.
  8. Lots of options close to the ship berth, 1] NZ Maritime Museum, with sailing trips on historic vessels 2] Sail an Americas cup yacht 3] take a leisurely cruise on a 40ft sailing yacht. 4] look around the new waterfront [revampred for the Rugby World Cup] 5] Join the locals on the ferry to Devonport, an histric section of the city. 6] More time ferry to Rangitoto, the 600 year old newly erupted volcano, walk to the top. 7] Catch the bust to Mission bay and enjoy the best fish and chips in Auckland at the Fish Pot cafe [last shop on the front] either in the restaurant or best still on the beach from the newspaper. 8] Book lunch at the sky tower [free access so the meal is almost free] as you dont pay the charge to get to the top, drop a coin in the slots in the casino on the way down and you could end up a winner. 9] Visit the newly refurbished Art gallery. 10] The Auckland Domain, park and a great Museum, donation to get in and a great Maori concert mid day as well. Hope that helps, from a pom now living in NZ.
  9. While the shuttle operated by the person making the comment was indeed free, as ever there is no such thing as a free lunch, the aim being to entice you into a gift shop to buy stuff and also sell you one of their tours to Rotorua, makes sense as what private company would spend thousands on buses if there was not a dollar in it for them. Due to these actiosn the ships have forced the port to not allow any operator to trade [free shuttle or otherwise] inside the port area, which was a unique situation for Tauranga in any case. The huge increase in the number of independant tour companies [us being one of them] and large numbers of hire cars being offered "for hire" finally got to the point where the ship said no more. Now all operators must sell through the port located information centre, pay commissions, and leave the customer interface to the council employed staff. Passengers can still get some great on the day tours booked here but the old days are gone. Best way is of course to go through the official channels of sites like Tourism NZ, Qualmark etc, or just google for the things you want to do. And by the way, the current situation with a container ship aground 3 miles off shore [ the RENA] has had no impact on the cruise ships or anything the passengers on board may want to do, so dont believe all you read in the press, Tauranga is open for business, ships, and able to offer cruise passengers a great choive of things to do, both local and in Rotorua.
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