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13 minutes ago, Ombud said:

I booked with this company as you pay them directly (I'm paying in cash). Cadbury's has been replaced with another chocolatier 

664115780_Screenshot_20191005-160144_KeepNotes.thumb.jpg.16389a0763139bac39ded31a828033fe.jpg

Hi, 

Thank you so much. Have you heard of tourworksnz? I booked a tour with them.

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Posted (edited)

They look good too (no idea how many would be on the tour) but it doesn't work with my time in port and I want the chocolatier.  

 

What about Napier? I was going to whitewater but they didn't get any other reservations so I cancelled.  I go in 6 weeks so would love to firm up a few ports (spending 4 days in Melbourne pre-cruise and know what I'm doing there)

Edited by Ombud

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38 minutes ago, Ombud said:

They look good too (no idea how many would be on the tour) but it doesn't work with my time in port and I want the chocolatier.  

 

What about Napier? I was going to whitewater but they didn't get any other reservations so I cancelled.  I go in 6 weeks so would love to firm up a few ports (spending 4 days in Melbourne pre-cruise and know what I'm doing there)

There was a maximum of 12,15 20, i can't remember,  but small group. I don't go to Napier. That worries me too if they don't get people and cancel, what do you do last minute. I haven't thought about Melbourne and Wellington yet. I don't go until February. 6 weeks away is exciting! I'm doing a ship excursion in Akaroa because we're tendering and just figured that while no one had any suggestions,  this is a safe option.

 

Gail

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Exactly. I'm not planning on having to check in Melbourne and if he's letting me know a week ahead of time I'd be told when onboard (ship option is nearly 300). 

 

Melbourne - Free Tours by Foot (tipping), penguin tour, Victoria Market, circle CBD, Synagogue (always like to visit during services), street art .....

 

Here's my plan outside Melbourne:

11/28 - Dundin - Garden, Chocolate, and City Tour

11/29 - Akaroa - tender to city center, hike

11/30 - Wellington City Pass includes Cable Car RT & two attractions - Zealandia or Botanical Gardens and Introducing Te Papa Tour 

12/1 -   Napier - ABSOLUTELY no idea now

12/2 -  Tauranga - 1 hr 'walk' around the Mount from the port to the surf beach front for coffee and / or ice cream

12/3 -   Auckland - late walk off, Luggage Hotel reserved, Devonport Ferry leave by 2, Sky bus from Auckland CBD to Airport

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12 minutes ago, Ombud said:

Exactly. I'm not planning on having to check in Melbourne and if he's letting me know a week ahead of time I'd be told when onboard (ship option is nearly 300). 

 

Melbourne - Free Tours by Foot (tipping), penguin tour, Victoria Market, circle CBD, Synagogue (always like to visit during services), street art .....

 

Here's my plan outside Melbourne:

11/28 - Dundin - Garden, Chocolate, and City Tour

11/29 - Akaroa - tender to city center, hike

11/30 - Wellington City Pass includes Cable Car RT & two attractions - Zealandia or Botanical Gardens and Introducing Te Papa Tour 

12/1 -   Napier - ABSOLUTELY no idea now

12/2 -  Tauranga - 1 hr 'walk' around the Mount from the port to the surf beach front for coffee and / or ice cream

12/3 -   Auckland - late walk off, Luggage Hotel reserved, Devonport Ferry leave by 2, Sky bus from Auckland CBD to Airport

Hi,

You sound like you have it all worked out.  I don't have it in me anymore,  i want to be shown around.  Penguin tour in Melbourne is on my wishlist,  but i haven't figured it out yet.  I've visited synagogues in many cities,  but didn't even think of it in Melbourne.  I might take your idea for Wellington,  if i don't find a tour.  

I'm thinking I will do a free walking tour in Sydney for tipping also.

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Hi, we will be on the Norwegian Jewel in December and I have just finalized our plans for port days. 

 

Dunedin - Two hour Albatross Wildlife & Harbour Cruise in the morning with www.porttoport.co.nz then take the No.14 bus to the city center for the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and Railway Station. 

 

Akaroa - Three hour Quick-fire Akaroa & Bays tour with https://akaroa.com/tours/tour-south-fully-escorted-tours

 

Picton - Visit the Edwin Fox Museum, then walk to Bob's Bay and back.

 

Wellington - A busy day! Ride the cable car up the hill, walk down via the Botanic Garden. Visit the Te Papa Museum, Cuba St. for lunch, Uber/bus to Mt Victoria Lookout, explore the waterfront and Oriental Bay. 

 

Napier - 1.5 hour walking tour with the Art Deco Trust. Explore the MTG Museum and  Marine Parade.

 

Tauranga - Mount hot pools in the morning and hike the Mt Maunganui summit track in the afternoon. 

 

That's it folks! Any suggestion is welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, darlingyeap said:

Hi, we will be on the Norwegian Jewel in December and I have just finalized our plans for port days. 

 

Dunedin - Two hour Albatross Wildlife & Harbour Cruise in the morning with www.porttoport.co.nz then take the No.14 bus to the city center for the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and Railway Station. 

 

Akaroa - Three hour Quick-fire Akaroa & Bays tour with https://akaroa.com/tours/tour-south-fully-escorted-tours

 

Picton - Visit the Edwin Fox Museum, then walk to Bob's Bay and back.

 

Wellington - A busy day! Ride the cable car up the hill, walk down via the Botanic Garden. Visit the Te Papa Museum, Cuba St. for lunch, Uber/bus to Mt Victoria Lookout, explore the waterfront and Oriental Bay. 

 

Napier - 1.5 hour walking tour with the Art Deco Trust. Explore the MTG Museum and  Marine Parade.

 

Tauranga - Mount hot pools in the morning and hike the Mt Maunganui summit track in the afternoon. 

 

That's it folks! Any suggestion is welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds great. You have also planned your own Wellington day. I am still working on finding a tour, but I will follow your lead!

Gail

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On 10/6/2019 at 10:17 AM, aroundthehorn said:

Hi, 

Thank you so much. Have you heard of tourworksnz? I booked a tour with them.

 

Russ at Tourworks is a great guy. He knows all the places to visit & it is just a small group tour. We had a great day with him

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1 hour ago, mr walker said:

 

Russ at Tourworks is a great guy. He knows all the places to visit & it is just a small group tour. We had a great day with him

That's great! Thank you for the information.  He seemed great in all our communications. 

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On 10/5/2019 at 4:03 PM, Ombud said:

I booked with this company as you pay them directly (I'm paying in cash). Cadbury's has been replaced with another chocolatier 

664115780_Screenshot_20191005-160144_KeepNotes.thumb.jpg.16389a0763139bac39ded31a828033fe.jpg

 

What is the name of the company?  The picture doesn't mention or have a website shown.  It sounds interesting and a good value.   As I'm there after you, I hope you post back after your cruise and we can later compare experiences on the Pacific Northwest.

 

Jackie  (jseagal @ sonic dot net)

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45 minutes ago, jsiegel said:

 

What is the name of the company?  The picture doesn't mention or have a website shown.  It sounds interesting and a good value.   As I'm there after you, I hope you post back after your cruise and we can later compare experiences on the Pacific Northwest.

 

Jackie  (jseagal @ sonic dot net)

The tour company is:

Exploring New Zealand Limited

44 Island Terrace

Port Chalmers 9023 New Zealand

Ph: 03 5521105 Cell: 0274126335 tour@exploring.net.nz www.exploring.net.nz

 

And yes, I'll report back. Andrew has been very responsive.  He did state I could pay in A$ or NZ$ but it still had to be 40. 

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We have had good luck using TripAdvisor as a FIRST step.  We look at the website, putting in the town and "things to do".  Then there are lists, including provider names.  Most have direct contact info, but Google helps find the others if they look interesting.


We just email back and forth, and that helps with a sense of how responsive they are (or not!).

This way, we get whatever size group we want, we can customize the itinerary and how long to stay at each place (or move along if it's not a hit, or linger if it is 🙂 ).  We've done this with just the two of us, and also with up to about 6 or 8 from the Roll Call (chartering large catamarans in the Caribbean).

 

We haven't had a dud yet, although some were "absolutely fabulous", and others still very good.  And always a very small group.

 

We also ask the guides for suggestions, and sometimes they have a few other ideas we would not have thought about.

We are doing some of this again for our NZ/Australia cruise in Nov/Dec.

 

GC

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2 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

We have had good luck using TripAdvisor as a FIRST step.  We look at the website, putting in the town and "things to do".  Then there are lists, including provider names.  Most have direct contact info, but Google helps find the others if they look interesting.


We just email back and forth, and that helps with a sense of how responsive they are (or not!).

This way, we get whatever size group we want, we can customize the itinerary and how long to stay at each place (or move along if it's not a hit, or linger if it is 🙂 ).  We've done this with just the two of us, and also with up to about 6 or 8 from the Roll Call (chartering large catamarans in the Caribbean).

 

We haven't had a dud yet, although some were "absolutely fabulous", and others still very good.  And always a very small group.

 

We also ask the guides for suggestions, and sometimes they have a few other ideas we would not have thought about.

We are doing some of this again for our NZ/Australia cruise in Nov/Dec.

 

GC

Thank you.

That is what I have done in the past,  but i am having trouble with this itinerary.  I have most sorted out now, but not all. Also, my roll call is not very chatty. 

Gail 

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On 10/5/2019 at 9:07 PM, aroundthehorn said:

Hi,

You sound like you have it all worked out.  I don't have it in me anymore,  i want to be shown around.  Penguin tour in Melbourne is on my wishlist,  but i haven't figured it out yet.  I've visited synagogues in many cities,  but didn't even think of it in Melbourne.  I might take your idea for Wellington,  if i don't find a tour.  

I'm thinking I will do a free walking tour in Sydney for tipping also.

 

Would you let us know if you find anything special with penguins?
The few "really special" "penguin events" we've found thus far are all in the evening, and because of the cruise hours (yup, one of the bad things about a cruise, but more good than bad!), we can't do those.

We actually thought about staying over, and flying to the next port, but... we decided (probably!) not to do that. 

 

Thanks.


GC

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1 hour ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Would you let us know if you find anything special with penguins?
The few "really special" "penguin events" we've found thus far are all in the evening, and because of the cruise hours (yup, one of the bad things about a cruise, but more good than bad!), we can't do those.

We actually thought about staying over, and flying to the next port, but... we decided (probably!) not to do that. 

 

Thanks.


GC

I think something in Melbourne and we stay over. Maybe we can look for a tour for just us. I'll look. 

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19 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Would you let us know if you find anything special with penguins?
The few "really special" "penguin events" we've found thus far are all in the evening, and because of the cruise hours (yup, one of the bad things about a cruise, but more good than bad!), we can't do those.

We actually thought about staying over, and flying to the next port, but... we decided (probably!) not to do that. 

 

Thanks.


GC

 

Not sure about your itinerary. Toronga Zoo has a penguin encounter. https://taronga.org.au/sydney-zoo/animal-encounters

I was advised to book throuigh Viator.

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I have booked through viator,  but they are third party and i would prefer no to..i do think in the wild. Not a zoo. 

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On 10/12/2019 at 6:41 AM, jsiegel said:

 

What is the name of the company?  The picture doesn't mention or have a website shown.  It sounds interesting and a good value.   As I'm there after you, I hope you post back after your cruise and we can later compare experiences on the Pacific Northwest.

 

Jackie  (jseagal @ sonic dot net)

 

This is the URL for their website: http://exploring.net.nz/

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I just listed a number of sites to check for tours in NZ and Australia on one of Oceania's cruises in January.  If you want to see the list, go to the Roll Call section, query Oceania Regatta Jan. 6, 2020 cruise.

 

Also, for Akaroa in the countryside, you can go for a ride with the mail person, assuming you get to Akaroa in time to catch the tour at 9.  Akaroa's a tender port, so allow time to get ashore.  Also, you should probably book in advance due to limited seating, but I believe they won't refund your money if you don't make it. I think the cost is $80 NZD per person.  I haven't done it yet, so can't recommend it, but I'm thinking about booking it for our Jan. visit.   There is another port where you can ride along with the post employee, but I forget the port - google Coast with the Post and you might find it. 

 

In Burnie, the Discover Burnie website was very helpful.  On there, I found a two-person company and have hired them for a 4 hour tour outside Burnie (That's the Spririt Tours).  Tour is 4 hours and $135 AUD per person, no minimum number of people needed.  Again, can't recommend, as haven't been on the tour yet, but just thought I'd mention it. 

 

I don't suppose you're going to Geraldton or Exmouth, both on Australia's west coast, but if so, I have ideas for there; just reply.

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1 hour ago, roothy123 said:

I just listed a number of sites to check for tours in NZ and Australia on one of Oceania's cruises in January.  If you want to see the list, go to the Roll Call section, query Oceania Regatta Jan. 6, 2020 cruise.

 

Also, for Akaroa in the countryside, you can go for a ride with the mail person, assuming you get to Akaroa in time to catch the tour at 9.  Akaroa's a tender port, so allow time to get ashore.  Also, you should probably book in advance due to limited seating, but I believe they won't refund your money if you don't make it. I think the cost is $80 NZD per person.  I haven't done it yet, so can't recommend it, but I'm thinking about booking it for our Jan. visit.   There is another port where you can ride along with the post employee, but I forget the port - google Coast with the Post and you might find it. 

 

In Burnie, the Discover Burnie website was very helpful.  On there, I found a two-person company and have hired them for a 4 hour tour outside Burnie (That's the Spririt Tours).  Tour is 4 hours and $135 AUD per person, no minimum number of people needed.  Again, can't recommend, as haven't been on the tour yet, but just thought I'd mention it. 

 

I don't suppose you're going to Geraldton or Exmouth, both on Australia's west coast, but if so, I have ideas for there; just reply.

Thank you.  You're a doll. Looking forward to hearing from you post cruise. I did a ship excursion because of the tendering in akaroa.  If i find something better,  I can cancel.  

Thanks again. 

Gail 

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For nature lovers, if anyone's looking for something to do in Napier besides riding in an antique car to view art deco buildings, there are trips to see smelly gannets, LOTS of gannets!!  One trip is along the beach by some kind of special vehicle (beach adventures), another is by land by special vehicle (gannet safaris).  

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Hello, 

As you can see, long time lurker, but avid reader!

I came across your question while looking for unusual sights or restaurant recommendation in Sydney.  My husband and I are currently vacationing in Australia and just spent a week in Melbourne so I thought I’d share some special things we did.  
The Shrine of Remembrance is beautiful and moving.  As we are an Air Force Family (going back several generations) we always try to find a spot where we came acknowledge the sacrifice of previous generations. Melbourne’s Shrine did that for us, and more...and there is no charge.  Also, it is co-located with the Royal Botanical Gardens, also free, and a wonderful place to poke around.

 

We are huge fan of I amFree Tours...and they mean it.  They mention they’d appreciate a tip of your choosing at the end of the tour should you so choose.  We always tip because the tours are always outstanding...from Riga to Tallinn to Melbourne and now Sydney.  In Melbourne They meet at the steps in front of the State Library of Victoria. (Library not part of tour but I urge you to go in, it is beautiful...and free!) I believe there are three tours a day. Don’t let the size of tour scare you, they always have two guides and split the groups.  They provide audio equipment and we found there was no problem hearing or keeping up.  The pace was perfect.

 

Now that I’ve saved you a ton of money, splurge with a private tour to Phillip Island and the Penguin Parade with Posh Penguin Tours, I don’t know that I can paste website but they’re easy to find.  Now you may gulp at the price (I did) BUT if you are able to have a few folks join you it works out well.  James was our guide, and he was fantastic.  Thoughtful and easy going.  He tailored the program a bit at our request but all the stops we made which had an admission we’re included in his price, with the exception of the upgrade for the Penguin Parade.  We splurged on the Guided Ranger Tour and it was great, especially when you realize where the general admission stands are!  We were also able to stand along the boardwalk and watch the tiny (12 inches tall and weighing in at a mighty 2 pounds!) penguins waddle along to their burrows. Be advised, James’ tour last 12 hours but we stopped for lunch and dinner and we saw Koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils and Wallaby’s not to mention some fantastic scenery.  We had our photo taken with a Koala as well, something I so wanted to do!  The van was new, spotless and very comfortable.  He had bottled water for us and blankets should we need them for penguin parade.  Sounds like an ad for them but I wish we’d had this info.  We were winging it, which adds stress, but it sure turned out well.

Safe Travels!

Laura
 

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Regarding the penguins....the Little Penguins, also sometimes referred to as Fairy Penguins, return from fishing every night at sunset.  They waddle out of the water, head straight to the rocks hopping and waddling the entire way.  When they run out of rocks and reach the sand they lean forward, put their heads down and haul their little Aunt Fannies across the open sand.  Ranger said they’re at their most vulnerable then so there’s safety in numbers and speed. 
 

anyway, I’m saying this to explain why there’s no penguin parade earlier in the day.  The penguins are waiting to return under the cover of darkness.

 

Hope this helps.

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We're in Melbourne  overnight on Jan. 8, so I'm hoping to see the penguins in the St Kilda part of Melbourne,.  I've found this info, paraphrased by me: Each night tourists & some locals head to far end of pier as it starts to get dark, for penguins to appear. Number each night depends on number of factors, but in summer plenty, show spread over number of hours. Penguins don’t need to return each night – buoyant, can sleep at sea. Little penguins waddle over rocks to nests among rocks. Very important not to use flash as penguins don't have eye lids & flash can cause epileptic fits. Breakwater located end of pier, just past kiosk. Best viewing right after sunset at spots on boardwalk – see/smell them standing on rocks or on top of breakwater.  Stay 3 meters away; don’t stand on rocks.  See FAQs: http://stkildapenguins.com.au/skp/?page_id=59   and Q&As here: www.whentobewhere.com/travel-listing/st-kilda-little-penguins. Near start of pier is Catani Gardens - huge possums in trees at night.

 

You would have to take a taxi to/from the area, as the St Kilda pier doesn't appear to be easily/quickly accessible by public transportation.  However, St Kilda sounds like a kind of fun, lively place to have dinner (or drinks!), and there are other things to see.  It's basically south a bit from where the ship docks.  I notice that a guide on either Tours by Locals or Get Your Guide offers a tour of the southern reaches of Melbourne, including St Kilda.  His description of where he goes might provide a little more information, or perhaps he could even be hired for an evening tour.  Those tours are definitely small group tours, and usually with flexible itineraries, but the downside is that they are not cheap, so it's best to find another few people to join you.  If your Roll Call is inactive, as mine is, that might be difficult.  But those two sites should at least give you some ideas of what to do in Melbourne.  For me, the problem is narrowing those things down to a reasonable amount, as there is so much that interests me!

 

If you really want to see penguins, they can be seen on Phillip Island on a LONG day trip from Melbourne if you have a lot of time and an overnight in Melbourne.   There are also a few tour operators in Dunedin who offer tours to see penguins, although they may be a different type; not sure.

  

In Akoroa, it sounds like walking around is a tour in itself.  The tourist info center has brochures on that, or you could walk up to the Giants' House, and then back down to the lighthouse and nearby Garden of Tane and Anglican cemetery.  

 

In Wellington, you might find something from Hammonds Wellington tour (www.wellingtonsightseeingtours.co.nz).  They offer a shortish introductory tour at a reasonable price; minimum of 4 people, I believe. 

 

If your Roll Call is inactive and you have some time you may want to look at other Roll Calls to get ideas on what to do.  I notice Sea Princess and Sun Princess go to Australia and NZ a lot - maybe take a look in the Roll Call section for them.  Oceania Regatta around December - February can be good.  I just jump on a Roll Call, saying I'm not on the actual cruise for that date, but "following" to get ideas. 

   

So, a question for the group:  Someone either on this thread or another mentioned a "private section of Viator."  Where do you find this private section?  I've looked at Viator before (but never booked any tours through them) but never really noticed a private section.  Is there such a thing?

 

 

Edited by IWantToLiveOverTheSea

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2 hours ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

 

So, a question for the group:  Someone either on this thread or another mentioned a "private section of Viator."  Where do you find this private section?  I've looked at Viator before (but never booked any tours through them) but never really noticed a private section.  Is there such a thing?

 

 

 

 

Perhaps this? https://www.viator.com/blog/article/viator-private-tour-guides/l3

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