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richwmn

Noordam - A Passage to New Zealand

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7 hours ago, new2cruise said:

 

Oh thank you!! That is exactly what I'm looking for!  Never having been to that part of the world, I can use all the info and tips I can use!

 

 South Island

 

Wellington

The port is not walking distance to so shuttle from the cruise ship will drop you either downtown near the government building or near the I-Site office near Cuba street. If you get off at the second stop near the Wellington I-site there are numerous tour buses -New Zealand Hop On HopOff. one of the buses is for the Zealandia a wildlife sanctuary not far. they pick you up and learn a great deal about native birds in New Zealand and again get to feed Kookimari birds out of your hand. they have a bus that will drop you off at the top of the hill where Wellington Cable car and Royal Botanical Gardens are. we did that as the lines are a LOT shorter at the top of the hill and the bottom. Once at the bottom you can then walk back to the other museums near the bay. The national Museum of New Zealand was free and the Gallipoli exhibit with models from WETA (lord of the rings studio) were impressive. the Wellington Museum is also worth a stop while downtown. walking up to Mount Victoria is another option time permitting

 

Napier

again there are shuttles from the port that will take you to town and drop you outside the I-site visitor center near downtown or further down the beach at the Aquarium. The aquarium supposedly is nice but we opted to spend the majority of the day there simply walking around enjoying the shop restaurants and the wonderful art deco architecture in Napier. you can't do a lot since there is an early disembarkation I think we had to be back on the ship at 1:30 PM. Again there were wine tours. There were guided tours of the city as well as walking tours. Most of this you can figure out on your own. Try and find Clive square which is a really scenic public park on the outskirts of the art deco district . walking along the boardwalk known as the Maine parade is a great way to start or end your day. The aquarium has some impressive paintings on its exterior

 

Tauranga/Rotorua

There is a bus that will take you in to Tauranga after you go through the gates of the port terminal. There two desks that will connect you with tour operators before going through the terminal gates . You can connect with tour companies and book things on the spot that will be cheaper than HAL. we opted for the Rotorua HopOn HopOff bus that will simply drive you to Rotorua that is an hour south of Tauranga.  the HopOn HopOff is run by Bethlehem Coach lines. It offers a number of options stops including Whakarewarewa, Te Puia, Skyline/Gondola ride/Sky Swing, Rainbow Springs, Rotorua Lakefront and Government Gardens, Polynesian Spa, Blue Baths and Rotorua Duck Tours. Due to the time to get down there and the early disembarkation you are limited to choosing one of the attractions. we chose the Gondoloa ride and Luge and felt like big kids doing it. we wanted to go to Wai-O-Tapu the really amazing thermal area but couldn't find a tour to get there.Again no interest in wine tours or Hobbit sets.

 

Auckland

We opted for the shuttle to the airport as our flight left at 3:30 and didn't know what to expect with the gate and customs. HAL ddi little to nothing to assist with this other than take your money. NO signs showing which bust to get on and no one at the airport to assist other than the bus driver. One of my fellow passengers tumbled down the stairs of the bus.  the airport is about a 45 minute drive from the port. the gates don't open until 3 hours before your flight meaning you have toi wait in the terminal for a couple hours before you can even check your bags. United did a miserable job of baggae drop and would highly recommend using ANY other airline other than them. The Duty free area is like its won shopping mall.  The international terminal is a hike and if you aren't an avid walker I saw very few people assisting some of the elderly passengers. The food court is nice and worth visiting before you leave as there is nothing  on some of remote terminals E11-15.

 

hope this helps

 

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Thanks for this detailed port synopsis.  Really good and just what I needed.

Are the shuttle buses free or do you have to pay for them?

For purely basic needs do you require nz dollars and if so how much do you think you need? I usually use cr cards for everything

 

 

 

 

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This is wonderful info. Thank you for taking the trouble to do this. I am bookmarking it for future planning purposes.

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On 12/4/2019 at 11:38 AM, new2cruise said:

We'll be flying from Sacramento to Honolulu, and then to Sydney.  We'll visit Eden, Burnie, Melbourne, Fiordland National Park, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Gisborne, Tauranga, and ending up in Auckland.

 

Thanks so much for your time and effort to do this!

Some other suggestions:

Melbourne, We took the local bus/tram from the cruise terminal. It was $15au. They give you an excellent map and at all the main transfers they're people who direct you. Very easy to use and goes to a lot of tourist areas.

Dunedin,We took the tour with Hal to Lanark Castle. Beautiful drive, beautiful gardens, interesting history. 

Wellington, free shuttle with 2 stops. Go to the 2nd stop at Te Papa Museum, free, fabulous. The Botanical gardens, also free are a beautiful walk, but uphill. Long lines for the Cable car as tours jump the line. 

Napier, take the shuttle to the Aquarium and walk back along the waterfront. 

Tauranga, We took the Living Village Experience tour with Hal. Excellent, good meal, interesting drive saw Kiwi farms, tree farms, cattle and sheep. 

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Can anyone share their experiences of the Sapphire Coast (Eden, NSW)? It looks like a small town which is going to be swamped by cruise passengers.

 

I'd really like to travel out from Eden up the coast but transport looks non-existent and HAL's excursions are really expensive.

 

Did anyone manage to do anything other than wander round Eden and have coffee?

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On 12/9/2019 at 12:04 AM, jtsbusiness said:

Thanks for this detailed port synopsis.  Really good and just what I needed.

Are the shuttle buses free or do you have to pay for them?

For purely basic needs do you require nz dollars and if so how much do you think you need? I usually use cr cards for everything.

 

Shuttles, when required, were free.  Never needed NZ$ - a very credit-card friendly country and we used ours everywhere (fyi, ours is a Visa so can't speak to other cards).

Edited by zelker

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