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jtsbusiness

Sydney to Auckland

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I am due to cruise on Noordaam at the beginning of Feb and wonder if anyone has already done this cruise.

I am travelling alone and wondered if anyone had suggestions for trips.  I am more of a scenery and local culture kind of person and hate trips that are fabricated for tourists.  Quite happy with HOHO buses but need to know what to look for but quite happy to go on an organised trip if it is worth it and allows me to appreciate my surroundings.  I appreciate it is all subjective but really could do with some help.

 

Going to Hobart, Port Chalmer, Akaroa, Picton, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, and finally 3 days in Auckland before flying home.

 

Really would appreciate some help PLEASE

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Thanks Colbe.  Very useful, although not a fan of visiting cinema venues.  I will probably be in a lot of trouble from my grandson who is an avid fan

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Go to the Roll Call section for your cruise & ship and post there. Bon Voyage.

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I've done about 4 or 5 NZ cruises from Australia. The local tour providers in each of your ports are well set up to provide plenty of options.

Port Chalmers is a charming little town that is pleasant to explore. It is some distance from the Dunedin and you will need to use shuttles to get there (Dunedin). Fare is about $10 or $15 return. There are local buses but they are infrequent. There will be tour operators dockside in the terminal building where you can choose from a variety of tours. Try to be early as many of the better (more popular) tours can book out fast.The Larnach Castle tour is a good one combined with sightseeing around Dunedin. Taieri Gorge rail tour is also very popular.

Akaroa is a beautiful little town with a French influence. Tours of Christchurch may be done from there as well as local tours. I've been there about 3 times and wandered about the town exploring historic cemeteries and taking in the quaint architecture of settlers houses. There is a very popular fish and chip shop at which my late wife and I would always grab lunch.

Napier. The port is a working one and you will shuttled to town and dropped off at the local visitors centre. Again a great choice of local tours are available. If you like art deco architecture you will love Napier. Vineyard tours are available here.

Picton. Another working port (lumber). Here we were welcomed ashore by friendly locals receiving a small flower pin for the ladies. You will be bused into town. From Picton there is a steam train to Blenheim (Ticket can be purchased on arrival) or boat tours of Queen Charlotte Sound. Can recommend both. Again, there are vineyard wine tasting tours and also specialty chocolate makers.

Tauranga. I'll be there in Feb (off Maarsdam) and have booked a Te Puia Rotarua Discovery tour. There are also tours to Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings), which I'll be doing as a part of a self drive land tour pre-cruise.

Aukland is a lovely city. Wife and I have twice done a guided Segway tour (Magic Broomstick Tours) at Devonport, a short ferry ride across the harbour.

There are online tour companies that specialise in the cruise market. One I have found to be very good is Viatour. https://www.viator.com/en-AU/New-Zealand-tours/Shore-Excursions/d24-g24

The only time I have booked a ship tour in New Zealand was when what was being offered was not otherwise available. e.g. A tour that included learning how to paddle a large Maori war canoe (waka) and learning waka war chant (Haka). Then paddling the canoes out into Wellington harbour.

Enjoy your cruise.

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3 hours ago, lyndarra said:

I've done about 4 or 5 NZ cruises from Australia. The local tour providers in each of your ports are well set up to provide plenty of options.

Port Chalmers is a charming little town that is pleasant to explore. It is some distance from the Dunedin and you will need to use shuttles to get there (Dunedin). Fare is about $10 or $15 return. There are local buses but they are infrequent. There will be tour operators dockside in the terminal building where you can choose from a variety of tours. Try to be early as many of the better (more popular) tours can book out fast.The Larnach Castle tour is a good one combined with sightseeing around Dunedin. Taieri Gorge rail tour is also very popular.

Akaroa is a beautiful little town with a French influence. Tours of Christchurch may be done from there as well as local tours. I've been there about 3 times and wandered about the town exploring historic cemeteries and taking in the quaint architecture of settlers houses. There is a very popular fish and chip shop at which my late wife and I would always grab lunch.

Napier. The port is a working one and you will shuttled to town and dropped off at the local visitors centre. Again a great choice of local tours are available. If you like art deco architecture you will love Napier. Vineyard tours are available here.

Picton. Another working port (lumber). Here we were welcomed ashore by friendly locals receiving a small flower pin for the ladies. You will be bused into town. From Picton there is a steam train to Blenheim (Ticket can be purchased on arrival at the station) or boat tours of Queen Charlotte Sound. Can recommend both. Again, there are vineyard wine tasting tours and also specialty chocolate makers.

Tauranga. I'll be there in Feb (off Maarsdam) and have booked a Te Puia Rotorua Discovery tour. There are also tours to Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings), which I'll be doing as a part of a self drive land tour pre-cruise.

Auckland is a lovely city. Wife and I have twice done a guided Segway tour (Magic Broomstick Tours) at Devonport, a short ferry ride across the harbour.

There are online tour companies that specialise in the cruise market. One I have found to be very good is Viatour. https://www.viator.com/en-AU/New-Zealand-tours/Shore-Excursions/d24-g24

The only time I have booked a ship tour in New Zealand was when what was being offered was not otherwise available. e.g. A tour that included learning how to paddle a large Maori war canoe (waka) and learning waka haka or war chant. Then paddling the canoes out into Wellington harbour.

Enjoy your cruise.

Edited due to a few typos

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Thanks Lyndarra.  This is just what I am looking for.  It sounds as if I can make my decisions on the day, depending on the weather.  I want to see as much of the country as possible but don't want to be stuck on a tour bus.  I too am on my own now and find it difficult sometimes to make those decisions, but so looking forward to the cruise.

Does anyone else have any suggestions please?

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Did this tour years ago, so there may be changes.  What stood out?  Picton--a charming small town where we boarded a catamaran, tea was served (food) and we sailed the Queen Charlotte inlet--beautiful.  It is also Marlborough wine country.  A walking tour in Wellington with a wonderful guide,  At the end of the tour, we told him we were going to find a well known cultural museum, and he walked us there.  It is a great cruise.  I am hoping the terrible fires in Australia will not affect it. If they do, I would just be glad that I was not among the thousands of people who have been affected and all those poor animals that have died.   We have friends doing the cruise at the end of this month and they are concerned.

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Hi jtsbusiness,  we've done this cruise twice ( though not with HAL-  until mid Feb on the Maasdam ),  we tend to opt for nature & scenery based tours. Things we really enjoyed on our last 2 visits were

Port Chalmers - we took a tour out to Tairoa Head - about 1.5 hours drive, travelling through Dunedin past picturesque villages along the waterfront to the cliffs where albatross nest & to a nearby fur seal colony. Good close & clear views of the fur seals - the albatross were further away, but the expansive views of the colourful cliff faces were fantastic. Port Chalmers itself has an historic church well worth visiting if you enjoy architecture - it's open to cruise ship visitors.

Picton - once away from the working port, has a lovely harbour, peace park, scenic walking tracks along the water past the marina. Authentic feeling Irish Pub,  & cafes serving locally caught fish. We didn't do any tours here - just enjoyed wandering & taking photos of the plant life & scenery. 

Wellington - we booked at the I-site a small group tour ( 4 of us) to explore along the shipwreck coastline, the guide took us to the native botanical gardens - spent around 40 mins there, then around points on interest and onto the shipwreck coastline drive - which we loved, it was so wild with rocky crags jutting out of the sea...We have also taken the cable car up to Kelburn - and wandered back down through the Wellington Botanical gardens (lovely) rose gardens & through the historical graveyard filled with ancient headstones.

Napier - we love Napier. The Gannet colony tour was awesome. Traveled out to Cape Kidnappers' passing into an expansive private wildlife protection zone , pulling up right next to the colony. Both the birds - with their chicks & the views were really something...Wandering around Napier itself - lovely Art Deco buildings, Sunken Gardens (near the beach) , plenty of walkways along the beachfront..And i have to mention - if you like historical cars - you can book a tour in one at the I-site for a 1/2 hour or more - my husband went for a jaunt in an MG - said it was so much fun, driving around all the points of interest, winery & chocolate factory was only meant to be for 1/2 an hour, but he & the driver were enjoying it so much it went for 2 ( he wasn't charged) 

Tauranga - the Hobbiton set was good, especially if your are a LOTR's fan; for a wander there are walking tracks around Mt Maunganui.  Small group tour to Te Puia Geothermal area we enjoyed  - the Pohutu geyser was quite active,  bubbling mud pools & sulfur encrusted vents, the Maori cultural performance very interesting.

 

 

 

 

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Forgot to say that we loved Napier as well.  We took a tour of a sheep farm and fell in love with the clever sheep dog that moved the sheep according to the kind of whistle heard from the farmer.

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Thanks Dunelm and RubyredDeb for your info.  The places sound wonderful.  Dunelm can you tell me who you toured Queen Charlotte Sound with and RubyredDeb who you toured with in Tauranga?

Really looking forward to going.

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3 hours ago, jtsbusiness said:

Thanks Dunelm and RubyredDeb for your info.  The places sound wonderful.  Dunelm can you tell me who you toured Queen Charlotte Sound with and RubyredDeb who you toured with in Tauranga?

Really looking forward to going.

Sorry - i can't remember who it was,  at Tauranga port, there was a pop up I-Site that you pass through from the port into town,  with a range of tour guides offering a variety of tours;  from large groups  to small ones, we simply browsed through the selection available for a tour that sounded like something we'd really enjoy , some nature, some scenery, some geo thermal & culture - & then a bit off the beaten track. The small group ones are more flexible i've found in taking you to extra points of interest.

 

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We did the re-positioing from Auckland to  Vancouver in the spring of 2017 and we are repeating it this spring .Several tours we did in 2017 we will repeatif time permits, The HOHO bus in Auckland, done before we boarded in 2017. The Museum is well worth a visit. In Hobart we visited the bonorang wildlife conservatory where hand feeding the free roaming Kangaroos  was my wifes highlight of the whole cruise, unfortunately Hobart is not on the itinerary for this years repositioning. Akaroa is a beautiful spot and we did a boat tour to see the small dolphins that are only found only there, walking afterwards along the shore and having fish and chips.  The lanarch castle visit is all about a facinating but tragic family story, beautiful place but with a somewhat  dark unhappy history.

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17 hours ago, jtsbusiness said:

Thanks Dunelm and RubyredDeb for your info.  The places sound wonderful.  Dunelm can you tell me who you toured Queen Charlotte Sound with and RubyredDeb who you toured with in Tauranga?

Really looking forward to going.

I went with the ship's excursion.

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13 hours ago, jtsbusiness said:

Is it easy to book in port?  I was always afraid that there would be limited availability

Some tours - especially so in Wellington we found had less availability,  that may have been either due to the fact there were 2 ships in port with a total of over 5000 passengers, or that the cruise ships had bought all popular tour tickets to sell through their shore tour system. At the I-Site there, we were told that a tour i wanted to go on ( Seal Coast Safari) was only available to be booked through the cruise ships...( Yes i have booked it this time :) ) . 

Tauranga though had plenty on offer when we arrived.

If there was something you really didn't want to miss out on - i'de probably book it through the ship just so you don't miss out.

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