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Tour that includes land animals on Princess world cruise 2023


shamrockace
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Princess doesn’t have any land animal based excursions listed on our world cruise for the New Zealand and Australia stops. Can anyone advise if there are any to do on our own?  
 

We have stops in Bay of Island, Auckland, Tauranga, Picton, Wellington, New Plymouth, New Zealand as well as Sydney, Moreton Island, Airlie Beach, Cairns, Darwin, Australia.  TYIA

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27 minutes ago, shamrockace said:

Princess doesn’t have any land animal based excursions listed on our world cruise for the New Zealand and Australia stops. Can anyone advise if there are any to do on our own?  
 

We have stops in Bay of Island, Auckland, Tauranga, Picton, Wellington, New Plymouth, New Zealand as well as Sydney, Moreton Island, Airlie Beach, Cairns, Darwin, Australia.  TYIA

 

I assume that Hobart, Tasmania isn't included?  

There was an amazing animal sanctuary there, and the "extra fee" private tour was one of the highlights of our NZ/OZ cruise.  All of the animals are either being rehabilitated or judged unable to return successfully to the wild.

(If I remember correctly, there may have been another port where there was a sanctuary, but I'm not 100% sure.)

We were able to interact directly with some animals (including koala! so cute!) and, um, less directly with a few others, like the Tasmanian Devil - whose bite can apparently be ferocious.  We took the guide's word for that(!) and used something sort of like a grabber with a LONG handle to feed one.

There were some kangaroos just walking around freely.

At one point, when I was staring at a koala, DH suddenly and softly said my name, followed by "... you are surrounded by kangaroos!"  Indeed I was.  There were about 5, so I took some food (provided by the sanctuary, so all is good there!) and one of them kept nibbling out of the palm of my hand.

We saw another with a little joey peeping out, but that one didn't approach us quite as directly.

It was all amazing.

 

And in Sydney, just 2 years ago, shortly before we arrived, the Sydney Zoo had just opened their new, very small hotel right inside the zoo.  The important part is the location, of course.  Our room was one where a koala slept right outside our window.  🙂   We were up and down all night (and then some), watching it as it moved around the tree a bit, or was back down and then back up again.  There was an older version (of the hotel, not the koala!) nearby; it was more like glamping there.   Being "right there"... very special.

Both of these included short pre-opening and after-closing tours.

 

DH dashed out into the main zoo (just a small gate) as soon as the ticket office opened the next morning, to get 2 tickets to the private "Meerkat Encounter", or something like that.  It wasn't totally private; other people in the zoo could watch, but we were right inside the fenced enclosure with one other couple.  We had a waterproof tarp on our laps, and... the meerkats would jump right up and down, and then up again, etc.  We have one wonderful photo of DH and a Meerkat, with the little critter standing in the classic "Meerkat Sentinel" position, right on his lap.  (A zoo photographer accompanies you and takes really good photos.)

There were other "excursions" right within the zoo, some available only on certain days of the week.  These are not restricted to those staying inside the Zoo overnight.


This was all Pre-Plague 😱 almost exactly 2 years ago, so I don't know what the status is these days or in the future, of any of this.  The two countries have had a rough time.

 

I had done a lot of Googling before our trip, and also found that some of the ship excursions' visiting locations had different tour options than what the ship did.  (Yes, in a few cases, the ship "took over" a particular excursion that day/morning/afternoon, but not always.)

 

That trip was among our most memorable.
Enjoy!

 

GC

 

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57 minutes ago, shamrockace said:

I am pea green with envy. This is exactly what I’m looking for. 

 

Good!  You should be able to do some of it at the zoo in Sydney...?

I hope so. 🙂

 

Note:  It's actually the Taronga zoo  IN Sydney that I'm referring to.  There's a different "Sydney Zoo", and I have not been there.  The Taronga zoo is right overlooking Sydney Harbor, across from downtown Sydney and that Opera House.

And it seems they still have the "experiences," like what we did with the Meerkats.

At least the day we were there, that Meerkat experience sold out instantly.  DH and the other couple were among those waiting when the ticket office opened.  At that time, it was not possible to buy tickets in advance (or at least, we couldn't find a way to do that).

 

This is that hotel within the zoo:

https://taronga.org.au/sydney-zoo/wildlife-retreat

 

I was afraid it might be closed due to Covid, but this and the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Hobart seem to be open. 🙂

 

I hope you enjoy your trip as much as we enjoyed our visit to NZ/Australia!

 

GC

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There is Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney at Doonside which I hear is very good. It is close to an hour's drive from the middle of Sydney or 80 minutes by public transport. It would mean a train and then a bus which takes you directly to the park gates. 

Featherdale Wildlife Park

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  • 1 month later...

We were in Sydney for a few days in January 2020 before embarking on our cruise and booked a behind the scenes tour, at Taronga Zoo called, Wild Australia Experience. It was fantastic with a small group of 6 people guided by a zoo handler.  We were allowed in areas not open to the public and up close and personal time with kangaroos (with baby joey), wombats, etc. but, the main highlight was the koalas (including a baby joey). It was 2 hours and included tea and a sweet at the end of the tour.  We booked it online directly with the Zoo (easy to get to by ferry from Circular Quay).  In Napier, NZ we took a shore excursion that started with a little train ride, Hawkes Bay Express (lots of fun and laughs) touring the Art Deco town and then, we were on our own for the afternoon to visit with the Penguins at the National Aquarium, it was called, Close Encounter with Penguins and we booked online directly with the Aquarium.  Just one other couple and again it was a behind the scenes guided tour - we fed the little penguins and it was so much fun - they are so cute!  Easy scenic walk of 15 mins from Visitor Centre on Marine Parade. Our other ports of call differ from your's unfortunately as we had many other animal encounters and can't wait to be able to return. For your stop in Tauranga, you might consider visiting Hobbiton Movie Set, we were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed it.  Booked with CJ Tours and they were fantastic - highly recommend! It was a private tour that met us at the ship and included stops at a kiwi and honey farm.  

 

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  • 1 month later...

We took a full day trip with a tour group to Featherdale Wildlife Park from Sydney. They dropped us off at Darling Harbor and we took a ferry to the port. It was wonderful.  One word of caution. They allowed people to hand feed to kangaroos. The little bugger didn't want his food source taken from him and dug his claws into the palm of my hand.  A more experienced person came to my rescue and transferred the animal to their palm.  Thank you.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if you are overnighting in Sydney, Taronga is a beautiful zoo and those animals have the best view of Sydney harbour.... if you want  something more focus on Australian animals and still have time to visit some other sites .... Darling Harbour in the city also has a wild life centre

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo | Darling Harbour | Official Site

 

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