Catch a flight from Eastern Australia and you can reach NZ in just under 4 hours – making it the perfect destination for a sunny summer break.
Another way to visit New Zealand from Australia is of course via cruise ship. Cruise ships depart Sydney regularly for sailings around New Zealand; visiting some truly spectacular destinations en-route. Here, we explore ten of New Zealand’s most popular ports of call to bring you a taste of what awaits on this beautiful Pacific island.
Bay of Islands
Renowned for its big game fishing and intense natural beauty, the Bay of Islands is one of the New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. Cruise ships dock at the bay’s natural harbour, allowing passengers to explore the plethora of inlets, peninsulas and islands that make up this enchanting region.
Combining stunning architecture with a bounty of things to see and do, Auckland – or the City of Sails as it is colloquially known – is the perfect place to get to grips with the country’s vibrant culture and heritage. Check out the Auckland Art Gallery and New Zealand Maritime Museum if you visit the city during your cruise.
Located at the mouth of the Bay of Plenty on New Zealand’s North Island, the city of Tauranga is frequented by many cruise ships thanks to its expansive harbour. As well as a number of amenities and attractions, Tauranga has an expansive sandy beach – perfect for topping up your tan beside the roaring Pacific.
After it was destroyed in a huge earthquake in 1931, the town of Napier was rebuilt from the ground up in a unique art deco style that reflects its history as one of New Zealand’s most cultured townships. Should you disembark your cruise for a day trip to Napier, be sure to visit one of the town’s sun-drenched vineyards.
A far-cry from the raw natural beauty that surrounds it; Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand, with a population of around 400,000 people. Bordered by a charming harbour as well as a towering mountain range, Wellington is a must-see destination on any New Zealand cruise break.
Thanks to its imposing mountain backdrop and charming architecture, the city of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island is arguably one of the prettiest cities on the planet. Nicknamed ‘the Garden City’ thanks to its abundance of parks, trees and vegetation, Christchurch is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east and the charming Canterbury Plains to the West. If your cruise ship ports here, have your camera to hand.
Wrapped around a turquoise bay in New Zealand’s Otago Region, the city of Dunedin is considered one of the four most culturally rich cities in the country. Many cruise liners port in Dunedin due to its sheltered harbour, and it’s well worth disembarking your cruise ship for a stroll if you get the opportunity.
With its towering snow-capped peaks, rich woodlands and vast lakes, Fiordland looks – and indeed sounds – like something out of Lord of the Rings. If you’re interested in exploring this wild, relatively uninhabited region, you’ll need to book an excursion during your cruise ship’s stop over in a nearby port.
The Marlborough Sounds
Should your cruise liner be willing to negotiate the treacherous waters at the tip of South Island, you’ll find The Marlborough Sounds – a series of sea-drowned islands renowned for their inspiring scenic beauty. The Sounds cover an area of 4,000 square kilometres, making it one of the largest fractal coastlines in the world.
White sandy beaches, turquoise bays and time-forgotten villages await on Stewart Island – New Zealand’s fourth largest island. Located thirty kilometres off the southern tip of the country’s South Island, Stewart Island has a permanent population of around 400 people – the majority of which reside in the settlement of Oban – with the rest of the island dominated by a wild and beautiful landscape.
With its outlandish scenery, charming locals and imposing coastline, New Zealand is the perfect place for an invigorating cruise holiday. Click here to find affordable New Zealand cruise deals, or call the Cruise1st Australia team today on 1300 857 345 to start planning your next getaway.
Image sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Jocelyn Kinghorn, mikigrown, Sid Mosdell, Matthew Hunt, Flying Kiwi Towers, Shannon Doyle, Channon Arif, Abaonda MAnagement Group, Sasha Cohen-Rose, siyamalan, Ken Smith.