Auckland is regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world, with the cosmopolitan city centre complemented by great escapes within half an hour of downtown. Indulge in Auckland's shopping, nightlife and unrivalled cuisine and experience some of the many attractions and adventure activities on offer. There is never a shortage of things to do in the City of Sails. Sights to see include Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Zoo, and Museum of Transport and Technology.
Tauranga is the principal city of the Bay of Plenty. Well-planned parks and gardens were left by 19th century missionaries for today’s residents and visitors to enjoy. Sprawling along the sweeping bay, Tauranga is a popular summer resort. Visit the mission house and walk around the 1860s campsite of the military, situated on a cliff overlooking the harbor. Other attractions include the Waitomo Caves, a vast underground network of water-sculpted, cathedral-like limestone grottoes, big-game fishing and scuba diving, and spectacular flightseeing excursions over White Island, New Zealand's most active volcano. The area of the Bay of Plenty is blessed with a good climate and fine beaches. Other sights include Monmouth Redoubt, The Strand, and Mount Maunganui.
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The twin cities of Napier and Hastings, located within the region of Hawke's Bay on the East Coast of new Zealand's North Island, are quite unique. The area is blessed with a Californian-Mediterranean climate, boasting one of the highest sunshine averages in the country. The area is also dotted with colourful vineyards and orchards, with some of the most fertile farmland you will see.
In 1931 a two and a half minute earthquake destroyed the city of Napier. Rebuilding began almost immediately in the architectural style of the time - Art Deco. Napier is now classed as the newest city in the world, offering a marvellous, world-renown, collection of Art Deco buildings. Among the attractions in the area are the Gannet Colony at Cape Kidnappers, the Hawke's Bay Aquarium, the Spanish Mission and Art Deco architecture, gardens and bush walks.
Located at southwestern North Island, New Zealand’s capital city derives its character and charm from the wooded hills that curve like a green amphitheater around Wellington’s harbor. Commercial and government buildings rim the waterfront; nostalgic Victorian buildings mingle pleasantly with more modern structures and above the business district, dwellings precariously cling to steep slopes.
Wellington was the first settlement organized by the London-based New Zealand Company. Other sights include Kelburn Cable Car, Museum of Wellington, City and Sea, and National Museum and Art Gallery (Te Papa).
Picton, located at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound, is the starting point into South Island. The surrounding area is renowned for its spectacular seascapes. Picton makes an ideal base for an exploration of the Marlborough Sounds. Today, large areas of the Sound are protected as the Marlborough Sounds Maritime Park. Cruising these waterways is the best way to get a close look at the many secluded bays and bush-clad headlands that make up the park. Excursions inland travel to the heart of a major wine growing region. Marlborough's wines have an international reputation for excellence and the vineyards around Blenheim offer some exclusive vintages that may be difficult to obtain elsewhere. Other sights include Picton Whaling Museum and the Edwin Fox Center.
Located on New Zealand’s South Island, the port of Lyttleton is the gateway to Christchurch. A short drive through a tunnel brings one to the picturesque town of Christchurch.
Port Chalmers is an attractive historic town and modern container port located on a tiny peninsula seven miles from Dunedin. It features magnificent harbour views, fine 19th century buildings and a thriving artistic community. It was originally founded in 1844 as the port for Dunedin. From here you can also visit Olveston stately home, Otago Peninsula (Larnach Castle and Albatross colony), and the Taieri Gorge Railway.
One of the most complex of the many fjords on this coast, it is also one of the largest, 40 kilometres in length and eight kilometres wide at its widest point. To the north of its mouth is the large Resolution Island, whose Five Fingers Peninsula shelters the mouth of the sound from the northwest. along the east coast of the island, Acheron passage connects Dusky Sound with Breaksea Sound, to the north.
Several large islands lie is the sound, notably Anchor Island, Long Island, and Cooper Island. The upper reaches of the sound are steep-sided, and the high precipitation of the region leads to hundreds of waterfalls cascading into the sound during the rainy season. Seals and dolphins are often sighted in the sound's waters. The Seaforth River is the largest of many small rivers and creeks which flow into the sound.
Doubtful Sound is a remote, unspoilt wilderness of many moods: one minute clear, blue and sun-drenched, the next, mist-shrouded and mysterious. When you discover Doubtful Sound you will be struck by its silence -- a silence broken only by bird song, maybe the sound of a fish leaping or the rushing of a distant waterfall.
Part of the majestic Fjordland National Park, Milford Sound is a spectacular sight not to be missed. Flowing into the Tasman Sea, the Sound is surrounded by towering fjords, lush greenery, icy peaks and thunderous waterfalls. The dazzling blue water is also teeming with wildlife and if you are lucky, you just might catch a glimpse of a frolicking dolphin, seals or the rare Fjordland Crested penguin.
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Melbourne is a maze of hidden laneways, opulent bars, exclusive restaurants and off-the-beaten-track boutiques. Here you can soak up culture, hit the sporting grounds, taste the dynamic food and wine scene, dance til dawn or wander the parks and leafy boulevards. Visit Federation Square, the city's landmark cultural space, and enjoy a sunset beer on the St Kilda promenade. Shop till you drop on funky Brunswick Street or upmarket Chapel Street. Wander Southbank's cafes, bistros and bars and get a world tour of cuisines in Carlton, Richmond and Fitzroy. Take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and cheer with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Five Must-Have Melbourne Experiences:
1. Shop till you drop
Bag a bargain at the Rose Street Artist's Market and browse the funky boutiques on Brunswick Street. Buy designer labels such as Akira Isogawa and Zimmerman on Chapel Street in Prahran or in the historic Melbourne General Post Office, which covers an entire city block. For everything from fashion to furnishings at fantastic value, visit Bridge Road in Richmond. Melbourne is a shopper's haven, offering eclectic boutiques, high-end fashion, funky homeware stores and European style piazzas in the city's arcades and hidden laneways.
2. Bar hop and dance till dawn
Sip a cocktail in a converted sea container in Chinatown, enjoy a sunset beer in a St Kilda pub or listen to cabaret in lush retro surroundings in jazz bars in the city. Linger over exquisite tapas and exotic wine in a Little Collins Street bar and mingle in a pink parlour with fake grass in Bourke Street. You can party from dusk in the bars of Brunswick Street. Or dance till dawn in bars in the city's lantern-lit laneways, secret apart from the spill of coloured light under heavy brass doors.
3. Get into the gourmet goodness
Let the aroma of good coffee waft over you in Melbourne's gothic European laneways. The city is famous for its coffee and old-world café culture but there's so much more to explore. Once you've downed a 'short black' or taken an afternoon aperitif, try tea in a nineteenth-century hotel or salivate over your silver spoon in acclaimed restaurants like Nobu, Botanical and Becco. Pick up fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood at the Queen Victoria Market on a Saturday, known for its bustling crowds and buskers. Try out the restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars in Southbank or Federation Square. Make your way around Melbourne's multicultural cosmos of cuisines: Carlton for Italian classics, Richmond for budget-friendly Vietnamese and Fitzroy for Spanish tapas.
4. Fill up on culture
See a performance by the Australian Ballet, which is based here in Australia's cultural capital. Or enjoy a dazzling musical at the Princess Theatre. Browse the Southern Hemisphere's best collection of international art at the National Gallery of Victoria. Or visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square, a landmark cultural 'space' for Melbournians. Challenge yourself with the creative collections in the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Southbank. To learn more about Melbourne's Aboriginal cultural heritage, see contemporary and dreamtime art or take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens.
5. Go sports mad
Cheer for an Australian Rules Football game with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground over winter. Go cricket mad in summer, when the city hosts the Ashes and one day internationals. Or join the huge crowds watching the Australian Tennis Open at Melbourne Park. Rev heads head to Melbourne in March for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Albert Park. And whether you are a racing fan or just a casual punter, you won't want to miss the Melbourne Cup - the world's richest horse race on the first Tuesday in November.
Itinerary subject to change without notice. Please confirm itinerary at time of booking.
Rates are cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy. Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses of $164.06 additional for all guests. Rates are subject to availability and may change without notice. Restrictions may apply.
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