Shore Excursions in Australia and New Zealand
By Viator, July 2014
Shore Excursions in Australia
The language in Australia is English, and the currency is the Australian dollar.
Cairns is the heart of Queensland’s Tropical North region and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Take a shore excursion to Green Island, or splurge on a helicopter tour above the reef and rainforest. Ships dock at Trinity Wharf near the center of the city. In some cases, very large ships will anchor in the harbor and you’ll be tendered to shore.
Australia’s largest city and economic capital sits on the central coast of New South Wales. See its famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House on a harbor cruise, learn to surf at Bondi Beach, visit SEA LIFE Aquarium or take a shore excursion into the Blue Mountains. Ships dock at either Darling Harbour or Circular Quay.
Shore Excursions in New Zealand
The language in New Zealand is English, and the currency is the New Zealand dollar.
If you’re hoping to visit the South Island city of Christchurch on a New Zealand cruise, Akaroa is your port, but if you’d rather not make the 1.5-hour drive, stay in Akaroa for a shore excursion such as swimming with dolphins or a harbor cruise. Ships anchor in the harbor, and you’ll be tendered to the wharf.
The largest city in New Zealand, Auckland is situated at the north end of the North Island. Ships dock at Princes Wharf in the center of the city, giving you access to attractions like the Sky Tower and National Maritime Museum.
The South Island city of Dunedin is the gateway to the Otago Peninsula. See Scottish sights like Larnach Castle, head into Otago wine country or take a Taieri Gorge Railway tour. Ships dock at Port Chalmers, about 8 miles (13 km) from the city.
On the northern tip of the South Island sits Picton, a small town in the Marlborough region, which, if you’re a wine lover, you know is famed for its sauvignon blanc. Cruises pull into Waitohi Wharf, about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) from the center of town. The outdoors are big here, so if you’re not wine tasting, go kayaking or dolphin spotting.
Tauranga sits on the northeast coast of the North Island in the Bay of Plenty region. Ships dock at Salisbury Wharf, which is a 10- to 20-minute drive to downtown Tauranga but only a 5-minute walk to Mt Maunganui, a surfing town in the shadow of an extinct volcano by the same name. Shore excursions include Maori cultural tours and The Lord of the Rings film location tours.
At the very southern end of the North Island lies the city of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Most ships dock at Aotea Quay, a 20-minute walk from the city center; small cruises dock at Queens Wharf in the center of town. Often bragged about for its quality of living and tourist appeal, Wellington is known for its arts and culture scene. This is one port of call where you may stick to urban attractions instead of New Zealand’s notorious outdoor adventures.