New Zealand RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Shore Excursions in New Zealand

By Viator, February 2014

4.5 161 Reviews | Add your review

Despite being a South Pacific nation, the islands of New Zealand are so fantastically large that exploring them can be overwhelming. Luckily when visiting by cruise ship, however, most of the country’s famous sights are within range of an all-day shore excursion.

On the North Island, visitors to the dreamy Bay of Islands can adventure by land or by sea. Shore excursions range from a trip to Cape Reinga to watch the ocean currents collide, to taking a cruise or a helicopter tour to the famous “Hole in the Rock.” In Auckland, explore the sights of the City of Sails or jump off the Harbor Bridge, or spend a day driving out to Waitomo Caves to go spelunking with millions of glow worms. Tauranga cruise port offers shore excursions to the beaches of Mt. Maunganui, or venture inland to the geothermal wonders which bubble up around Rotorua. Finally, on the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, take a shore excursion from the capital of Wellington and tour the Lord of the Rings filming sites, or fly high above the capital on a scenic helicopter tour and visit colonies of wild fur seals.

Not to be outdone, the South Island of New Zealand similarly has cruise ports with their own set of enthralling shore excursions. In the port of Picton on the northern tip, head to the famous vineyards of Marlborough to sip on Sauvignon Blanc, or experience the inlets and numerous trails in the surrounding Marlborough Sounds. The port near Christchurch offers cruisers the ability to explore this earthquake-ravaged city, and while the downtown attractions are improving by the day, you can also take shore excursions to the town of Akaroa and experience its French colonial charm. During the long days of summer, many cruise ships also call in to the South Island city of Dunedin, where you can chug through history on the Taieri Gorge railway or spend a day in the Otago wine region.

So even though New Zealand is a large country with innumerable adventures and sights, the fact it’s an island means that nearly all of the sights are within a couple hours of the coast. For those who are touring the country by cruise ship, this proximity to ports and well-oiled infrastructure means most of New Zealand’s most popular sights are only a shore excursion away.

Tours & Tickets

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Dunedin Shore Excursion: Taieri Gorge Railway Tour and City Sightseeing

4.5 star rating: Recommended 31 Reviews

When your cruise ship docks in Dunedin, take a trip through the spectacular scenery surrounding the Taieri River on board the Taieri Gorge Railway. Travel ...  Read more

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $125.98

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights

4 star rating: Recommended 20 Reviews

While your ship is in port in Akaroa Harbour, take a shore excursion to tour the scenic Banks Peninsula and visit the city of Christchurch. You’ll see how ...  Read more

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $73.85

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Highlights

4.5 star rating: Recommended 15 Reviews

Take in the highlights of New Zealand's most beautiful city, Rotorua, when your cruise ship docks in Tauranga. Receive a traditional welcome at Whakarewarewa, ...  Read more

Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $121.63

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Jet Boat on Waimak River

4.5 star rating: Recommended 15 Reviews

See the sights of Christchurch when your ship is docked in Akaroa port, then enjoy one of the adrenaline-charged adventures New Zealand is famous for on a wild ...  Read more

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $121.63

Wellington Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 17 Reviews

Take in the sights of Wellington while your cruise ship is in port, and discover one of the world’s most charming capital cities. See where New Zealand’s ...  Read more

Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $50.39

Dunedin Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing with Olveston House Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 18 Reviews

Discover Dunedin’s roots when your ship is in port on a shore excursion that takes in the city's central sights and historic Olveston House. You’ll see ...  Read more

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $47.78

Dunedin Shore Excursion: Small-Group Tour of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

4.5 star rating: Recommended 19 Reviews

See the beautiful countryside surrounding Dunedin when your cruise ship is in port, on a small-group tour of the Otago Peninsula. This scenic tour takes you to ...  Read more

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $68.64

Auckland Shore Excusion: City Sightseeing Tour, Harbor Cruise and Sky Tower

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

While your ship is in port in Auckland, see the city sights, take a cruise under the Harbour Bridge and enjoy bird’s-eye views of Auckland from the Sky Tower. ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $125.98

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 17 Reviews

Experience the grand architecture and beautiful gardens of Christchurch when your ship is in port in Akaroa. Your shore excursion from Akaroa port also ...  Read more

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $121.63

Auckland Shore Excursion: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

When your cruise ship docks in Auckland, see the best of the city on an Auckland hop-on hop-off shore excursion. Discover the vibrant city with flexibility and ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $34.75

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