Shore Excursions in New Zealand

By Viator, February 2014

4.5 158 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.

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Dunedin Shore Excursion: Taieri Gorge Railway Tour and City Sightseeing

4.5 star rating: Recommended 90 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 $104.90

Best Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights

4.5 star rating: Recommended 43 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 $57.52

Best Dunedin Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing with Olveston House Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 25 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 $39.25

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