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Being a New Zealander I would suggest you look at the following sites for information. Let me know if you require anything else. Enjoy your visit to New Zealand.

 

 

Bay of Islands. If you are history people would suggest Waitangi (where the Treaty was signed) and Kerikeri. (Possible Princess tour). The Hole in the Rock boat trip is amazing if you have good weather.

 

http://www.waitangi.net.nz/

 

http://www.kerikeri.co.nz/OurTown.cfm

 

http://www.dolphincruises.co.nz/hole-in-the-rock-dolphin-cruise/?gclid=COiW3Zab4aoCFaIB4god6HFgbw

 

http://www.explorenz.co.nz/Dolphin-Discoveries/Discover-the-Bay-Hole-in-the-Rock.html?gclid=CIbn2sGb4aoCFYolpAodWjjo7w

 

 

 

Auckland. You dock near the main town centre and it is not too far to walk to the Sky Tower and CBD, and Queens St. for shopping.

 

http://www.aucklandnz.com/

 

http://www.auckland.co.nz/

 

 

 

Tauranga. We have given you the link for Hells Gate which is for Tourists very commercialised. Our suggestion would be Wai-o-tapu Valley and The Polynesian Spa. Looking at the Princess Prices we were shocked, All prices are on the links below.

 

http://www.waiotapu.co.nz/

 

http://www.polynesianspa.co.nz/

 

http://www.hellsgate.co.nz/

 

 

 

Napier. This is the Art Deco capital of New Zealand rebuilt after a big earthquake. You can walk around the town area and see this for yourself.

 

http://www.napier.nz.com/

 

 

 

Wellington. The Capital of New Zealand and the seat of Government (The Beehive). We would suggest Te papa Museum (Princess have a tour and cable car for A$79 but it is a short tour). Last time we visited Te Papa we were there all day and didn't see all we wanted to see. Wellington city centre itself is not large, buses or taxis would be the way to go, If you want to walk around (a few hills to climb) maps on the second link.

 

http://www.wellingtonnz.com/

 

http://www.wellingtonnz.com/visitor_information/essentials/maps_guides

 

 

 

I believe Christchurch is no longer on your port list.. Please let me know where you are stopping for more information but these links may help.

 

Christchurch. When we were there last on a cruise they had a shuttle running to the centre of town which we caught. We looked around the town Centre, but due to the earthquake we are not sure what is available or open.

 

http://www.christchurchnz.com/nz.aspx

 

http://www.christchurch.org.nz/

 

 

 

 

 

Dunedin. We got the shuttle into town again here and walked around the Botanical gardens and The Cadbury Chocolate Factory. If we had the time and money though we would have loved to do the Taieri Gorge and Larnach castle.

 

http://www.visit-dunedin.co.nz/

 

http://www.dunedinnz.com/visit/home.aspx

 

http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/

 

 

 

Fiordland. It will be cold when you are here you will need warm clothing (Also for Christchurch and Dunedin and not forgetting Windy Wellington).

 

http://www.fiordland.org.nz/About-Fiordland/Fiordland-National-Park.asp

 

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/national-parks/fiordland/

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Can anyone recommend tours for the stops in New Zealand? We are taking the Diamond Princess from Aukland to Sydney.

 

Thanks

 

When we did our cruise in New Zealand I used Des Harris at http://www.itrails.co.nz. He provided 4 wonderful tours for us in our 4 ports (Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, and Auckland). My favorite tour with him was in Akaroa where he took us to a sheep station. His tours provide lunch and snacks. If you work closely with him to set up the tours you will get excellent service. You will also get to go places the usual tours don't go and get the true Maori experience. Hope it works out for you.

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When we did our cruise in New Zealand I used Des Harris at www.itrails.co.nz. He provided 4 wonderful tours for us in our 4 ports (Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, and Auckland). My favorite tour with him was in Akaroa where he took us to a sheep station. His tours provide lunch and snacks. If you work closely with him to set up the tours you will get excellent service. You will also get to go places the usual tours don't go and get the true Maori experience. Hope it works out for you.

 

Do you have another way to contact Des as his web site is under construction?

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In Napier they took us into the visitor centre and all the tours were set up on tables outside. DH & I signed up for Black Rose tour and joined other couples - some from the ship others from elsewhere ...

 

it was absolutely fantastic - had a great day. cant miss it a black mini van -

they took us Te Mata Peak, wine tasting, cheese tasting, strawberry picking and a drive around Hastings and Napier. I found the link ...

 

http://www.blackroselimos.co.nz/hawkes-bay-cruise-stopover

 

Jane

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Can anyone recommend tours for the stops in New Zealand? We are taking the Diamond Princess from Aukland to Sydney.

 

Thanks

The best of the NZ tours we had was in Dunedin with Mark Dixon of Awesome Tours. We booked ahead and were lucky to have him all to ourselves that day. He adjusted the tour to fit our interests and, in all, gave us a great day. We were very impressed.

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Last month:

We went with Bush & Beach in Auckland http://www.bushandbeach.co.nz/ on the Coast & Rainforest Walk (Full Day) tour and enjoyed it very much despite the horrid weather. Seasoned, great guide Kevin.

 

In Tauranga (since we had spent time in Rotorua before) we spent the day with Grant of Adventure Bay of Plenty http://www.adventurebop.co.nz/ and we had a fabulous day hiking, kayaking & biking. If you want to stretch your legs a bit...it's a fantastic place to do it, right around the ship!:D:) And Grant is fantastic to work with to get in what you want to do. Nice, nice guy who knows his flora, fauna & places & is great to spend a day with. Does things besides the adventure stuff too;)

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Does your kitty have mittens? One of our kids does too (actually we have 2 polydactyls). And I'm Linda too :p

 

My Avatar picture is of my cat Mittens reading his Spanish book.

 

Mittens died suddenly in September 2010...horrible for us, but at least he did not suffer. (heart stopped no reason) I have 2 others tho...Niki and Sasha..Just regular paws..Long haired and well loved!

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My Avatar picture is of my cat Mittens reading his Spanish book.

 

Mittens died suddenly in September 2010...horrible for us, but at least he did not suffer. (heart stopped no reason) I have 2 others tho...Niki and Sasha..Just regular paws..Long haired and well loved!

I am so sorry about that. Cats are really special little boogers. Great kids for us...even tho it breaks our hearts when one leaves us....:(

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Do you have another way to contact Des as his web site is under construction?

 

Try des@itrails.co.nz. If that doesn't work, e-mail me at ssbeagleatyahoodotcom and I will try to forward your message to him. Put ITrails in the title so I'll know it's from you. Also, you might try locating him through Facebook.

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Try des@itrails.co.nz. If that doesn't work, e-mail me at ssbeagleatyahoodotcom and I will try to forward your message to him. Put ITrails in the title so I'll know it's from you. Also, you might try locating him through Facebook.

 

 

OK I sent him an e mail so I will let you know if he gets back to me.

 

Linda

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We had a wonderful trip with Zealandier Tours from Tauranga to Rotorua.

http://www.zealandiertours.com/cruise-ship-visitor-tours-html/hobbiton-movie-set-rotorua-wonderland-tour/

 

We drove over the Kaimai Ranges overlooking the vast Waikato basin - lush farmland and visited Hobbiton (the Shire film set for Lord of the Rings). The thermal attractions at Rotorua were amazing, we visited Whakarewarewa Thermal Village. Our local guides Jan & Mike, were really friendly and knowledgeable. You can choose the combined tour we did or they have other Rotorua only tour options.

 

Highly recommend Zealandier Tours - it was the best of both worlds - thermal/cultural experience and "hobbit" farmland encounter.

 

P.S. They also do tours from Auckland

 

Thanks I am going to check them out. Did you have to pay in advance?

Linda

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Being a New Zealander I would suggest you look at the following sites for information. Let me know if you require anything else. Enjoy your visit to New Zealand.

 

 

Bay of Islands. If you are history people would suggest Waitangi (where the Treaty was signed) and Kerikeri. (Possible Princess tour). The Hole in the Rock boat trip is amazing if you have good weather.

 

http://www.waitangi.net.nz/

 

http://www.kerikeri.co.nz/OurTown.cfm

 

http://www.dolphincruises.co.nz/hole-in-the-rock-dolphin-cruise/?gclid=COiW3Zab4aoCFaIB4god6HFgbw

 

http://www.explorenz.co.nz/Dolphin-Discoveries/Discover-the-Bay-Hole-in-the-Rock.html?gclid=CIbn2sGb4aoCFYolpAodWjjo7w

 

 

 

Auckland. You dock near the main town centre and it is not too far to walk to the Sky Tower and CBD, and Queens St. for shopping.

 

http://www.aucklandnz.com/

 

http://www.auckland.co.nz/

 

 

 

Tauranga. We have given you the link for Hells Gate which is for Tourists very commercialised. Our suggestion would be Wai-o-tapu Valley and The Polynesian Spa. Looking at the Princess Prices we were shocked, All prices are on the links below.

 

http://www.waiotapu.co.nz/

 

http://www.polynesianspa.co.nz/

 

http://www.hellsgate.co.nz/

 

 

 

Napier. This is the Art Deco capital of New Zealand rebuilt after a big earthquake. You can walk around the town area and see this for yourself.

 

http://www.napier.nz.com/

 

 

 

Wellington. The Capital of New Zealand and the seat of Government (The Beehive). We would suggest Te papa Museum (Princess have a tour and cable car for A$79 but it is a short tour). Last time we visited Te Papa we were there all day and didn't see all we wanted to see. Wellington city centre itself is not large, buses or taxis would be the way to go, If you want to walk around (a few hills to climb) maps on the second link.

 

http://www.wellingtonnz.com/

 

http://www.wellingtonnz.com/visitor_information/essentials/maps_guides

 

 

 

I believe Christchurch is no longer on your port list.. Please let me know where you are stopping for more information but these links may help.

 

Christchurch. When we were there last on a cruise they had a shuttle running to the centre of town which we caught. We looked around the town Centre, but due to the earthquake we are not sure what is available or open.

 

http://www.christchurchnz.com/nz.aspx

 

http://www.christchurch.org.nz/

 

 

 

 

 

Dunedin. We got the shuttle into town again here and walked around the Botanical gardens and The Cadbury Chocolate Factory. If we had the time and money though we would have loved to do the Taieri Gorge and Larnach castle.

 

http://www.visit-dunedin.co.nz/

 

http://www.dunedinnz.com/visit/home.aspx

 

http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/

 

 

 

Fiordland. It will be cold when you are here you will need warm clothing (Also for Christchurch and Dunedin and not forgetting Windy Wellington).

 

http://www.fiordland.org.nz/About-Fiordland/Fiordland-National-Park.asp

 

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/national-parks/fiordland/

 

How do you get to Wai-o-tapu Valley from the ship? Is it close or do we rent a car??

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Yes they do require a deposit, initial 10% per person. See their t&cs http://www.zealandiertours.com/booking-conditions/

 

depends how far in advance you book.

 

Wai-o-tapu Valley is about 1.5 hours away from Tauranga Port. I see they do tours there too, you may want to ask if they take cruise ship passengers there.

http://www.zealandiertours.com/nz-tours/north-island/north-island-tours/tour-6-wai-o-tapu-huka-falls-taupo-huka-prawn-park-taupo/

 

Hope this helps.

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How do you get to Wai-o-tapu Valley from the ship? Is it close or do we rent a car??

Kia ora,

If you are happy driving on the left hand side of the road allow about 1.5 hours fo Wai-o tapu (ww.waiotapu.co.nz). Rotorua is about one hours drive and while Wai-o-tapu is a favourite of mine there are a number of thermal attractions closer. Where time is a factor Tikitere ((Hells Gate - www.hellsgate.co.nz) has the advantage that it is the first thermal area one encounters on the road from Tauranga via te Puke ) and is not what I would consider as 'heavily commercialized'. There are a number of other thermal areas, eg. Whakarewarewa (www.whakarewarewa.com) which has the advantage that it includes the 'living' Maori village of Whaka, unlike its neighbour the ever popular Te Puia (www.tepuia.com) which also has a thermal area plus the carving school. Kuirau park and the adjacent historic and culturally significant area of Ohinemutu also have thermal areas (free). Guides can be hired for those wanting a good tour of Ohinemutu. From the car park of the Maori Church of St Faiths (Facebook: www.facebook:St Faith's Church, Rotorua, NZ) which features Maori carving & woven panels etc. three Maori marae can be seen.

Trust this helps.

Ka kite

Aquarians icon7.gificon7.gif

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Lots of great tips, details and ideas here. We just booked last week for the Celebrity Solstice Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland, 14 days. We will get into Australia early and plan added stops prior to the cruise, including for around Cairns and doing the Great Barrier Reef. Fortunately, our cruise has "extra" stops in NZ for Napier and Bay of Islands. Keep the good suggestions and secrets rolling along. I'll be reading and saving these key items in the trip file on my laptop. Lots of options to consider and research. BUT, we've got lots of time until our 2014 adventure!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 73,417 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 65,820 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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We did this trip two years ago and this is what we did:

Dundedin - D-Tours - private tour, best ever.

Christchurch - walked around city and did the punting boats on the Avon River and did some museums.

Wellington - Did the Papa museum, walked to the rose garden and took the tram to the top and walked around the city.

Napier - Did the private tour with Napier Wine Tours - was just OK.

Taranga - walked to the top of the mountain right next to the ship. Great views.

Auckland - Kauri Tours - awesome. Saw the black beaches, the Kauri Trees and the famous birds that lay their eggs on the rocks (can't remember the name) Was awesome. All day private tour definitely worth it.

Bay of Islands - did the ships tour of the Glow worm caves and Kauri trees.

It was good.

Hope it helps. We enjoyed our trip very much.

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On our recent Australia/new Zealand trip our group of 10 booked the following:

 

Napier, short time in port, booked directly with Art Deco Trust on line for private guide for walking tour, wonderful town.

 

Port Chalmers/Dunedin: had reserved train for Taeiri Gorge trip, but we were delayed getting into port due to a medical emergency while in the Sounds- changed our arrangements to coach trip up to Pukerangi to catch the train back to Dunedin station - actually worked out better as the coach went through different landscape... After - a one hour city was included. The driver was kind enough to drop us off at Olveston mansion, where we had reserved a private tour. The driver then offered to pick us up from the mansion and bring us back to port, stopping at the Botanical Gardens for a walk through and then taking a more scenic high road back to port. Tthe cost for this return was the same as the shuttle cost, but we avoided the long queues in

the city center for the ship's transfer. Also, the bus capacity was approx. 18

and we were the only ones on the return, initially we were 14 going out to

meet the train.

Picton - we chose to take this as an easy walk around day, decided not to do wine tour, Harbour cruise, etc.

 

Akaora - 10 of us booked the Black Cat Harbour Cruise for Dolphin, penguin and seal watching. Prebooked and prepaid online.

 

Melbourne - took the city tram around and went through market, Federation Square and Art Gallery

 

Wellington - took ship shuttle to cable car up to lookout, and walked down through the Botanical Gardens. Joined the 10 am free tour of Parliament buildings, and then went over to Te Papa Museum, shuttle back to ship.

 

Tauranga/Rotorua - private tour for 10 with Jim Archer of Archer Tours to Maori Cultural Village and performance, geothermal geysers and mud pools, Government Gardens, visit to KIWI HOUSE to see national bird, visit to KIwi360 to see fruit orchard/store...and finished up the day with a nice beach stroll.

 

Burnie Tasmania - did not get any responses to my requests for private tours, so ten of us booked with the ship for Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake excursion

 

Spent 5 days precruise Sydney 3 days post cruise Auckland. One of the Auckland days our group of 10 had private tour out to Waitomo for Spellbound

tour of glow worm caves. 6 of us booked Blue Diamond Tours for one day out

of Sydney for trip to Blue Mountains and Featherdale Wildlife park. Last day in Auckland we took the ferry and explorer bus combo to Devonport.

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