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RetiredMustang

Review of Noordam New Zealand and Trans-Pacific cruise, April 7 – May 12, 2019

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Posted (edited)

We recently took a Collector’s cruise that included a 14-day trip from Sydney around New Zealand and back to Sydney, and then a 22-day transit of the Pacific to Vancouver, BC.  I took photos and scanned some paper things, and decided to do a review of the ports we visited and what we did there.  At the end, I will post the daily When and Where files and the MDR dinner menus.  (I think I might have figured out the new CC website enough to be able to post photos and things.)  Here is a map of our cruise:

 

 

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Pre-cruise

 

 

 

We live in the Seattle area, and asked our PCC to cost out some flight options for us.  There are no direct flights to Sydney, but we could change in LA, San Francisco or Vancouver, BC.  The flight from YVR was most convenient, and we decided to just book the one flight and make our own way to Vancouver.  With the HAL Flightease program, our PCC was able to get us good fare, cheaper than we could have gotten on our own for the one-way flight.  We booked the Amtrak Cascades from Seattle and spent a night in Vancouver before our flight.   We stayed at the Delta Suites hotel, part of the Marriot family of hotels, and booked a night and a half-day (6 p.m. checkout) for the next day, which was good because our flight to Sydney was not due to depart until just before midnight.  That allowed us to spend the morning in Stanley Park and rest in our room in the afternoon before checking out and getting a cab to YVR.

 

 

We had paid for business class seats on Air Canada, and were able to lie flight and actually get several hours of sleep en route to Sydney.  We arrived in the morning of April 3, were met by HAL reps and taken by limo to the HAL hotel – HAL has two they use in Sydney, one in the Circular Quay area and one near Darling Harbour.  We had chosen the Hyatt Regency on Sussex Street, at/above Darling Harbour.  We had stayed in the hotel on a 2016 trip, and really liked how easy it is to get to shopping on George and Pitt streets, and to Darling Harbour with its many restaurants.  We had four nights, to allow us to adjust our body clocks, which takes longer as we get older, and to see a bit of Sydney.

 

 

Our rooms were ready for us when we arrived – HAL guarantees the rooms will be available if you book through them; we found out from the desk staff it is because HAL books the night before as well.  We thought it well worth it as we could drop our bags in the room right away and not have to hang about the lobby for hours with our luggage.

 

 

During the four days, we did quite a lot, but still want to do more – we are thinking of going back to Australia and spending more time, two weeks or more exploring at least some of southeast Australia.  But, this trip was enjoyable on its own. The first/arrival day was devoted to shopping for essentials like mouthwash and shampoo, which is easier to buy at your destination than to take on an airplane.  We also bought Opal cards (for the Sydney transit system) and loaded them with some money.

 

 

The next day, we went to Taronga Zoo, which we had missed in 2016.  We walked about a mile to Circular Quay and took a ferry to the Zoo.  We spent about 4 hours there, and it is an amazing place.  The weather started partly sunny and then switched to mostly Seattle (showers and sunbreaks).  Luckily, the main shower hit just after we got back to the zoo ferry wharf and ended just before we arrived back at Circular Quay.

 

I took a couple of photos, below.   One is a view back to Sydney from a viewpoint at the zoo, and the second is one of the two quokkas they have.   We had to go to the Kid’s Trail and walk past the goats and chickens, and then the wallabies and a very friendly emu, who was walking about freely, before we got to the quokkas.  But, they weren’t quite so lively as the ones I saw in photos online.  In fact, we seemed to be the only people paying them any attention, and they were mostly interested in a nap, not us.   

 

 

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The next day was also a bit Seattle-like, so we walked to Circular Quay to book a harbour sightseeing narrated tour of two hours.  It was great with nice views of the extensive and amazing natural harbour. and all the tea/coffee and Anzac biscuits we wanted.  The latter are basically dry oatmeal and dessicated coconut cookies that last a long time – they were invented when the women back home sent them to their soldiers in the Australia New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I.  We each had four of them; they were surprisingly good.  I forgot the camera, so I got no shots of the scenery or of some of the other tourists dropping their ANZAC biscuits when we hit heavy swells coming in from the sea at the entrance to Sydney Harbour.  It was a very nice relaxing morning on the water.

For late lunch/early dinner, we went to a spot on Darling Harbour/King Street Wharf waterfront near the hotel, and I finally was able to get some bugs.  These were Moreton Bay Bugs, which are a type of slipper lobster.  Quite tasty if you appreciate members of the sea cockroach family as much as I do.

 

April 6 was our last full day before the cruise, and we had thought to visit the Australian Museum.  But the forecast promised a spectacular sunny fall day with a high around 26C/80Fal degrees), and it actually came truo.  So, we blew off the Australian Museum and did walkabout, back to Circular Quay for cappuccinos and then around the Opera House and through the Botanical Gardens where we had a sparkling water and carrot cake, and then passing Wooloomooloo (really, a section of central Sydney) before skirting Hyde Park back to our hotel.  Attached are some shots I got.  The first photo is of Sydney ferries.  There are two smaller ones going to/from North Sydney, Taronga Zoo, etc., but the larger, huskier ferry is, of course, the Manly ferry.

 

 

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I also got a shot of the Opera House from the side, and then on the bank just inside the Botanical Gardens, I got a photo of the Aussie greeting to the tourists arriving by sea.  Actually, this was advertising an exhibit in the Gardens of carnivorous plants.

 

 

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So, we spent several days in Sydney doing nothing much important but enjoying ourselves by walking a lot of miles, drinking coffee, beer and wine, and eating things like bugs.   What a great time!

 

More later,
Dave

 

 

Edited by RetiredMustang

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Posted (edited)

April 7, Embarkation Day

 

 

 

We tagged our bags and they were picked up from our room by porters.  We had breakfast and coffee and walked a bit, before coming back to the hotel, checking out and taking our carry-on luggage to a waiting area downstairs.  When the bus came, we had to identify our main luggage from the bunch on the sidewalk, and then boarded the bus.  The bus took us to White Bay pier where Noordam was berthed.  The embarkation process was smooth and quick, and we were able to board and go tour our stateroom, a verandah one on the 6th deck, starboard, near the aft elevators.  It was the same cabin we had on Noordam last summer, and we asked for it again because of its convenient location.

 

 

I did not take photos of the Noordam so much, as she is due for major overhaul later this year, and will no doubt change.  For this cruise, she still had the Crow’s Nest unaltered, and the Explorations Café and library on the third deck, forward of the shops.   There was no librarian but there were still lots of books you could take on a honor system, and there was a paperback exchange case of shelves that was quite active.

 

 

 

 

April 10, Fiordland National Park

 

 

Yes, New Zealand spells it with an “I” instead of a “j” like Norway does.  We spent two days crossing the Tasmanian Sea, and then on April 10 did scenic cruising in the national park at the southwest corner of the South Island.  The weather was rainy, and pretty windy in narrow spots, but the scenery was spectacular.   But, luckily the Crow’s Nest had not yet been turned into an EXC, and so there were no large display screens blocking the view like there are on Westerdam.

About dawn, we entered Milford Sound, with is actually a fjord, and sailed slowly to the end, where some of the passengers debarked on a tender boat to go ashore on an overnight trip to meet the ship the next day in Dunedin.  Attached are photos of Milford Sound, the tender boat in the sound, and one showing Noordam in the sound.

 

 

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Later in the day, we also sailed through Doubtful Sound, and then Dusky Sound.   Here is another photo, this one from Doubtful Sound.  The scenery reminded us a lot of the area around Ketchikan and Juneau.

 

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The captain had allowed some of his collection of charts from previous voyages to be displayed in the Crow’s Nest during the scenic cruising:

 

 

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More later,

Dave

 

 

 

Edited by RetiredMustang

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April 11, Port Chalmers

 

We docked in Port Chalmers, near Dunedin in the South Island.  The port had stacks of logs awaiting shipment, and their smell, combined with the tree-covered hills made me think of the Pacific Northwest or Alaska.  The port is about 43 degrees south latitude, about the equivalent of northern California/southern Oregon, but it is colder because of Antarctica, and seems to have a climate more like Juneau or Sitka. 

 

We had booked a ship’s excursion called “Otago Peninsula Yellow-Eyed Penguin Reserve.”  We had discovered when we bought New Zealand currency before the trip that the bird is on the New Zealand $5 bill.  From Port Chalmers, we rode a bus about an hour or so through Dunedin and around to the Otago Peninsula to Penguin Place.  We got an orientation talk, and were able to see several of the yellow-eyed penguins in the rehab facility, recovering from wounds or whatever. 

 

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Then, we walked a way to a trench network to look for penguins in the wild.  They were mostly gone that time of year, but we found two penguins pretty close to the trench and I was able to get photos through the slots in the trench wall. 

 

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We then walked around the headland to see the scenery, and found a group of fur seals lying around on the rocks and grass.  We were able to get quite close to them without any apparent concern on their part. 

 

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This excursion’s description said that you would have to climb several dozen steps to visit the trenches.  There were many steps, but they were not extreme and we could take our time, so it was not too much of a challenge.  It is not for someone with a chair or walker, but someone with a cane might be able to do the walk.  Everyone could see the penguins in the refuge, and if you did not feel up to going to the trenches you could wait for the group back at the main buildings.

 

More later,

Dave

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April 12, Akaroa

 

This port visit was blown off – literally.  We approached in high seas and very high winds.  I understand that the port in Christchurch was damaged in the large earthquake a couple of years ago, so cruise ships use nearby Akaroa as a tender port.  But, the weather was so bad that either the captain or the port authorities, or both, decided that it was too dangerous for Noordam to attempt to approach and try to run tenders.  He is a photo I took of the seas and headlands off Akaroa that morning.

 

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We were disappointed, for we had booked an all-day excursion to the Southern Alps, with a featured train ride.  But, even if we had been able to tender, the weather may very well have been as bad in the mountains, and we would not have been able to catch even a glimpse of Mt. Cook or the other Alps.

 

More later,

Dave

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April 13, Picton

 

The weather in Picton the next day was in marked contrast to Akaroa – sunny, warm, and very pleasant.  It was a great day to tour some wineries.  Luckily, we had booked a shore excursion called “The Wines of Marlborough” which took us to three – Forrest, Spy Valley and Wither Hills.

 

We docked near but outside the town of Picton.  The port, like Port Chalmers, had piles of logs waiting for export; someone told us that New Zealand has a thriving timber crop industry using a fast-growing pine that they harvest and export, mainly to China and around the Far East.  Here is a photo of the port:

 

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For our excursion, we boarded and rode a bus through some very pretty countryside.  The area is famous for its sauvignon blanc wines, because of its terrain, spoil and climate that combine to produce excellent wines.  We were able to taste several ones.  We had four tastes at each winery, but each was only about an ounce of wine, so we were still able to taste the ones at the end of the trip as well as the beginning.

Most of the tastes were of sauvignon blanc, some of rose’, a few pinot noirs, and a couple of others.  One was a riesling that they said was dry, but it was still too sweet for us.  At Wither Hills, we tried two sauvignon blancs, one from a section of the vineyard that had soil with a lot of minerals and salt, and the other from a more normal terrain.  We found the first one harsh and not very palatable, but the second was excellent.  This really pointed out the importance of the soil for grapes.

 

The final tasting was of a sparkling gewürztraminer, that we agreed was basically Lambrusco bianco, sweet and somewhat cloying.  The other wines, however, were superb – the sauvignon blancs were outstanding, and the pinot noirs were surprisingly (to me) full-bodied and flavorful; I had thought that pinot noir was a pretty thin wine and usually prefer a shiraz, especially from the Barossa Valley, but I guess I had never had good quality ones.  I have since gone about correcting that oversight.😀

It was a very pleasant day touring through beautiful countryside, and not physically challenging.  Wither Hills Winery had two floors, and I don’t know if there was an elevator.   At Spy Hill, we were led on a short walk to the vines, some still laden with cabernet grapes, but you could have remained on the winery terrace.

 

Here are some photos of our tour:

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More later,

Dave

 

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Hi.  We are taking the same cruise in 2020.  Loved your review and pics.  Looking forward to the rest.

Lynda

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Sorry we did not realise that you were here in Dunedin, it would have been good to meet you both again.

Weather can cause Akaroa to be missed, one cruise we were on,  the ship was able to get into the harbour, but too rough for tendering, therefore had a day slowly cruising up the coast of the South Island. The Christchurch earthquake was 2011, Lyttelton port suffered extensive damage, so Akaroa became the port of call for Christchurch.  Mount Cook  would not have been visible during the excursion  to the Southern Alps.

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Enjoying your review!  We stopped in Picton earlier this year on our cruise and you’re right about the beautiful countryside.  Looking forward to more of your review.

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The Lyttelton Port is constructing new cruise ship facilities, should be open by November 2020, they have at least 70 bookings for the 2020/2021 season.

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3 hours ago, erewhon said:

Sorry we did not realise that you were here in Dunedin, it would have been good to meet you both again.

Weather can cause Akaroa to be missed, one cruise we were on,  the ship was able to get into the harbour, but too rough for tendering, therefore had a day slowly cruising up the coast of the South Island. The Christchurch earthquake was 2011, Lyttelton port suffered extensive damage, so Akaroa became the port of call for Christchurch.  Mount Cook  would not have been visible during the excursion  to the Southern Alps.

On a cruise to NZ a few years ago, it was decided after some passengers had gone ashore at Akaroa to stop tendering (just before we were to board one) but we had to stay in the harbour most of the day to wait for the passengers who had gone ashore.  Fortunately, we managed to get to Akaroa on the Noordam in February/March this year and a lovely little place it was.

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Looking forward to the rest of your review - great pictures.

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12 hours ago, erewhon said:

Sorry we did not realise that you were here in Dunedin, it would have been good to meet you both again.

Weather can cause Akaroa to be missed, one cruise we were on,  the ship was able to get into the harbour, but too rough for tendering, therefore had a day slowly cruising up the coast of the South Island. The Christchurch earthquake was 2011, Lyttelton port suffered extensive damage, so Akaroa became the port of call for Christchurch.  Mount Cook  would not have been visible during the excursion  to the Southern Alps.

 

Good to hear from you again!  It was partly due to conversations we had with you and others on Maasdam in 2016 who were continuing on to New Zealand, while we went to Alice Springs and Uluru, that led us to consider a cruise around your country.  This year, we did it. 

 

I did not realize the earthquake was 8 years ago -- it seems that time flies, to be unoriginal.  For the "Southern Alps Experience" excursion we had booked, I realize that it went northwest to Darfield and Arthur's Pass, and while we were pretty sure we would have seen Mt. Taylor (weather permitting), we had hoped we might catch a glimpse of Mt. Cook to the south.  I had read that Edmund Hillary had trained on that mountain before tackling Everest, and I thought it would be interesting.

 

Dave

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Posted (edited)

April 14, Wellington

 

 

It turned out to be a mostly sunny but a little chilly day, with lots of wind.  Apparently they call it Windy Wellington, because it is on the strait between the north and south islands and the winds funnel through the strait most of the time.   We had considered booking a tour of Te Papa, the national museum, but decided to book the “Wellington Sights” excursion because it went to several places.

 

We rode a bus on aa short windshield tour of Wellington and then alighted at the bottom of the Wellington Cable Car, which is actually a funicular.  We took it up to the botanical gardens for a short visit.  We had about a half hour, depending on which run of the funicular you got, before the boarding the bus again.  DW and I took a stroll through some of the grounds and looked out over the city at viewpoints.  There were public toilets available at the top cable car station, but the next stop a few minutes later also had them.  Here is a photo of the cable car, and of a view from the top:

 

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After we boarded the bus, we rode down and around some of the extensive botanical gardens to the Lady Norwood Rose Garden, where there was a shop where you could get tea or coffee and snacks if you wanted to brave the line/queue.  Above the gardens is the house where the Norwoods lived before they gave the grounds to the city.   Charles Norwood was a businessman and at one time mayor of Wellington.  Near the rose garden is a large field where, our guide told us, U.S. Marines camped during World War II; more on that later.

 

 

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After the break at the rose garden, we then went to Mt. Victoria for views of the city.  There were views from where the bus parked, which was near a monument to the explorer Richard Byrd.  If you wanted, you could climb several dozen steps to the top for even better views.  Here are photos of the Byrd monument, the steps up the hill, and a view from the top. 

 

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Afterward, we drove back downtown and stopped by The Beehive, which is the New Zealand Parliament building, although we did not go inside. 

 

 

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Adjacent is the old St. Paul’s Church, which we toured, even though it was Sunday; they have built a new cathedral and the Old St. Paul’s was not being used for services.   Our guide told us that inside the church are U.S. and U.S. Marine Corps flags displayed.  He explained that, during World War II, the U.S. Marines camped in the field by the gardens were restricted to the base.  Apparently, Marines being resourceful, one Sunday a Marine went outside the camp wire and found his way to the church for services.  He was greeted by an older couple, who invited him home for a family dinner after the services.  The older man said that the Marine was likely to get in trouble, and gave him a ride back to near the camp.  Apparently, the Marine got back inside the wire without incident.  But, the next Sunday, the couple went to church again, and discovered dozens of Marines who had heard about the church services  -- and the family dinner!    

 

O.K, I’m not sure I buy all the details of the story, but it is true that a close friendly relationship developed between the people of Wellington and the U.S. Marines, and indeed, the U.S. and USMC flag are displayed inside Old St. Paul’s.  So, any Marine who ventures to Wellington should drop by and see them, and read the display that talks about the Marines.

 

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This excursion was a short and bit rushed tour, but we got to see quite a bit of Wellington, and our guide was very entertaining.  It would be OK for the physically challenged, so long as you could negotiate a few steps to board/exit the funicular, although I suppose you could ride the bus to the top.  At Mt. Victoria, you could get good views without climbing the stairs, and the rest was on pretty much level ground.  This would be a good tour to see a variety of Wellington sights in a relatively short time.

 

More later,

Dave

 

 

Edited by RetiredMustang

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Posted (edited)

April 15, Napier

 

 

It was a windy overcast day, but the rain held off.  Noordam berthed at the Port of Napier, north of town, but there were free shuttles.  We had booked a short excursion called “Napier City Drive and Aquarium.”  This was basically a windshield tour of the town and a visit to the national aquarium. 

 

Our guide told us the town was destroyed by earthquake in 1931, and rebuilt with many buildings and houses in the Art Deco style.  There was also in town a group of old car fans, so we saw some of them about as well.  Here is a photo that includes both, as well as two photos of Art Deco houses we passed on the bus.

 

 

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We then passed through the central business district and along the shore to the aquarium.  The aquarium was small, but good.  Among the fish, they had piranhas and a large walk-through tank with rays and sharks, etc.  There was a tank with Little Penguins, also called blue penguins.  These are small, quick birds!

 

 

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But, the best part was not a sea creature at all – they had a darkened exhibit hall leading to an enclosure that held two kiwi birds, who were alert and at least semi-active while we visited.  No photos – it was dark and no flash photos were allowed, obviously.  But it was a treat to actually get to see live kiwi birds; that alone would make a visit to the aquarium worth it.

 

We could have walked along the shore, or taken a shuttle to the central town stop ,to explore some more on our own, but the wind was picking up and rain was threatening, so we rode the shuttle all the way back to the port and Noordam.

 

Later in the day, the old car enthusiasts brought their vehicles to the pier and spoke with any guests who wanted to, and posed for photos with their cool cars; some were dressed in period clothing as well. 

 

 

 

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This was a relaxing and not challenging tour.  The aquarium had two floors and we climbed stairs to start at the top.  I think there was an elevator, but don’t remember correctly, so if you need one, you should check before booking this excursion.  The town is small and walkable once you get in from the port, so you could easily spend time on your own exploring.

 

More later,

Dave

 

Edited by RetiredMustang

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April 16, Tauranga

 

This was one of our, or at least my, most-anticipated excursions.  We booked the one to the “Hobbiton Movie Set” which I think would be more aptly named “There and Back Again.”  I had first read the books 50 years ago, and enjoyed the movies.  

 

It was a glorious sunny and crisp fall day.  We took the early tour, leaving the port at Tauranga just after 8, driving over a line of hills and through stunning farmlands, arriving at the Hobbiton set near Mata Mata at about 9:15.  We had a guide who showed us around the set for two hours, ending with ale and a cheese scone at the Green Dragon (and a stop at the gift shop on the way back to the bus).  It was awesome for a Ringer geek like me.

 

I took 143 photos, 141 of them on purpose, and most came out.  I won’t post them all, but here are many.  The hobbit holes were of differing sizes, to allow for forced perspective with movie cameras, some quite small, and one large enough for tourists to pose in.  Here is a random sampling:

 

 

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Some key sights for fans were Bag End, the Sackville-Baggins hole, Number Three Bagshot Row, and the Party Tree.

 

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The tour ended at a pond where stood the mill, and the Green Dragon, which was built in large enough proportions for humans.  We had a choice of tea or coffee, a soft drink, or the best ale in the Southfarthing.  On the way out, we discovered there was (surprise!) a gift shop, carrying a lot of LOTR stuff.  We got a bag of swag to bring home.

 

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This was a great tour for a fan, but it did involve walking on paths and up and down hills.  There were restrooms at the beginning, and at the Green Dragon. 

 

More later,

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi RM,

 

Very good report.

 

Now I needn't finish mine.  I'll just send everyone to yours.  🙂

 

Looking forward to the TP portion.

 

Ira

Edited by I_r_a

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I'm enjoying this report very much. See that your weather was generally excellent.
Some day I would love to get back to New Zealand-I loved my first trip there. For that reason I am especially grateful that you are posting the degree of difficulty factor for those who are less able than they used to be. Thanks.

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9 minutes ago, RuthC said:

I'm enjoying this report very much. See that your weather was generally excellent.
Some day I would love to get back to New Zealand-I loved my first trip there. For that reason I am especially grateful that you are posting the degree of difficulty factor for those who are less able than they used to be. Thanks.

Thanks, Ruth (and Ira and Robert, and all who have made nice comments).  I am glad you are enjoying the thread.

 

We also are less able than we used to be, and I do try to make it a point to discuss anything that may make an excursion difficult.  More on this topic when I post about one of our excursions in Fiji.

 

Dave

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20 minutes ago, RuthC said:


Some day I would love to get back to New Zealand. I am especially grateful that you are posting the degree of difficulty factor

 

Echoing Ruth!

 

It has been a long time since we have been to NZ and Sydney and Melbourne. Thank you for the report and the photos!

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April 17, Aukland

 

This was different from the other New Zealand ports – they were towns, small cities, or in the case of Wellington, a medium city.  Aukland is much larger, with millions of people; in fact, we were told that about one in three or four New Zealanders live in Aukland.

 

We had booked the shore excursion called “Waitakere Wilderness Experience.”  We arrived in Aukland early morning,  Later, our excursion was called, and we were split between two small buses for the excursion – they used the small buses because at one point, the road is too low for large tour coaches to pass.  We had nice weather for our trip to the Waitakere Ranges nearby.  These are a range of small mountains to the west of Aukland, the remains of an ancient volcano.  We were told the name is Maori for “flowing water”.  The settlers logged and cleared most of the land, and established farms.  In the 1940s or so, Aukland outgrew its water source and decided to make the whole area a regional park and establish reservoirs.  Many of the landholders sold, and all farming stopped, but there are still some houses up there.  We went first to the visitor center, where we could get pretty good views to the west over the park and one of the large reservoirs.  There was a sort of totem pole outside the center, and inside a model of the moa bird, now extinct.

 

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Then we drove to a short trail that led to Karekare Falls.  The trail is steep in parts, but only a few hundred meters long and not too difficult.

 

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After visiting the falls, we drove to another trail along a creek for a hike of about 3/4 mile/1.2 km through the forest, which included some kauri trees, which can grow to great size.  The trail is mostly gravel with some boardwalk parts, and has little elevation gain or loss.  New Zealand has seen some diebacks of the kauri trees, and identified an invasive pest that attacks them.  It apparently comes on people’s shoes and can infect the trees if people tread on the shallow roots.  As a consequence, we were required to wash and disinfect our shoes before entering and on exiting the path.

 

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At one point on the drive, we stopped at a viewpoint for photos of Piha town and its beach.  After the forest hike, we then went to the town and could walk along the beach.  It is on the west coast of New Zealand and gets rougher weather; our guide pointed out that the north island of New Zealand narrowed, and we had actually driven from the east coast to the west coast in the course of the morning.  He also said that in the late 1950s, a couple of guys from California arrived at Piha with their Malibu surf boards and showed the villagers how to surf.  The town is now the Surf City of New Zealand, although the waters could be dangerous at times.  There was a small parking lot, and toilets nearby.  A short walk led to the beach.  Our guide thrust a magnet into the sand to show us that the sand included a good deal of ferrous (iron) material.  The bus guides provided water or juice, and some cookies/biscuits for a snack at the beach.

 

 

 

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After about a half hour or so, we got back on the buses and drove back to Aukland and Noordam.  This was an interesting excursion, and not too physically taxing, although it may be too much for some.  We enjoyed our day out in the country.

 

More later,

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Enjoying your reports and photos.

The good folk of Napier usually bring the old cars for each cruise ship visit.  They also entertain with music at sail away time.

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Great report so far and love that you are explaining the level on excursions, really appreciate that.  Love the photos too! 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Dave. We were on Noordam for the Sydney - Honolulu sector of this cruise, post cruise we had 8 nights expensive Waikiki.   Will be interested on your views of the ship, food, entertainment overall, as well the shorex, we did a few of those in the Pacific Islands.

 

Looking forward to your upcoming posts.

Edited by NSWP

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Great posts. Looking forward to reading more as you cruise across the Pacific.

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