Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
twangster

Live - Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand, 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020

Recommended Posts

Our skipper Darryl introduced himself and the crew took turns introducing themselves.

 

ov_day4-9.jpg

 

Ovation in the distance as we boated across the bay.

 

ov_day4-10.jpg

 

Darryl called out the menu and we were given the choice of three mains.  New Zealand Venison, Lamb or Fish.  With orders taken the crew begins to season our lunch that we'll eat after our first stop.

 

ov_day4-11.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Picture intensive post.  

 

Mid-thread reminder...  please don't quote pictures.  Thanks!

 

We stopped in a quaint little village called Russell.  In the days of whaling Russell was known for two things.  Bars and brothels.  It's come a long way since then... 

 

ov_day4-12.jpg

 

ov_day4-13.jpg

 

ov_day4-14.jpg

 

ov_day4-15.jpg

 

ov_day4-16.jpg

 

ov_day4-17.jpg

 

ov_day4-18.jpg

 

ov_day4-19.jpg

 

Interesting note for pedestrians, the cars don't stop.  Fortunately there aren't very many.  Cars that is.

 

ov_day4-20.jpg

 

ov_day4-21.jpg

 

ov_day4-22.jpg

 

ov_day4-23.jpg

 

ov_day4-24.jpg

 

ov_day4-25.jpg

 

ov_day4-26.jpg

 

An hour was plenty of time to explore from one end of the beach to the other.  Russel is a pretty little area that is popular.

 

ov_day4-27.jpg

Edited by twangster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back on the boat we continued down into the bay.  

 

Remember that rock formation from my earlier pictures?

 

ov_day4-28.jpg

 

Darryl explained there are 140 islands in the region.  To qualify as an island there must be something like 130 sq. meters of vegetation.  

 

It was getting to be that time...

 

ov_day4-29.jpg

 

Lunch preparations continued as we boated around sailboats and around some of the bays in the area.

 

ov_day4-30.jpg

 

The panoramic nature of this boat lended itself to the scenery. 

 

ov_day4-31.jpg

 

Lunch on the barbie.  Or is that only an Aussie thing? 

 

ov_day4-32.jpg

 

New Zealand Venison, medium rare.  Cooked to order so if you prefer charcoal they were willing to cook it that way. 

 

ov_day4-33.jpg

 

Salad and other fixings.  Beer and wine was around $7.50 NZD per glass or ~$5 USD at the moment.    They ran a tab and collected payment at the end.  I didn't have any NZD cash so just used my credit card that doesn't incur any foreign transaction fees.  A beer and a glass of wine came to just under $10 USD.

 

ov_day4-34.jpg
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Approaching the end we passed by a nearby town that is a free shuttle bus ride from the tender dock.

 

ov_day4-46.jpg

 

ov_day4-35.jpg

 

The preparations for the Waitangi Day festivities were continuing.

 

ov_day4-36.jpg

 

A Māori longboat.

 

ov_day4-37.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many of my fellow lunch cruise guests immediately went back onto a tender.  I chose to walk the 25 minutes to that little town we passed by.  The free shuttle buses were nice looking, plentiful and waiting but I wanted to stretch my legs.  

 

ov_day4-38.jpg

 

Bridge jumping was a popular local youth activity today.

 

ov_day4-39.jpg

 

ov_day4-40.jpg

 

It's a very beautiful area.

 

ov_day4-41.jpg

 

ov_day4-42.jpg

 

ov_day4-43.jpg

 

ov_day4-44.jpg

 

This small park had many local artisans with booths set up.  I must confess I flexed my credit card a couple of times.   It's always nice when you can meet the artist that actually created an item and so I supported the local arts community on this day.  

 

ov_day4-45.jpg

 

With my backpack full of memories that will bring this day back to me it was getting quite warm so I hopped on a free shuttle bus back to the tender dock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful Pictures! I now what to go. What was the temperature that day and what is the average temp down there at this time of year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Beautiful Pictures! I now what to go. What was the temperature that day and what is the average temp down there at this time of year?


So far there have been cooler mornings in 60s in F or mid teens in C.  By midday it’s been near or just above 80 F or mid twenties in C.  
 

It hasn’t been as humid as Sydney.  Quite pleasant but bring a light jacket for evenings on deck where the sea temperature rules the nights.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, twangster said:

So far there have been cooler mornings in 60s in F or mid teens in C.  By midday it’s been near or just above 80 F or mid twenties in C.  

Good to know even though it is considered summer down there. Sounds like you should pack sort as if it's like a summer Alaska cruise. Thanks and enjoy! Love what you are doing.

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. Bringing it all back! We sailed on the r tucker Thompson rigged schooner that is in some of your excellent photos. Loved walking around Russell, such a picturesque little town. I do remember however several of our fellow passengers being upset as to how long the tender took as they were missing out on their drinks package!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

after looking at your wonderful photos, I quickly checked my Nov 2020 cruise on P Majestic, and YES it is going to Bay of Islands right after doing Auckland.

 

Let us know besides your tour if there was another one that others on the ship took and liked.  I of course have to wait and see what my cruise line will off.

Appreciate the way you frame your photos by doing little boats and birds.

 

toodles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For reference here is the tender dock:

 

ov_day4pm-1.jpg

 

Back on board I hopped in the shower and enjoyed a beer on my balcony while the remaining hour wasted away before our departure..

 

ov_day4pm-2.jpg

 

The sail out is very pretty.

 

ov_day4pm-3.jpg

 

ov_day4pm-4.jpg

 

Up to the North Star Bar to watch us depart the area.

 

ov_day4pm-5.jpg

 

ov_day4pm-6.jpg

 

North Star was running.

 

ov_day4pm-7.jpg

 

ov_day4pm-8.jpg

 

ov_day4pm-9.jpg

 

It's a beautiful coastline.

 

ov_day4pm-10.jpg

 

ov_day4pm-11.jpg

 

ov_day4pm-12.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The North Star Bar is a secret gem at dusk.  It's seems so few people are present when the sky offers some of the best views of the day.

 

ov_day4eve-1.jpg

 

ov_day4eve-2.jpg

 

ov_day4eve-3.jpg

 

A movie was playing on the outdoor pool TV screen.

 

ov_day4eve-4.jpg

 

I didn't think there was going to be much of a sunset but then in that space between the sky and the sea a hole opened up and the sun presented itself in the gap.

 

ov_day4eve-5.jpg

 

ov_day4eve-6.jpg

 

I spotted a small boat returning to land.

 

ov_day4eve-7.jpg

 

ov_day4eve-8.jpg

 

ov_day4eve-9.jpg

 

ov_day4eve-10.jpg

 

It's always pretty special watching the day end this way and tonight's wrap of our first day in New Zealand was no exception.  

 

ov_day4eve-11.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@twangster Stunning photos as usual.

Love the Bay of Islands, been there about 15 times!

Waitangi is impressive & the bays are stunning.

if you don't see dolphins in the bay that usually means you have your eyes shut!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

please keep the photos coming...😎

 

 

Edited by NumnuT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 5 - Tauranga

 

Our beautiful weather continues for our day in Tauranga.

 

ov_day5-1.jpg

 

ov_day5-2.jpg

 

ov_day5-3.jpg

 

ov_day5-4.jpg

 

ov_day5-5.jpg

 

Today is February 6 which makes it Waitangi Day in New Zealand, a national day of celebration. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My excursion today is booked through a 3rd party.  We were directed to meet outside the port exit.

 

There is a short walk down the pier to the exit.

 

ov_day5-8.jpg

 

Maps were being handed out for anyone who wants to self explore.

 

ov_day5-6.jpg

 

ov_day5-7.jpg

 

The port entrance.

 

ov_day5-9.jpg

 

Immediately in front of the port entrance was a crowd of 3rd party vendors meeting their guests with sign boards.

 

ov_day5-10.jpg

 

My excursion today is the Deluxe Rotorua Geothermal Valley Geishers, Redwood Forest and lunch.  We were presented a menu to pick from and pre-order.

 

ov_day5-11.jpg

 

Kids menu:

 

ov_day5-12.jpg

 

Our driver had arrived early to secure a great parking spot right in front of the port entrance. 

 

ov_day5-13.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our driver toured us around town a little before getting on a highway and heading away from town.  Eventually we made our way through Kiwifruit Country.  

 

On each side of the road were tall natural barriers separated each parcel of farmland.

 

ov_day5-24.jpg

 

We had arrived in the land of Kiwi!

 

ov_day5-20.jpg

 

ov_day5-14.jpg

 

ov_day5-15.jpg

 

ov_day5-16.jpg

 

ov_day5-23.jpg

 

ov_day5-17.jpg

 

Samples of the Golden Kiwi (left) and the popular Green kiwi (right).

 

ov_day5-18.jpg

 

The store featured endless products made from kiwi.  Jams and chocolates to just about anything you can put fruit in was available including kiwi ice cream.  Yum.

 

ov_day5-19.jpg

 

ov_day5-21.jpg

 

ov_day5-22.jpg

 

Restrooms were also available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After leaving the farm we drove for an hour or so to the Rotorua area.  The entire Rotorua area is within the collapsed dome of a volcano.  This includes a recreational freshwater lake and the town.  It also includes a Māori living community where we went next.

 

This is home to many people who open it up to run tours during the day.

 

ov_day5-25.jpg

 

Known in short as Whaka the proper and full name is presented below on a sign.  

 

ov_day5-26.jpg

 

An old tradition will see children swimming and diving for money thrown by visitors from the bridge. 

 

ov_day5-27.jpg

 

Our guides tells us he used to do that as a child but now he has other duties to fulfil around the community including being a guide for tours.

 

ov_day5-28.jpg

 

Everywhere around us steam is coming out of the ground.

 

ov_day5-29.jpg

 

In some spots they've built a box on top of these natural steam vents that are used for cooking.

 

ov_day5-30.jpg

 

ov_day5-31.jpg

 

ov_day5-32.jpg

 

ov_day5-33.jpg

 

This one natural thermal pool is around 80° or 90°C so it's way too warm to swim in but works great for cooking corn very quickly.

 

ov_day5-34.jpg

 

ov_day5-35.jpg

 

The water is constantly bubbling being fed from underground sources that heat the water.

 

ov_day5-36.jpg

 

ov_day5-37.jpg

 

Since this is a living community we see a number of homes like this one which are naturally heated in the winter months.

 

ov_day5-38.jpg

 

We were offered some freshly cooked corn on the cob to sample.

 

ov_day5-39.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were led to a viewing platform for two geysers, a small one on the left and a bigger one on the right.   

 

ov_day5-40.jpg

 

ov_day5-41.jpg

 

ov_day5-42.jpg

 

In places everywhere you look there is steam coming from the ground.

 

ov_day5-43.jpg

 

This small pool of water is at or near 100°C or 212°F.  It's bubbling like a pot of water on a cooktop. 

 

ov_day5-44.jpg

 

ov_day5-46.jpg

 

ov_day5-45.jpg

 

ov_day5-47.jpg

 

ov_day5-48.jpg

 

The geysers from a different view platform.

 

ov_day5-50.jpg

 

ov_day5-49.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then we were brought to an outdoor theater for some Māori cultural presentations.


ov_day5-51.jpg

 

One event was involved singing and throwing sticks with the goal of no stick hitting the ground.

 

ov_day5-52.jpg

 

ov_day5-53.jpg

 

Songs and dances were a way to remember and pass down items of cultural significance which ranged from love songs to war dances.

 

ov_day5-54.jpg

 

ov_day5-55.jpg

 

ov_day5-56.jpg

 

ov_day5-57.jpg

 

ov_day5-58.jpg

 

ov_day5-59.jpg

 

ov_day5-60.jpg

 

ov_day5-61.jpg

 

ov_day5-62.jpg

 

All very well done and well received by the crowds.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After the presentations we were given some free time to explore on our own.

 

We had been told there area is dry right now and in need of rain.  Normally these would be mud puddles bubbling with steam.

 

ov_day5-63.jpg

 

The geysers were going off again.

 

ov_day5-64.jpg

 

ov_day5-65.jpg

 

ov_day5-66.jpg

 

ov_day5-67.jpg

 

It's kind of weird seeing steam coming from the ground in every direction.

 

ov_day5-68.jpg

 

ov_day5-69.jpg

 

ov_day5-70.jpg

 

ov_day5-71.jpg

 

With that it was time to meet our driver and move on to our lunch stop.

 

ov_day5-72.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations

Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...