Auckland to Sydney
Day 1 - Auckland Straddling a narrow isthmus created by 60 different volcanoes, New Zealand's former capital boasts scenic beauty, historical interest and a cosmopolitan collection of shops, restaurants, museums, galleries and gardens. Rangitoto, Auckland's largest and youngest volcano, sits in majestic splendor just offshore. Mt. Eden and One Tree Hill, once home to Maori earthworks, overlook the city. One of New Zealand's fine wine districts lies to the north of Auckland. Auckland served as New Zealand's capital from 1841 until 1865, when the seat of government moved to Wellington.
Day 2 - Tauranga New Zealand's natural bounty is always on display at the Bay of Plenty. It was Captain James Cook who in 1769 aptly named this bay after he was able to replenish his ship's provisions, thanks to the prosperous Maori villages of the region. Tauranga, the chief city, is a bustling port, an agricultural and timber center and a popular seaside resort. Tauranga is also the gateway to Rotorua - a geothermal wonderland that is the heart of Maori culture. A 90-minute drive from Tauranga, Rotorua is New Zealand's primary tourist attraction. Your ship docks near the foot of Mt. Maunganui, which rises 761 feet above the bay. Across the harbor, Tauranga offers scenic tidal beaches at Omokoroa and Pahoia. The region boasts fine beaches, big-game fishing, thermal springs and seaside resorts.
Day 3 - At Sea
Day 4 - Wellington New Zealand's capital offers stunning views of forested peninsulas, dramatic cliff-side homes and fine Victorian buildings. Settled in 1840 by the London-based New Zealand Company, "wonderful, windy Wellington" is frequently buffeted by bracing winds funnelling through Cook Strait. The sophisticated metropolis boasts museums, winding streets and even a cable car. No wonder many travelers compare it to San Francisco. Despite its steep hills, the city can be easily explored on foot. Kelburn Cable Car, stairways and footpaths climb the slopes from the city center.
Day 5 - Christchurch Christchurch has a rich history of adventurers who used Christchurch as a gateway for Antarctic explorations. Famed explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton used the port of Lyttelton as a departure point for their expeditions.
Day 6 - Dunedin, New Zealand Perched on the hills above one of New Zealand's loveliest harbors, Dunedin is a Kiwi city with a Scottish heart. Hailed as the "Edinburgh of New Zealand," Dunedin is proud of its heritage. A statue of famed Scottish poet Robert Burns graces downtown, and the presence of New Zealand's only kilt maker and whisky distillery - as well as many bagpipe bands - keep Dunedin's ties to Scotland alive. The city also boasts a distinguished architectural and cultural history, a legacy of New Zealand's 1860s gold rush. Port Chalmers, gateway to Dunedin, is located eight miles from the city center. Dunedin is a planned city: its streets and suburbs fan out from the city's octagon.
Day 7 - Fiordland National Park New Zealand's largest national park was formed millennia ago by massive glacial flows that carved deep fiords into the coast of New Zealand's South Island. At the heart of Fiordland National Park lies Milford Sound. Lined by cliffs that soar nearly a mile above its surface, Milford Sound cuts into the heart of the Southern Alps. Rainforest clings to the cliffs and graceful waterfalls plummet into the void. Mile-high Mitre Peak dominates the upper reaches of the sound. The town of Te Anau in Fiordland National Park is also your gateway to the South Island's other natural wonders including Lake Wakatipu, the resort of Queenstown and Mt. Cook National Park.
Day 8 - At Sea
Day 9 - At Sea
Day 10 - Hobart, Tasmania Tasmania's capital has much in common with Sydney. Founded but a few years later, Hobart also owes its origins to the establishment of a penal colony - and its natural setting is just as impressive. Seen from its fine deep-water harbor, Hobart spills over the lower reaches of the Derwent Valley as Mt. Wellington towers in the background. Much of the city's heritage is centered on the historic waterfront. North of the city stretches the vast parkland of the Queen's Domain. Many of Tasmania's other attractions are within easy reach of Hobart.
Day 11 - At Sea
Day 12 - Sydney, Australia As your ship passes Harbour Heads, you are presented with the shimmering skyline of Sydney - hailed by many seafarers as "the most beautiful harbor in the world." Two prominent landmarks, Harbour Bridge and the sail-like curves of the Sydney Opera House, grace the backdrop of this picturesque harbor. There is a wealth of adventure waiting in Sydney - from its cosmopolitan city center to miles of beautiful beaches and the Blue Mountains. Australia's oldest and largest city was born in 1788 with the arrival of the "First Fleet" transporting 760 British convicts. Today, Sydney is the largest port in the South Pacific and is often voted the most popular destination in the South Pacific.
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