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In five weeks time I’m off on a rejuvenating cruise across the ditch to New Zealand. Although I’ve visited New Zealand on numerous occasions there is still a lot of the country, comprising of two islands, that I haven’t seen. On this occasion I’m seeing it aboard a large ocean liner cruising New Zealand from Auckland and then sailing in a clockwise direction around both the North and South Islands.
We are sailing with Royal Caribbean aboard “Radiance Of The Seas”. It has a passenger capacity of 2,112 guests and half of the ship’s exterior comprises of glass, so we can expect some magical views from the ship. Like all of the cruise ships we’ve been on it has a variety of dining options, including an Italian Restaurant and Brazilian Steakhouse, bars, casino, theatre, swimming pools, gym and rock climbing wall.
Our cruise is an 11 day New Zealand cruise with 8 ports of call, including sailing into New Zealand’s fiordlands of Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds. Each day will bring a new port and new exciting destinations to explore, or we can choose to kick back and relax aboard the well-equipped ship. That is the beauty of cruising. You can choose to do everything or nothing at all!
Auckland will just be a quick visit for us, since we’re flying in late at night prior to the day of our departure on the cruise. As we’ve both been in this city before, we will probably spend the morning prior to boarding checking out the harbour, called Viadect Harbour and all the beautiful yachts and boats. Apart from having great bars and restaurants, Voyager Maritime Museum can be found within the Viaduct Harbour. If we feel inclined we could also jump aboard a chartered yacht cruise that tours the harbour.
Although I’ve spent a few days in the Bay of Islands on a previous trip, I’m looking forward to seeing this spectacular region on the North Island of New Zealand. Bay of Islands encompasses 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula and includes the boutique towns of Opua, Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri. It is the hub for a types of water activities, including sailing, swimming, kayaking, fishing and diving. A must do will be the ferry trip from Paihia over to the historic village of Russell or a visit to Cape Brett and the ‘Hole in the Rock’ on Piercy Island.
The Bay of Plenty, as the name denotes really packs a punch, with the city of Tauranga and one of New Zealand’s most popular beach towns, Mount Maunganui. Here we’re hoping to take in The Strand waterfront area in Tauranga and take a look at nearby Mount Maunganui, a beach town with hot saltwater pools and an extinct namesake volcano with winding walking paths.
I’m excited to indulge my love of Art Deco in the town of Napier on New Zealand’s North Island. With street after street of stunning and beautifully-restored Art Deco buildings I will be setting off on a walking tour of this 1930s masterpiece. However Napier is also home to many fine wineries – my second love! Hawke’s Bay wine region is among New Zealand’s leading producers of wine; notably red wines – cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah – and stunning chardonnays. So I can feel a winery tour coming on!
I’ve always thought of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, as being “windy Wellington”. Maybe its location that sits near the North Island’s southernmost point on the Cook Strait, that makes it so? Like most of New Zealand’s waterfront cities it has a spectacular harbour and waterfront precinct. But what I’m looking forward to is taking in the panoramic views from Mount Victoria Lookout, and riding that red cable car.
Known as the most French town in New Zealand, Akaroa is located 82 kms from the city of Christchurch on the South Island. Interestingly Akaroa was originally an island formed by two volcanic cones, with the peninsula having two dominant craters that form Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours. The town’s French influence intrigues me greatly and I will look forward to exploring some of the French inspired architecture and food.
It will be time to don my kilt and get into the Scottish heritage of this most southernmost city on the South Island of New Zealand. Dunedin, referred to the Edinburgh of New Zealand, is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s plenty of historical buildings to look at, including the Dunedin Railway Station, plus the area abounds in wildlife, like the world’s rarest penguin and albatross habitats.
I will be absolutely thrilled to sail into the dramatic and stunningly beautiful Milford Sound a second time. The south west coast of New Zealand’s untamed wilderness is home to amazing fiordlands. Dusky Sound is the largest and most spectacular of the Fiords. Followed by the deepest and second longest of New Zealand’s fiords, Doubtful Sound. The sounds are full of deep dark fiords, cascading waterfalls, rainforest and towering granite peaks. What a wonderful climax to our New Zealand cruise!
After eight hectic days of hopping off the ship exploring one destination after another, I think I will be looking forward to chillaxing on the ship for two full days of sailing back to Sydney. This will be the time to check out all the great facilities and activities aboard the ship, indulge in some fine dining and even taste my way through the ship’s cocktail list! Here’s hoping for good weather and smooth sailing!
This is what I’m lovin’ about life this week. I’m on the countdown to what will be a splendid cruise holiday. What do you enjoy most about a cruise holiday?
This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who love to promote a Lovin’ Life mindset.
The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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