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Cruising New Zealand

  • October 25, 2018
  • By 50 Shades
  • 28 Comments
Cruising New Zealand

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.

Cruise Details

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.

Cruising New Zealand

Radiance of the Seas Ship

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!

Cruise Itinerary

Day 1. Auckland

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.

Cruising New Zealand

Viaduct Harbour in Auckland

Day 2. Bay of Islands

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.

Cruising New Zealand

The spectacular Bay of Islands

Day 3. Tauranga

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.

Cruising New Zealand

Tauranga and Mount Maunganui in the background.

Day 4. Napier

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!

Cruising New Zealand

The Dome in Napier

Day 5. Wellington

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.

Cruising New Zealand

Cable Car in Wellington

Day 6. Akaroa

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.

Cruising New Zealand

Lighthouse in Akaroa Harbour

Day 7. Dunedin

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.

Cruising New Zealand

The famous Dunedin Railway Station

Day 8. Dusky Sound/Doubtful Sound/Milford Sound

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!

Cruising New Zealand

Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park

Days 9, 10 & 11 Sailing to Sydney

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:

Lyndall from SEIZE THE DAY PROJECT
Deb from DEBBISHDOTCOM
Min from WRITE OF THE MIDDLE.
Leanne from DEEP FRIED FRUIT
Jo from JOANNE TRACEY
and of course me, Kathy from 50 SHADES OF AGE


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By 50 Shades, October 25, 2018 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.
  • 28

50 Shades

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.

28 Comments
  • Lydia C. Lee
    October 25, 2018

    YOu got some really lovely pics. Milford sound looks glorious!!

    • Kathy
      October 25, 2018

      Milford Sound is incredibly beautiful. I’m looking forward to seeing the other sounds. New Zealand possesses a lot of natural beauty. #TeamLovinLife

  • Christine
    October 25, 2018

    Sounds fabulous. I love cruises but I can’t get my hubbie on one of those big ships. Have a marvellous time.

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      Well you’ll just have to go with your girlfriends! That’s what I do if my hubbie doesn’t want to go on a particular holiday. Cruises are a lot of fun and are a very relaxing and stress-free way to travel. #TeamLovinLife

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    October 25, 2018

    We cruised around New Zealand a couple of years ago, Kathy ex Brisbane. It was a little choppy crossing over but after that it was smooth sailing. NZ is such a beautiful country and Milford & Doubtful Sounds were certainly a highlight for me. Such a lovely way to finish the year. Enjoy!

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      Oh dear, that’s what I’m worried about – the crossing when we return to Sydney. I’ll just have to dose up on travel sickness tablets! I think New Zealand will be spectacular and I can’t wait. #TeamLovinLife

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    October 25, 2018

    It looks amazing, Kathy! Can’t wait to read about it. Safe travels.

    SSG xxx

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      Thank you. I’m sure it will be a wonderful holiday. No doubt I will be writing a blog or two about it! #TeamLovinLife

  • Melissa@All Around Oz
    October 25, 2018

    This sounds like a fantastic trip Kathy and a beautiful time of year to be going too.

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      Hi Melissa, yes I can’t wait! Here’s hoping the weather is kind to us and that we have smooth sailing. #TeamLovinLife

  • Natalie
    October 25, 2018

    Your cruise itinerary looks amazing, Kathy. I look forward to reading about it. #teamlovinlife

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      Doesn’t it ever! I’m really looking forward to it and the great thing is that it’s not too far to travel from Australia. #TeamLovinLife

  • Deborah
    October 25, 2018

    Wow, it sounds great Kathy. I’ve not been to the north island at all!

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      It does sound fantastic Deb. I’ve only been to the North Island once and didn’t see much of the south end of it, so I’m looking forward to that.

  • Joanne Tracey
    October 25, 2018

    A great itinerary. As you know I’m a massive fan of NZ – although have such a soft spot for the south island. When we finished the Milford Track our overnight accommodation was at Mitre Lodge – right on the sounds. I’ll always remember waking that last morning to see a cruise ship moored below Mitre Peak. It was a Royal Caribbean, so huge, but was dwarfed by the scale of Mitre Peak.

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      I’m very impressed that you walked the Milford Track Jo. It is one of those items on my bucket list. I have been to Milford Sound previously, so I’m looking forward to seeing the other two – Dusky and Doubtful Sounds.

  • Leanne
    October 25, 2018

    It looks glorious Kathy – a New Zealand cruise is on my to-do list at some stage. I haven’t gotten to NZ yet but I’ve heard how beautiful it is and that the scenery is amazing.

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      The great thing about New Zealand is its pristineness and the countryside is so spectacular. Plus it’s not too far to travel from Australia. #TeamLovinLife

  • jodie
    October 25, 2018

    We just went on a RC cruise to Alaska…different ship, but it’ll be interesting to see how it compares otherwise.
    You should reach out to Cat Coluccio (https://www.facebook.com/CatColuccio/) She lives in Auckland and I just met her last weekend. She’s a dear person!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      An Alaskan cruise would have been amazing Jodie. I saw a recent TV program on this exact cruise and there were polar bears, killer whales and beautiful scenery everywhere. New Zealand is a gorgeous country and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it. #TeamLovinLife

  • Natalie @ Be Kind 2 You
    October 26, 2018

    I love New Zealand and especially Auckland. I’ve never done a cruise but it is something on my bucket list.

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      Yes every time I’ve visited New Zealand it has revealed more and more treasures. I’m looking forward to discovering some more. #TeamLovinLife

  • Janet
    October 26, 2018

    You are doing it in the opposite direction to what we did … not that it matters at all. Cruising through Milford Sound was definitely a highlight, amazing to experience!

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      I guess the direction of travel depends on the time of year and departure/disembarkment port. We’ve already done a small cruise through Milford Sound so I’m looking forward to seeing both Dusky and Doubtful Sounds. #TeamLovinLife

  • Johanna
    October 26, 2018

    Ohhh have the best time! I’m a little jellie :( I sooo want to visit New Zealand, but I’m not sure if I’d choose a cruise or an overland trip for the first time. Actually I’d like to do both. The Bay of Islands and Milford Sound by ship would be awesome. Have a great trip and can’t wait for the stories and images :)

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2018

      It’s such a affordable way to see New Zealand, but I would also recommend heading to the inland areas. We’ve visited at least four times and still enjoy going back to see more. #TeamLovinLife

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    October 28, 2018

    ooooh! That looks fancy. I’ll be keen to find out how hot it is. If I go on a cruise I want to be able to sunbake and spend lots of time in and around the pool. Just wondering if NZ cruising will give that experience (in addition to all the lovely spots to see). Keen to hear all about it! #teamlovinlife

    • Kathy
      November 4, 2018

      Yes it will be very luxurious and relaxing after the year we’ve had. The weather could go either way in NZ – maybe sunny and warm, but also could be freezing!

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