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Sep 2013

Top 10 Shore Excursions in Australia & New Zealand

Submitted by: HAL Destinations Team

With so much to see and do, a trip to Australia and New Zealand is made all the more exciting by taking part in one — or several — of our exciting shore excursions. Each tour is carefully crafted to offer the most fulfilling experience possible, and our reputable tour operators ensure that our guests are well taken care of while in their care. It’s a seamless experience, from the moment you join your group in the Queen’s Lounge until you get back onboard, which is why taking a Holland America Line tour is a safe and secure way to explore each port.

You already know in Sydney you want to visit the famed Opera House and in Auckland a tour to the Sky Tower is a must, but what about the other ports, or off-the-beaten-path attractions in the cities like Sydney? Whether you like a simple city tour, an adventurous experience or something with an historic element, leave the planning to us because we’ve got something for everyone.

If you’re looking for ideas of what to see and do, here are our top 10 tours in Australia and New Zealand:

Milford

Milford Sound, New Zealand: Milford Sound to Dunedin Overland
Travel from Milford Sound to Dunedin on the Overland Tour, taking in breathtaking scenery and enjoying a unique glimpse at the New Zealand way of life. In Queenstown, take a breathtaking gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak for spectacular views across Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, then in the early evening board the 1913 historic steamship TSS Earnslaw for a cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Sheep Station. On day two, visit Arrowtown — a beautifully preserved gold mining village retaining much of its 19th-century character — before going through the picturesque Kawarau Gorge on the way to Dunedin.

Adelaide, South Australia: Wine Tasting in the Barossa Valley
Guests on the Wine Tasting in the Barossa Valley tour journey to the Barossa Valley, Australia’s foremost wine-producing region and home to around 50 wineries. Guests visit four of the valley’s boutique wineries, with tours, tastings, lunch and an opportunity to purchase the wines.

wine

Akaroa, New Zealand: High Country Explorer — Off the Beaten Track
The adventurous High Country Explorer: Off the Beaten Track tour explores one of New Zealand’s least-visited areas — the rugged hill country of the Southern Alps. Guests visit the 10,000-acre property of Woodstock Station, the largest farm in the Oxford area, located along the northern boundary of the Waimakariri River Gorge, and take a Hamilton jet boat ride along the river followed by a 4×4 tussock buggy ride through bush-clad slopes up into the tussock-covered high country of Flock Hill Station.

Dunedin, New Zealand: Nature’s Wonders By Argo Vehicle
During the Nature’s Wonders By Argo Vehicle tour, guests board an 8-wheel-drive vehicle, known as an Argo, at Taiaroa Head for a scenic one-hour off-road journey to view some of the Otago Peninsula’s most spectacular wildlife inhabitants. Highlights include the New Zealand fur seals that live on the rocks and the sea lions that are naturally sand dwellers.

Fremantle (Perth), Australia: Kedalak Kening – Nighttime Corroboree
Guests on the Kedalak Kening — Nighttime Corroboree tour enjoy an evening of cultural immersion as they experience the authentic traditions of the Aboriginal community. Guests see a traditional dance performance, hear stories of the Dreamtime, feel the reverberating tones of the didgeridoo and sample the flavors of a bush supper of kangaroo, emu and other native foods prepared with a modern twist.

Hamilton Island, Australia: Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Snorkel Adventure
Experience one of the true wonders of the world on a journey to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on the Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Snorkel Adventure tour. Come face to face with schools of tropical reef fish, be amazed at the spectacular coral formations, explore easy-to-follow snorkel trails or simply relax on the sundeck and enjoy the amazing 360º view of the Great Barrier Reef.

Melbourne, Australia: In the Wild! Kangaroos & Koalas
Experience the thrill of seeing majestic, native Australian animals in the wild on this In the Wild! Kangaroos & Koalas eco-tour, which showcases the wildlife and wonders of the Australian bush. Guests spend part of the tour in the savannah grasslands and bush in the company of wild kangaroos, emus and many species of birds, then venture into the You Yang Ranges National Park to walk among the gum trees and search for koalas in a natural eucalyptus forest.

Kangaroo

Napier, New Zealand: The Arch of the Ancestors Experience
Discover the rich traditions and history of the Maori people on this genuine Arch of the Ancestors Experience culture and heritage tour held on ancestral lands, which have been set aside as a conservation reserve. After the traditional welcome, guests spend time with the “home people” in small groups to learn about their different crafts and customs and then see demonstrations of various traditional activities — fighting drills, the art and skill of poi and wood carving.

Sydney, Australia: Seaplane Flight & Fine Dining
Guests are in for the thrill of a lifetime as they enjoy the experience and romance of a floatplane flight on the Seaplane Flight & Fine Dining tour. Follow the coastline along Sydney’s northern beaches then turn inland over the majestic Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park and Hawkesbury River to land in front of Cottage Point Inn for a leisurely lunch. On the return flight to Sydney Harbour the pilot will take guests past the Harbour Bridge and Opera House before landing at Rose Bay.

Wellington, New Zealand: Lord of the Rings Locations & Weta Cave
On the Lord of the Rings Locations & Weta Cave tour, guests experience the magic of Wellington’s movie making genius. This fun tour visits the sites where filming began for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Weta Cave (mini-museum and shop) is Wellington’s newest Lord of the Rings venue and here guests will view the first-ever behind the scenes look at Weta — an insight into the creativity that goes into crafting these amazing movies.

7 Comments

  1. What are the prices of the cruise–and the side trips. They are usually cheaper once you get off the ship. How much is airfare from Omaha, NE?

  2. Hermine, we’re getting you information about the cruises. And while the tours might be less expensive when you get off the ship (not always the case) we cannot recommend taking them because (1) we do not know the tour operators (2) we cannot assure guests that they are a safe and reputable company (3) if you run into a problem and are late back and miss the ship, we cannot wait. But if you are on one of our tours, the ship will wait. This is why we recommend a tour that we offer. We have spent years vetting each tour, making sure it’s the most enjoyable, safest and secure tour possible. Julie, HAB editor

  3. On Hamilton Island, I understand from your staff that no ship-sponsored excursion exists to the Koala Gallery and Wildlife Experience which you reference in the opening comments about Hamilton Island. Is this site accessible by taxi or on foot from the Volendam’s dock on Hamilton Island? What other facilities are accessible to walk-off passengers on the island?

  4. We are sailing on the Osterdam March 16 from Sydney. Can you tell me the cost of laundry service if you sign up for the whole cruise? Many thanks we are in a Veranda.
    Also we are in a handicap veranda room but thinking of changing to a veranda not handicap.
    How high is the side of the bathtub ? We both have trouble climbing over the side of a tub.
    Tx

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