Relaxing Journeys Blog

4 New Zealand Shore Excursions to Enjoy this Year

New Zealand cruising is fast becoming an essential bucket-list entry on every globe-trotters mind. There’s something about a sea-bound trip, the freedom, the food, the togas… it’s a unique experience, appealing to people who love their accommodation, dining and entertainment options all in one place. Although you’re not forced to leave the boat when the anchor drops, it would be a shame not to explore the ports and tours at your fingertips. We believe in making New Zealand shore excursions special – there’s a lot that goes into making the perfect memory, so we’ve tried and tested these four shore tours to get you started.

1. Wellington: The Highlights Tour

Weta Cave, Wellington

Weta Cave, Wellington

Shore Excursion Category: City Sights
Island: North
How Much: $110 pp
What You’ll Do: Prepare your happy snapping fingers, you’re in for an educational, inspiring and awesome ride around the Windy City. Beginning your journey in an iconic cable car, you’ll be met by your guide at the station, friendly and ready to answer all your questions. From there, you’ll be treated to the views of Mount Victoria; the historical stalwarts of the Roxy Cinema, Parliament and Old St Paul’s Church; the wondrous Weta Cave; the halls of Te Papa and of course, the glistening Wellington Harbour. Our tip? Wear your walking shoes!

2. Auckland: The Must-See Tour

Auckland Viaduct

Auckland Viaduct

Shore Excursion Category: City Sights
Island: North
How Much: $99 pp
What You’ll Do: Meet your tour leader under the gaze of the Auckland Skytower, an architectural spear in the heart of the city. Once everybody has gathered and checked in, you’ll be directed to Auckland Domain for some sight-seeing, before continuing onto the striking Bastion Point. You’ll be also invited to wander the secluded Eden Gardens; a peaceful and picturesque destination close to the Government building. Enjoy a light snack and make some new friends, as you enjoy the shaded lawns and gorgeous variety of native flora. End the tour with an amble across the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge to Devonport, exploring the shops and cafes at your leisure.

3. Christchurch: What You Can’t Miss

Shore Excursion Category: City Sights
Island: South
How Much: $115 pp
What You’ll Do: Christchurch is a city of stunning views, historical relevance and natural marvels. Your experienced guide will first direct you to Akaroa, an elegant little town hemmed in by a glittering harbour, before leading you over the 1500 foot crater of an extinct volcano and into the Garden City itself. Before breaking for a scrumptious café lunch, you’ll witness the evolution of Christchurch following the 2010/2011 earthquakes, passing through still-recovering areas and stopping at local icons. Your afternoon will be filled with activities of your choice (at your own expense) – punting the Avon is a popular choice and it’s hard to go past a tour of the Botanic Gardens. Finish the day with a drink at the Hilltop Tavern before boarding your cruise ship.

4. Tairei Gorge & Dunedin: Wilderness Safari

taieri_gorge_train

Taieri Gorge Train

Shore Excursion Category: Rail Adventures
Island: South
How Much: $161 pp
What You’ll Do: Dunedin is nothing short of stunning (although it can get a little cold – we recommend layered clothing), a lesson you’ll quickly learn as you board your train for the Tairei Gorge Railway tour. Sit back, relax and listen to the informative commentary, as wrought iron viaducts and hand-hewn tunnels appear before you, standing stoic and strong for more than a century. The train will either stop or come to creep as glorious scenes demand attention, allowing you to capture that perfect picture without worrying about blur. Back in Dunedin, your coach will steer you around the city for a two-hour highlights tour, including the steepest street in NZ, historical homes, peninsula views and finally St Clair beach. Phew! It’s a big day out.

Cruising this year? Speak to the knowledgeable folk at Relaxing Journeys and make the most out of your shore time in New Zealand.


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