New Zealand Cruise 2011-part 1

30 January 2011

Wow.....what an amazing holiday.
Ian, Briony and I spent 13 nights cruising New Zealand aboard the Sun Princess
with our dear Qld mates 
Ron, Donna, Shaun, Emma and Kate.

so lets begin....

With much excitement we boarded the ship at 1pm on January 12th.
We sailed out under the Harbor Bridge with cocktails in our hand ...our long awaited cruise was underway.

the girls had mocktails....

There was a real party feel on deck....
It was sunny...
and a band was playing...
We just knew we were in for a fabulous holiday.

The next few days were spent at sea..
We read, dined, took in some stage shows, played trivia, went to the movies and caught up on sleep.

January 15th
We awoke and were in the Bay of Islands.
We needed to catch ship tenders into the port and the ship remained out in the harbour.

The Bay of Islands is dotted with 150 islands....
What I remember is the gorgeous handmade markets on the lawns...
The beaches and all the boats in the water..
and the yummiest icecream of the entire trip.

We took a trip out to the Kawiti Glow worm caves...

and to Haruru Falls

January 16th
We docked in Auckland.
I thought it was amazing that we were docked right in the city...only metres from the Hilton hotel.
Auckland is a beautiful city... and we had a jam packed day.
We hired a car....and with Ian and the wheel and Rons Navman...we blasted off..

First stop...Auckland Sky tower and its viewing platform 220 metres above the ground.
The view was amazing.... and the glass panels in the floor added an entire new dimension.....some of us could stand on them.....and others

Next stop was Kelly Tarltons Underwater world / Antarctic Adventure

where we met the cutest little penguins...

Then it was off to the Auckland Museum and the most wonderful collection of Maori cultural well as a well as cultural performance ending in the haka.

From the museum we headed up to the Mount Eden lookout.... a large extinct volcano crater

 then the boys rugged up for a drink at the Minus5 ice bar... everything was ice...includig the glasses they drank from.

Then it was back onto the ship and off to Tauranga

January 17th
Today we were docked in Tauranga...

Once we had our hire car we set off to Rotaroua and the Te Puia thermal reserve
What an incredible was hot... it had 'that' smell....
and it was unlike anything Id ever seen before in my life.
Mud bubbling.....steam coming from the ground everywhere....and the most amazing Pohutu geyser.

Then we made a stop at the Skyline Gondola and Luge
What a hoot!
The Gondola gave us a fantastic view....and the luge adventure was the source of a great many laughs.

Our final stop for the day was at Hobbiton... a filming location for Lord of the Rings.
Sadly we were too late for Shaun to do the tour....
 but it was the beginning of many hobbit adventures to come.

Part 2 to follow...
(Many thanks to Donna for many of the photos included in this post)


  1. Wow Mardi! It looks like an amazing trip so far and I'm loving those pics!!!

    Sheree xx

  2. Anonymous4:29 pm

    How fabulous! I am a bit jealous! ;)

  3. Mardi what a great post...we had the best time...your pics are great

  4. What awesome photos Mardi! Looks like a fun holiday..x