Seabourn Odyssey New Zealand and Australia January 25th to February 15, 2016
Jan 26th We enjoyed being back in New Zealand. Our first port was in the Bay of Islands in the northern part of the North Island. We anchored and used tenders to go ashore in Russell. Our first visit to New Zealand was in the mid 1990's, and after a couple of nights in Auckland we drove to Russell and stayed in a Bed and Breakfast called the Kimberly House. It is now a private home surrounded by other homes, but at the time sat by itself on the hillside overlooking the town of Russell and the Bay of Islands. We still retain wonderful memories and returned to the Bay of Islands on our many return trips to this wonderful country.
Jan 27th For some reason Seabourn only docks in Auckland for one day, rather than overnight as in many other cities. We never seem to have enough time here on cruises. We walked about the city and I got a haircut from a barber I have used whenever we are in Auckland. Unfortunately he will be retiring later this year. I will miss him. We also replenished our supply of toiletries and I bought a couple of pairs of trousers.
Jan 28th The port we docked at is officially named Tauranga, but it is located in Mount Manganui. We always enjoy visiting here and stayed here for several weeks during a couple of our extended stays in New Zealand. It has remained pretty much as we remember it and we enjoyed a long walk and stopped for a coffee and scone at one of the many cafés.
Jan 29th Sea Day
Jan 30th Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. We have never really found it to be very attractive or inviting. In 2014 on the World Cruise we had a nice tour to a sheep ranch and this year I went on a short city tour and got some interesting photos.
Jan 31st Akaroa is the port nearest the city of Christchurch. We have many wonderful memories of time spent in Christchurch prior to the horrible earthquakes that devastated the city. We chose to remember its beauty and instead stayed at the Port. (I have included links to photos of New Zealand that I took prior to our cruises which include photos of Christchurch). On this visit I took a wildlife cruise for sighting Hector's Dolphins, New Zealand Fur Seals, and sheep(!).
Feb 1st Dunedin is a college town, and other than the old Train Station, does not in itself offer much of interest to us. On previous land based trips to this part of New Zealand we really enjoyed trips to nearby areas of penguin and albatross colonies on the Otago Peninsula. (Photos of these excursions are included in links to our prior land based time in New Zealand).
Feb 2nd We were anchored off the coast of Stewart Island for the day. I waited too long to make a reservation on a bird watching cruise I had looked forward to, so we stayed on board the ship. It was an extremely foggy, rainy day. As we left that evening the weather broke and we had sunny skies with a chance for a couple of nice photos.
Feb 3rd Once again we were up against a Pacific Storm, so we made a four hour cruise into Millford Sound. The weather cleared for the latter part of our visit and we were treated to some spectacular scenery before hightailing it for Hobart, Australia in order to avoid the worst of the rough seas.
Feb 4th and 5th Sea Days on our way to Australia
We renewed our love for this Country and are planning to spend several months in New Zealand next winter.
Following are links to photos taken during this trip to New Zealand as well as to photos of our previous extended visits.
Feb 6th We made a slight deviation on our course in order to avoid the worst of the rough seas and arrived in Hobard not much worse for the wear. Our first visit to Hobart was in the late 1990's and we spent most of our time in Tasmania at the Cradle Mountain Lodge. One big disadvantage of cruising is that there is never enough time in places we enjoy, and too much time in places we would just as soon skip. This was a case of not enough time and only walked around the waterfront area.
Feb 7th Sea Day
Feb 8th Burnie is a city we enjoy. For some reason we were only in port for 5 hours. We made the most of our time walking around the city. It is small, but clean and easy to walk.
Feb 9th Melbourne is another city we enjoy. I decided to participate in a wildlife tour which provided me with an opportunity to photograph kangaroos and Koalas.
Feb 10th Geelong is a great for walking. We enjoyed the day.
Feb 11th Sea Day
Feb 12/13 We were very disappointed by where we docked in Sydney, far from the Circular Quay. Seabourn ran a shuttle bus to Darling Harbor which we did not find very appealing.
Feb 14th Sea Day
Feb 15th Brisbane was our final port in Australia. We were docked in an industrial area. We rode the shuttle bus to the downtown area which did not look especially interesting and just rode back to the port and enjoyed the solitude of the ship. The Brisbane River afforded some nice photo opportunities.