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Australia and New Zealand

View the Australia and New Zealand Luxury Cruise Collection

Cruise the coast of this fascinating and diverse continent, calling at highlights including Sydney, Auckland, the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, and crossing the Tasman Sea to Tasmania.

Generally the cruising season in the Antipodes is during the northern winter months from November to March. But there are major temperature differences across the continent.

In Australia the southern cities of Sydney and Melbourne can have extremes of temperatures in the southern summer, whilst on Australia's east coast the temperature rises to uncomfortably tropical in the far north of Queensland. Land journeys to this area and the 'red centre' may be best in the southern winter.

New Zealand's North Island is sub-tropical in the northern part, whereas the stunning fjords on the exposed western part of South Island can be cold and very wet even in summer.

Australia and New Zealand Port Guide

Adelaide (Australia)
The graceful city of Adelaide lies on the coastal plain between Gulf St. Vincent and the Adelaide Hills. It's a metropolis of over one million people, with the wide, tree-lined avenue and Victorian and Edwardian architecture of Rundle Mall, parkland, world-class shopping, and the highest number of restaurants per capita of any Australian city. Adelaide is also the gateway to the rugged beauty and wine-growing region of the Limestone Coast.
Albany (Australia)
Albany has a natural harbour where you can tour the old Whaling Station, now a museum. The first settlers were convicts who arrived on the Brig Amity, and there is a replica in the harbour. The Amity Trail takes in the historic buildings of Albany, including the 19th-century wattle-and-daub 'Patrick Taylor's Cottage' and the courthouse. Whale watching tours operate in the summer, and there are numerous Blowholes to see in Torndirrup National Park.
Auckland (New Zealand)
Auckland is highly-ranked in international quality-of-living surveys, and its nickname, 'City of Sails' comes from the large number of yacht-owners in the population. Shoppers head for the Golden Mile or the up-market area of Ponsonby, well-known for its restaurants. Visit Antarctic Encounter to experience a re-creation of Scott's 1911 expedition and for views of the city, go up the 1076-foot Sky Tower, or climb the extinct volcanic cone of Mount Eden.
Brisbane (Australia)
Portside Wharf is the destination for all but the largest cruise liners visiting Brisbane and facilities include a visitors' centre with a shorebird roost built for migratory birds. Brisbane is a relaxed, riverside city with 26 miles of beaches along the Gold Coast, prestigious boutiques along Edward Street and a thriving caf' culture. Wildlife lovers will enjoy visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and the rain forest of Lamington National Park.
Burnie (Tasmania)
This port on the north-west coast of Tasmania is the gateway to the Cradle Mountain National Park and its rain forest, crags and glacial lakes. There is an indoor reconstruction of a 19th-century street at the Pioneer Village Museum and the gardens of Annsleigh contain a miniature thatched cottage and a working watermill. In the surrounding countryside are the spectacular Guide Falls and impressive views from Roundhill Lookout.
Cairns (Australia)
Cairns is Australia's busiest cruise port, situated in the heart of the city and offering visitors shops, restaurants and tours to the Great Barrier Reef. It has a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere, with broad, tree-lined esplanades and a backdrop of mountains and farmland. Besides the spectacular reef, nearby places of interest include the beaches, steam railway and forest-top cable car of Atherton Tablelands, and the hippie town of Kuranda close to Barron Falls.
Darwin (Australia)
Darwin is surrounded by the wild outback and is one of Australia's most modern cities, having been rebuilt twice since World War II. It is famous for its exotic restaurants serving up buffalo, kangaroo and crocodile, and the Asian night-market at Mindil Beach. The Museum of Arts and Sciences has an excellent collection of Aboriginal art and artefacts. Beyond Darwin is Kakadu National Park and the leaping crocodiles along the Adelaide River
Freemantle (Australia)
Fremantle is the port for Perth and has a large fishing fleet. In Fishing Boat Harbour, which hosted the 1987 America's Cup, is the famous Kailis Fish Market Caf', founded in 1928. Freemantle Arts Centre houses an exhibition tracing the history of Western Australia from its convict days. An enjoyable way of touring the city is to take a replica tram, perhaps stopping to visit the Old Prison or Cappuccino Strip, lined with bars and cafes.
Great Barrier Reef
Cruises along the Great Barrier Reef usually included glass-bottomed boat trips above the coral, and opportunities to swim and snorkel, spotting some of the 1500 species of tropical fish the reef supports. Other wildlife includes humpback whales, the Green Sea Turtle, giant clams, rays and more than 200 species of birds. There are many uninhabited islands along the reef which may be visited on cruise itineraries.
Lyttelton (New Zealand)
This pretty town beneath steep cliff walls is the port for Christchurch on South Island, and is separated from the city by Port Hills.Lyttelton was the starting point for Scott and Shackleton's Antarctic expeditions; the local museum has some interesting exhibits from that era. Banks Peninsula is well-known for its gourmet restaurants and culinary schools, and is close to Akaora's penguin colony.
Melbourne (Australia)
Cruises visiting Melbourne will arrive at Station Pier, where there are shops and good local transport links. Melbourne is a graceful and cultured city with parks, gardens, boutiques and antique shops. Sights include the Gothic architecture along Collins Street, pretty St Kilda in the bay, and the Eureka Skydeck 88, reached by elevator for views of the city and bay. The atmospheric Gold Rush town of Sovereign Hill has well-preserved miners' homes and public buildings.
Sydney (Australia)
Arriving in the port of Sydney, take the escalator to the top deck to take in the famous view of the Opera House. There is much to see in the vibrant city of Sydney, including Bondi Beach, the fashionable Rocks area and Tuaranga Zoo across the harbour. The grand Queen Victoria Building and the Strand Arcade are upmarket shopping destinations. Harbour Bridge climbs are available, crossing catwalks to the summit for views of the Blue Mountains.
Wellington (New Zealand)
Wellington is the hilly capital of New Zealand, overlooked by Mt Victoria. It has a lively waterfront, lush botanical gardens and fine Victorian architecture, including the Gothic St Paul's cathedral. The Te Papa Museum interesting exhibitions and permanent displays tracing the history of New Zealand. The Wellington Cable Car departs from Lambton Quay, climbing to the Botanic Gardens and the new Carter Observatory, the prosperous suburb of Kelburn Village and cafes.
Great Barrier Reef
Melbourne
Wellington