Upcoming Travel Plans

It might be more than 200 sleeps but I’m getting super excited about my New Zealand cruise in November.

Yes, that’s right.. a Kiwi girl living in Brisbane is going on a NZ cruise. Well, I’ve wanted to do a NZ cruise for ages and this one just happens to coincide with my birthday so I thought ‘Why the hell not?‘.

So the cruise is 12 nights, sails from Sydney to Auckland and goes to the following places:


Melbourne – I’ve been to Melbourne loads of time but was last there a couple of years ago. The plan is to get a tram into the city centre and among other things, go to one of my favourite places for street art – Hosier Lane.

Yarra at night
Photo by me 🙂

Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound – it’s sad for me to admit but I’ve never been here! I’ve been to Te Anau but never into the Sounds. This is a sailing day so we don’t get off the ship but we go through the amazing Fjordland area. Fingers crossed for good weather!

Milford Sound New Zealand.
This amazing photo of Milford Sound is by Bernard Spragg from Flickr 

Dunedin – it’s been nearly 20 years since I was in Dunedin & that was just for one day. Last time I spent any real-time in Dunedin was when I was 15, which was a very long time ago. The plan for ‘Dunners’ is going to the Railway Station (which is amazing!) and the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, where I’m hoping the photos of my 3 x great grandparents are still on display. Also really want to check out some street art, for which Dunedin is very up & coming with. {Fun fact} Dunedin is New Zealand’s oldest city and the Otago University is also the oldest in the country – founded in 1869. Dunedin also has a very Scottish influence, with the word ‘Dunedin’ (Dùn Èideann) meaning Edinburgh in Gaelic.

Dunedin Railway Station (18)
Photo of the Dunedin Railway Station by Bernard Spragg on Flickr

Akaroa – so Akaroa is literally over the hill from Christchurch and the day I am here is my actual birthday. But I won’t be going to see my mum… the road from Akaroa to the small town of Little River is very, very windy. Which is why whenever I think I’m going to visit Akaroa when I’m home, I only get as far as Little River.. last time I was in Akaroa was in the 90’s! So looking forward to seeing what it’s like now.

Akaroa Harbour
Photo of Akaroa Harbour by Henrico Prins on Flickr

Wellington – another city that I haven’t been to for a very long time. I have a plan to go to the Gallipoli exhibition at Te Papa (New Zealand’s museum) and get the cable car to Victoria Park. Other than that, not really sure. {Fun Fact} Wellington is NZ’s capital & it is the southern most capital city in the world. It also has an amazing cafe culture.

Tourist Wellington
Photo of gorgeous Wellington by James Barwell on Flickr

Tauranga – I think I’ve been to Tauranga once but I was a kid so can’t remember. The plan here is to do my main shore tour, which is to go to Hobbiton. If you have seen any of the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit movies, you will know what I’m talking about.. I have also recently learned that Tauranga has a very cool street art scene as well.

Photo of Hobbiton by Tom Hall on Flickr

Bay of Islands – another place that sadly I have never been to. I am honestly not sure what I’m going to do here. There are a couple of tours I could do that include going to where the Treaty of Waitangi was sign – the document that essentially made New Zealand a country. I think I’m going to have to read into the tours a bit more before making my decision.

Robertson Island, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Photo of Robertson Island in the Bay of Islands by Andrea Lai on Flickr

The cruise then finishes in Auckland about 6.30am on the 11th November and I have no idea what I am going to do from then. I have a couple of options and I really need to start making a decision:

  1. Stay in Auckland for a few days & then fly back to Brisbane
    Pros:   Less overall cost as would only need to get a hotel in Auckland & whatever I choose as activities. More choice of airlines flying Auckland to Brisbane.
    Cons:  I would have to find enough stuff in Auckland to keep my occupied. Getting around Auckland would be a pain. It’s Auckland!
  2. Go down to Christchurch for a few days & then fly back to Brisbane
    Pros:  Get to see my mum. I’d be able to do my washing for free! It’s the easiest option. It’s Christchurch.
    Cons: I always go to Christchurch. Cost would include flight from Auckland to Christchurch as well as car hire (most likely) and also from Christchurch to Brisbane.
  3. Hire a car from Auckland and drive down to New Plymouth for a couple of days. Then drive back to Auckland and fly back to Brisbane from there.
    Pros:  Getting to see more of the North Island. I haven’t been to New Plymouth before. I would be able to visit the grave of my Great Grandfather, Great George.
    Cons:  It would be expensive – car hire from Auckland for 4/5 days + accommodation in New Plymouth. Would I go anywhere else? I have family & friends around that area so I would feel like I should see them since I’m there but I only have 4 days.

I am leaning towards New Plymouth, but only really because I haven’t been there before and since I’m finishing the cruise in the North Island I thought it would make sense to see more of that island. I haven’t really spent a lot of time in the North Island in my adult life so that is why it is something I am contemplating.

Like I said, going to Christchurch (despite the cost) is easier because I know it so well and can get around even without a car if I have to. In saying that, I’ve been to London, NYC & Sydney so getting around Auckland shouldn’t really phase me 😀

I guess this is as much a ‘wait and see’ situation for me as well as you 🙂

If anyone out there is in the North Island or has been there, I’d love any ideas or tips that might help me make my decision – I have about 4 full days but I might be able to get another couple of days off… if I complain enough!

9 thoughts on “Upcoming Travel Plans

  1. After reading your 3 choices, my first thought was New Plymouth too, but it also sounds like it could be quite tiring. After that many days on and off a cruise ship exploring, do you think you’ll be up for more or would you be more in the mood for a quiet 4 days…?

    And I’m so jealous you get to see Hobbiton!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think so.. i have family south of Auckland who I haven’t seen for years so will be catching up with them at the same time so hopefully that will break the monotony a bit. I’m going to try to push for an extra couple days off haha.. Hobbiton looks amazing aye! Its the only shoretour I really want to do

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You should do option 4 if you’ve never been! Your pictures brought back so many memories as I explored the north and South Island in 2 days. Hobbiton won’t disappoint (even if you’re not a LOTR fan). Milford Sound is GORGEOUS but do not have super high hopes. I found that many other parts of New Zealand had more to offer. Make sure you visit Lake Tekapo in November/December (if you haven’t already done that). It’s magical!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t done Tekapo in November/December but its definitely on my list of things to do at some point – I only have a day in each port so won’t have time this trip but I do go home a bit so will get there eventually haha. Can’t wait for Hobbiton though & I’ve been reading about other cruises to NZ & the weathee can be very hit & miss so my expectations are quite low at this point haha

      Liked by 1 person

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