Uncover Nature's Masterpiece
Experience the beauty of New Zealand from perspectives only reachable by sea
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a culture lover, or a foodie, a New Zealand cruise guarantees to be unforgettable experience. With its breathtaking landscapes, diverse cultures, and unmatched hospitality, New Zealand is truly a paradise for any traveller. And the best part? It’s so close to home. No long flights, lay overs or jet lag. You can cruise right here from Australia.
On your New Zealand cruise, prepare to be captivated by the World awe-inspiring fjords of Milford Sound as well as urban delights such as Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, Queenstown is the place to be. Known as the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, this city boasts ski resorts, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, and thrilling jet boating opportunities. And let’s not forget that New Zealand is a haven for food and wine enthusiasts alike, with superb cuisine and internationally-renowned wines on offer.
Embarking on an Australia-New Zealand cruise not only grants you the opportunity to traverse the entirety of both the enchanting North and South Islands but also opens doors for unforgettable experiences. Typically, these voyages set sail from Auckland in New Zealand or Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in Australia. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to visit spectacular destinations such as the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, as well as the captivating Fiordland.
The official start of the cruise season in New Zealand is in early October, but the best time to explore New Zealand is during the peak summer months of December, January, and February. Most of the major activity winds down by the end of April, but there is also a shorter winter cruise season that runs from April to July, but only a few ships visit during this time.
Popular Cruise Lines
New Zealand may not have as bustling a cruise season as Australia, but it remains a popular destination for many cruise ships, especially those that call Australia home. P&O Australia stands out as a top choice for Australian cruisers, offering frequent visits to New Zealand. Other reputable cruise lines like Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Cunard also make regular stops in New Zealand during the summer months.
If you’re looking for a luxurious cruise experience in New Zealand, there are several exceptional options to consider. Crystal, Seabourn, Azamara, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Silversea all offer captivating itineraries in this picturesque country. However, if you prefer a more adventurous and off-the-beaten-path journey, expedition cruises are the way to go. These cruises not only visit New Zealand’s South Island but also venture to sub-Antarctic islands, providing a truly unique and unforgettable experience. You’ll have the opportunity to explore lesser-known Kiwi destinations like White Island, Stewart Island, and Kaikoura.
Highlights of New Zealand
Situated in the spectacular Fiordland National Park, Doubtful Sound is an awe-inspiring natural wonder, and cruising through the deepest and second-largest fjord in New Zealand is an absolute trip highlight. Don’t miss the magnificent 619-meter Browne Falls in Hall Arm or the breathtaking 220-meter Helena Falls at Deep Cove. Keep your eyes peeled for delightful encounters with dolphins, penguins, and fur seals. And as your cruise ship gracefully traverses the New Zealand wilderness, the majestic fiords will reward you with unforgettable vistas.
Key Ports to Visit
⚓ Auckland, New Zealand
Get ready for breathtaking views, adrenaline-pumping activities, and mouthwatering culinary delights in New Zealand’s largest city. Unwind at a seaside brewery or dive into the rich history and captivating culture of the Maori at the Auckland Museum. Channel your inner daredevil with a bungee jump or take the ultimate leap of faith with a base jump from the iconic Sky Tower. Indulge in New Zealand’s vibrant café culture and savor delicious coffee and culinary delights. Get ready to be enchanted by Auckland’s beauty, activities, and welcoming spirit.
⚓ Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Experience the turquoise waters and 144 subtropical islands of New Zealand’s Bay of Islands; explore ancient Maori village sites on Urupukapuka Island; or simply unwind on pristine white-sand beaches. Discover the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds and witness playful bottlenose dolphins on a dolphin spotting cruise. Indulge in local delights like fish and chips and bistro fare featuring regional delicacies.
⚓ Dunedin, New Zealand
Located on the southeast coast of New Zealand’s South Island, nestled on the Otago Peninsula, is the charming city of Dunedin. Explore Larnach Castle, witness penguins and albatross at Taiaroa Head, and indulge in delicious local cuisine. Dunedin is where Scottish castle meets captivating wildlife, mouthwatering cuisine, and endless shopping delights.
⚓ Tauranga, New Zealand
The place where every hobbit-enthusiast has their dreams come true. In Tauranga, discover the iconic filming location of Hobbiton and immerse yourself in the magical realm of ‘Lord of the Rings’. But don’t let this celebrity-like status stop you from experiencing everything else Tauranga has to offer, from geothermal wonders and amazing local cuisine and wine. Mills Reef Winery has a superb Pinot Noir that you can try in the on-site restaurant.
⚓ Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is located at the southern tip of the North Island, right in the heart of the country. Immerse yourself in the bustling streets, explore world-class museums, indulge in Maori delicacies, and experience breathtaking views from the Kelburn Lookout. Join the film industry buzz in ‘Wellywood’ and sip on craft beer or sample exceptional wines in the nearby wine country. With a relaxed atmosphere and warm hospitality, Wellington is a must-visit on any New Zealand cruise itinerary.
⚓ Milford Sound, New Zealand
Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Milford Sound, located in the incredible South Island of New Zealand. Cruise through towering mountains and enchanting waterfalls, explore the renowned Milford Track, and marvel at the majestic Mitre Peak. Capture the ultimate photographs of massive waterfalls and spot charming fur seals and playful dolphins. This exceptional destination is one of unparalleled natural beauty.
One of the notable characteristics of New Zealand is its high annual rainfall, which is spread evenly throughout the year. The country is also famous for its unpredictable weather. Our Kiwi friends often say that you can experience four seasons in a single day, and they are not joking! While the far north may enjoy subtropical weather during the summer, the inland alpine areas of the South Island can get as cold as -10 Celsius in winter. However, most of the country lies close to the coast, resulting in mild to cool temperatures year-round.
As you travel southbound in New Zealand, the average temperature decreases. The warmest months are January and February, with summer temperatures ranging between 20 to 30 Celsius, depending on your location. When packing for your trip, it is advisable to include layers of clothing and rain gear, as the weather can change unexpectedly.
With the time you save by not having to fly to the other side of the world for your holiday, why not extend your New Zealand trip and add on a rail experience? Designed with tourists in mind, New Zealand’s trains journey along scenic routes that take ou through remote national parks, volcanic landscapes, alpine passes, and picturesque coastlines. Operated by KiwiRail Scenic Journeys, there are three routes to choose from. The first is the Northern Explorer, which connects Wellington and Auckland, passing through the volcanic heartland of the North Island. For those craving a coastal journey, the Coastal Pacific is a must. Running between Christchurch and Picton on the South Island, this route snakes along the stunning coastline. And then there is the TranzAlpine is the crown jewel of New Zealand train journeys. Renowned around the world, this legendary route links Christchurch with Greymouth, traversing the majestic Southern Alps. Any one of these railway journeys, added pre- or post-cruise, will take your New Zealand experience to a whole new level!