you’ll experience three of the world’s most captivating islands—Tasmania and the North and South Islands of New Zealand. You’ll also have a chance to sightsee in Sydney, the starting point for this cruise. With icons like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, legendary beaches and inviting neighborhoods, you’ll soon understand why this city turns up on many lists of travelers’ favorites.
From Sydney, you’ll sail to Tasmania, located off of Australia’s southern coast. The island’s founding as a penal colony will interest armchair historians and its diverse fauna will fascinate naturalists, amateur and otherwise. Then you’ll cross the Tasman Sea to the South Island of New Zealand, with stops at Milford Sound, gateway to the majestic Fiordland National Park; Dunedin, with its collection of Victorian buildings; and Akaroa where you can witness some of the locations from the Lord of the Rings films, and finally Picton. On the North Island, you’ll visit Napier, noted for its Art Deco architecture; Tauranga, a convenient base to visit the thermal springs at Rotorua; and, finally, you’ll sail into Auckland, the City of Sails, concluding this down under itinerary filled with unforgettable highlights.
Your ship departs from Sydney at 6 p.m., so you’ll have time to see some of the iconic landmarks of Australia’s largest city: the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are both perhaps best viewed from sea level on a harbor cruise. If you are a beach bum at heart, then you’ll want to visit the iconic Bondi and Manly beaches, both easy to reach from central Sydney. The Rocks is the oldest part of the city, and a favorite today with visitors—and locals—thanks to its many historic buildings, pubs, and a popular market. If all of this sounds like more than you can see in a day, Azamara can arrange a pre-cruise extension so you’ll have enough time to explore all that Sydneyoffers.
You’ll arrive in Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, early in the afternoon. The only Australian state that is an island, Tasmania is distinct in many ways beginning with its unique flora and fauna—most famously, the Tasmanian devil. It’s Australia’s most mountainous state, with nearly half of its area protected as parkland. To begin to get a sense of the island’s capital, the Hobart Highlights excursion will take you to the city’s most important sites. You’ll visit the Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens and then Rosny Hill Lookout, which offers up panoramic views of Hobart and the Derwent River. At Battery Point, one of the city’s more exclusive neighborhoods, you can admire the 19th-century mansions and historic cottages.
At Milford Sound, you can take an unforgettable detour—and sleep shore side—on the Queenstown Overnight Adventure. You’ll follow the Cleddau River deep into Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage Site known for its majestic fjords and towering peaks. You’ll break for lunch in the town of Te Anau, in the shadow of the Remarkables Range, and then have the afternoon free until an evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu, aboard a vintage steamship. Dinner unfolds at a sheep and cattle ranch before you return to Queenstown, where you’ll spend the night at a local hotel. On your second day you’ll visit the gold mining town of Arrowtown, hop on a gondola for views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatiup, and continue on to the Wild Earth Winery. After lunch, you’ll pass by Lake Waihola on your way to Central Otago, the country’s gold mining country. You’ll end your overnight trip with a tour of Dunedin, before rejoining your ship.