Just Add Land
A plethora of experiences are waiting for you before and after your cruise from Australia or New Zealand.
Before or after setting sail, extend your stay in the lands down under.
THE IDYLLIC LANDS DOWN
under are more accessible than ever with a bevy of cruise ships sailing south for the summer each year. The neighboring island nations of Australia and New Zealand are as alike as they are different and, while you may not be able to explore the countries in their entirety before or after your cruise vacation, there are some key cities that deserve pride of place on your bucket list.
SYDNEY: THE HARBOUR CITY
_ Perhaps best known for its eye- catching landmarks and idyllic beaches, there is a lot more to this jewel in Australia’s crown than meets the eye. Pop your walking shoes on, grab a camera, and explore. A vast city it may be, but many of Sydney’s gems are within walking distance of each other.
Start at Circular Quay, home of some of the world’s most famous landmarks. Weave your way through the steel arches to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb and soak in the sunset. Climb the famous steps of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Sydney Opera House, venture inside for a behind-the-scenes tour, or take in one of the hundreds of performances to grace its stages each year.
Wind your way through the charming cobblestoned alleys of The Rocks, and im- merse yourself in the historic architecture, vibrant pub scene, and artisanal shopping.
Stroll from Circular Quay along the piers of Walsh Bay to Sydney’s newest harbor-side playground, Barangaroo. Dip your toes in the water at the 22-hectare (54-acre) area that embraces its indigenous heritage with a tree-lined reserve and spectacular sandstone formations that throw back to a time before European settlement.
Accommodation options in Sydney are many and varied. The budget conscious should veer away from harbor views, but those wishing to splash out have an array of choices with stunning landmark-peppered vistas.
A SNAPSHOT: AUSTRALIA’ S WISHLIST– WORTHY CITIES
_ Australia is home to many cities worthy of a spot on your destination wish list. Explore the many graffiti art–filled laneways of Melbourne and discover some of Australia’s most edgy fashion designers, coffee nooks, and funky rooftop bars. Soak up one of the many shows, festivals, or sporting events on offer in the city some claim to be the events capital of Australia.
Further north, Brisbane melds subtropical natural beauty with the vibrancy of a modern city. Venture via a short ferry ride to Stradbroke or Moreton islands and watch dolphins dance in the waves, walk along untouched beaches, or take in a bit of adventure and toboggan down the sand dunes.
It may be known as the city of churches, but Adelaide also boasts some of Australia’s best wineries. There are more than 60 cellar doors in the Adelaide Hills, a mere 20 minutes drive from the city and a host of award-winning produce options to pair with your glass of vino.
Perhaps best known for its eye-catching landmarks and idyllic beaches, there is a lot more to this jewel in Australia’s crown than meets the eye.
Discover Australia’s west coast with a visit to the beautiful city of Perth. Affectionately dubbed the parkland oasis, the city is home to 16 major parkland areas including one of the world’s largest city parks, the 400-hectare ( 988-acre) Kings Park. Larger than New York City’s Central Park, Kings Park offers prime photo opportunities with sculpted gardens, glistening lakes, and sweeping views of the Swan River and city skyline.
AUCKLAND: THE CITY OF SAIL S
_ The City of Sails, Auckland is nestled on New Zealand’s North Island and offers a plethora of experiences for visitors. Sample first-hand how Auckland got its nickname and take the helm on an actual America’s Cup yacht on Waitemata Harbour. Enjoy a two-hour sail or compete in a three- hour match race to see just how it would feel to win the world’s oldest and most prestigious trophy in international sport. A playground for adventure- seekers, Auckland and thrills go hand- in- hand. Plummet 192 metres (630 feet) off the iconic Sky Tower before bungee jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge, or venture two- and-a-half hours out of Auckland to slide down volcanic rock chutes at Sleeping God Canyon or rappel into the glowworm caves at Waitomo.
Those faint of heart can delight in Auckland’s more gastronomic of adventures. Stroll through one of the many farmer’s markets to tantalize your taste buds, or venture on a 30-minute ferry ride to Waiheke Island, the island of wine, which offers an array of award-winning wineries and eateries, most with a stunning harbor backdrop.
Work off those calories consumed during your travels and immerse yourself in the country’s Maori history with a guided walk to the top of Mount Eden ( Maungawhau), the highest dormant volcano on the mainland. Join a member of the Ngati Whatua tribe, the guardian of the mountain, as they bring the volcano’s stories to life.
Whatipu, on the west coast of the Auckland region
Counterclockwise from top: Sydney Harbour Bridge, Climbing the Story Bridge in Brisbane, dolphin feeding at Moreton Island, The Rocks area, Sydney
Counterclockwise from top: Bungee jumping at the Sky Tower, Waiheke Island, America’s Cup yacht racing in Auckland, picnicking on “the island of wine”