Mark Twain called it “the wonder of the world”. James Michener wrote, “It is a thing of beauty, a fairy-tale body of water”. With an area that sprawls 670 square miles, Sydney is one of the largest cities in the world. But it's the exquisite Sydney Harbour that draws world-wide acclaim – that, along with its magnificent Opera House. And with nearly three days, you'll have plenty of time to go exploring.
Located at the mouth of the Yarra River, Melbourne was founded by free settlers in 1835, 47 years after the first European settlement in Australia. Transformed rapidly into a major metropolis by the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s, Melbourne became Australia's largest and most important city, and by 1865 was the second largest city in the British Empire. Today, Melbourne is a major center of commerce, industry and cultural activity, and is consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world.
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Port Chalmers is the main port for the city of Dunedin. Situated in a natural amphitheater at the head of a long fjord-like inlet, Dunedin was the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand, founded in 1848. Not long afterwards, gold was discovered in the region, and the province quickly became the richest and most influential in the colony. While Christchurch is New Zealand's most English town, Dunedin is its most Scottish; the name Dunedin is the old Gaelic name for Edinburgh. Numerous distinctive and historic buildings remain from the time of its predominantly Scottish settlers, preserving its architectural heritage.
Set on a beautiful, sheltered harbor and nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano, Akaroa is a popular resort village. Located 50 miles southeast of Christchurch, this quaint seaside town is situated on the southern side of the Banks Peninsula and has a distinct French flavor to it. Many street names are of French origin because of its French Whaling and colonial history. One of the first settlements in the Canterbury region of the South New Zealand Island, the town has a rich Maori and British heritage, as well as its French history. Today, the town center is dotted with colonial architecture, and the harbor area is lined with boutiques and cafes.
Tauranga, the principal city on the Bay of Plenty, is the largest export town in New Zealand. Its name, fittingly enough, means "resting place for canoes", as this was the landing place of some of the first Maoris to arrive in New Zealand. The 19th-century missionaries left a legacy of well-planned parks and gardens for today's residents and visitors to enjoy. Tauranga is one of New Zealand's primary kiwi fruit and orchard regions, and the gateway to the geothermal park, Rotorua.
Sprawling across a narrow isthmus, Auckland and its far-flung suburbs are separated by two magnificent harbors. At the city's downtown doorstep lies sparkling Waitemata Harbour, separated from the Hauraki Gulf and Pacific Ocean by Rangitoto Island. West of the city, the shallow, turquoise waters of Manukau Harbour funnel into the Tasman Sea. Protruding from Auckland's landscape are the cones of numerous extinct volcanoes.
Call to speak with one of our cruise specialists on 0330 094 0218