After a few days at sea we arrived at Fjordland National Park (entering Milford Sound first) and sailed into a foggy fjord around 8 AM. The weather was usual for that area - foggy, misty and cool. After an hour or so we headed further South and sailed through Dusky Sound around 4 PM. From there we resumed our sea journey to Dunedin on the eastern side of South Island.

South Island Towns

We spent a day in Dunedin visiting the world famous railway station, getting a tour of the town with its older buildings and then visited Otago University. Boarding the boat at the end of the day we sailed off to Christchurch. The weather was superb and we had a great day strolling through the Mona Vale gardens, lunching at the Curator's house, wandering around the street markets, and enjoying a punting trip down the Avon river.

After an overnight trip we landed in Picton, boarded a bus and left for the Montana winery for a tour and lunch. From there we went to the Aviation Heritage Centre, for a travel back in time to World War I (a worthwhile visit) , and the various airplanes and battles of that time. Boarding the ship at the end of the day we sailed for the North Island.

North Island Towns

We arrived in Wellington on a rainy morning and boarded our bus for the trip to the cable car to the top of the mountain and the botanical garden. Plans were changed and the walk back down through the Botanical Gardens was canceled and a visit to the covered greenhouse substituted. After a tour of the parliamentary buildings the weather had changed and we toured the Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand and back to the ship by 4 PM.

The next day we were in Napier for a day visit. This city was completely rebuilt in the 30's after a destructive earthquake in an art deco style. The buildings were attractive with their geometric designs and colorful decorations.

Another overnight and we were in Tauranga. We were bussed to a native village in the Whakarewawarewa Thermal Reserve near Rototua for a tour. Stopping at the Ralm of Tane for a show and lunch was also quite interesting. We returned to the ship, stopping at a kiwi plantation on the way for a short tour.

The next few days were spent at sea. One interesting side trip included a visit to White Island around sunrise.

We arrived in Auckland and spent some time touring upon arrival and then had time on our own to explore. We went to Tiritiri Matangi and saw some of the native birds. It was with sadness that we boarded our plane for the trip home. This trip has been great!