A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand

Sydney to Auckland

Photo album

I have finished uploading the photo album of our adventure.

Please click Sydney to Auckland and enjoy!

Back with a transatlantic crossing, New York to Southampton UK in April!

Posted by rpickett 14:56 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Sydney to Auckland


sunny 80 °F

Our last stop and debarkation port was the wonderful (and warm) city of Auckland - New Zealand's sailing capital. Since our flight did not leave until early evening, we chartered a private 4 hour city tour, which turned out to be wonderful. Auckland is a summer paradise, encompassing a number of long dormant volcanoes that, when climbed, offer some spectacular views of the city. In our visit to the arboretum, we were finally able to see the silver fern (green on the top and silver underneath) which is the symbol of New Zealand.

This was a wonderful cruise. New Zealand, the last country to be inhabited on earth (12th century), is warm, friendly and wonderful. They people have learned to coexist well, and both the Mauri and European cultures have melded together much better than in other places in the world. I would love to go back and see some more of the inland areas.


Posted by rpickett 07:15 Archived in New Zealand Tagged auckland Comments (0)

Sydney to Auckland


sunny 75 °F

Today, we finally found sun and warmth as we visited the Tauranga region of the North Island. Tauranga (Māori pronunciation: [ˈtaʉɾaŋa] is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty Region of the North Island of New Zealand. It was settled by Māori late in the 13th century and by Europeans in the early 19th century and was constituted as a city in 1963. Tauranga is one of New Zealand's main centres for business, international trade, culture, fashion and horticultural science. The Port of Tauranga is New Zealand's largest port in terms of gross export tonnage and efficiency.

Our first stop was at the Elms Mission. Located at the northern tip of Te Papa peninsula, for centuries the site of The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga was known as Otamataha pā, the landing place of ancestral waka and home to a thriving Māori community. From the 1820s a period of inter-tribal warfare ensued as neighbouring tribes armed themselves with muskets and set out to settle old scores. Otamataha did not escape the fighting. Visiting in 1828, missionaries found that the pā had been attacked and the inhabitants killed, taken as slaves or had fled to other settlements. The Otamataha site was abandoned and considered tapu (sacred). However, the local chiefs realised the advantages that a missionary presence could provide for trade and security. With their reputation as peacemakers, missionaries of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) were invited to live amongst Tauranga Māori and establish a mission station at Te Papa. Inter-tribal skirmishes remained an ongoing concern during the 1830s and Te Papa Mission Station was not formally established until 1838 under the leadership of Alfred Brown.


It was then off to the Kiwifruit orchards to try some fruit and juice. The Yellow Kiwifruit is wonderful, not found much in North America. New Zealand is the third largest producer of Kiwifruit behind China and Italy, but the New Zealand fruit is considered the highest quality and most sought after.


Posted by rpickett 19:35 Archived in New Zealand Tagged taranga Comments (0)

Sydney to Auckland

Napier; Hawke's Bay

semi-overcast 70 °F

Our adventure today was heading inland somewhat from Napier and Hawke's Bay to three of the local wineries. Napier is interesting because when it was leveled by the earthquake of 1931, the town was rebuilt in Art Deco style and the people have made the decision to maintain that theme!

Our first stop was the Mission Estate Winery, the oldest in New Zealand, and founded by the Marist monks. Mission's story begins with a group of French Missionaries. They sailed to New Zealand with little more than their faith, generations of wine making experience and a few precious vines. They established Mission Estate in 1851 founding New Zealand's oldest winery.


Our second stop was Abbey Cellars. Founded in 2002, it is located in the red metal triangle of Bridge Pa, Hawke’s Bay, on 13 hectares of silted red metal soils, now sits a single estate winery, proud to be making some of the best wine New Zealand has to offer.


Our last stop of the morning was Ngatawara Cellars. From its beginnings as the key pioneer of the Bridge Pa Triangle in Hawke's Bay, Ngatarawa has grown to become one of the region’s premiere wine producers with an enviable international reputation. Ngatarawa is widely acclaimed for its Bordeaux style red wines, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and dessert wine.


After thoroughly enjoying the grape, we took a scenic ride back to the ship through the town and were met by a period jazz band that serenaded us as we headed to sea.


Posted by rpickett 20:46 Archived in New Zealand Tagged napier bay; hawke's Comments (0)

Sydney to Auckland


overcast 61 °F

Today we transitioned from the South Island to the North Island and arrived in Wellington. Wellington (Māori: Te Whanganui-a-Tara) is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 412,500 residents. It is at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. It is the world's windiest city, with an average wind speed of over 26 km/h,[4] and the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state.

After a quick drive around the city, we arrived at the Museum of New Zealand, the start of our adventure. The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum and art gallery of New Zealand. It is branded and commonly known as Te Papa and Our Place; "Te Papa Tongarewa" is broadly translatable as "the place of treasures of this land". The museum's principles incorporate the concepts of unified collections; the narratives of culture and place; the idea of forum; the bicultural partnership between indigenous people (Tangata Whenua) and non-indigenous people (Tangata Tiriti); and an emphasis on diversity and multidisciplinary collaboration.


We then took a short bus ride to the Wellington Cable Car to ride to the top of a hill to get a good view of the harbor. At the end of the 19th century, Wellington was expanding rapidly, and, due to the city's hilly terrain, good building land was at a premium. When new residential developments were proposed for Kelburn, it was suggested that a cable car or funicular could be built to provide easy access. In 1898, a number of people prominent in the development of the residential subdivisions founded the Kelburne & Karori Tramway Company. The plan was to build a tramway between the city and Kelburn, and link it by carriage to Karori, a settlement on the far side of Kelburn. The company began purchasing land for the construction of the tramway, and negotiated with the Karori authorities for a new road (now Upland Road) to link the upper terminus with Karori. In 1898, the City Council granted permission for the venture, on condition that it had the option to purchase the operation at a later date. The location of Victoria University of Wellington was influenced by the company's offer of a donation of £1000 if the university were located in Kelburn, so students would patronise the car when travelling between the city and the university.


Posted by rpickett 19:43 Archived in New Zealand Tagged wellington Comments (0)

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