The bus driver was very informative and comical. We had a lot of laughs during the tour. He told us a lot about the suburbs we went through. We visited a lookout above Devonport and then we were dropped off in Devonport to make our own way back to the ship. They even supplied us with a ticket for the ferry.
From Taranga we went by bus to Rotorua, where we boarded the Rotuara Queen for a tour of the lake. We had the best afternoon tea ever there. After that we went to Hells Gate Thermal Baths for a tour of the mud pits. We finished with a Hangi with a difference for lunch, which was very enjoyable. All tour guides were great with a elderly mum and would recommend this excursion to anybody.
In Napier, we took a duck tour which was done partly on the road and partly in the water. It was very chilly as there were no windows on the vehicle. Would recommend a jacket. The did gives us blankets which did help.
We were then dropped off in the town to explore. What a lovely place and the history is unique due to the earthquake which destroyed the town in 1931.
The locals had put on a display of vintage cars and costumes for our benefit and we had a barber shop quartet sing us of as we sailed away.
We did our own thing in Wellington. We used a taxi to take us to the Museum where we spend a wonderful couple of hours exploring the many sections of history and facts about New Zealand.
We then caught another taxi to the cable car terminal. We were pleased to find a craft market at the top of Mt Wellington. This market only operates when a cruise ship is in. Then a taxi back to the ship.
We found the taxi to be cheaper than the shuttle bus.
This was by far the best excursion of the whole trip. The train picked us up at the wharf and we started off with champagne and orange juice. A bit later on we had morning tea, which was a cuppa and a short bread. We had a stop half way up and the locals were there with a small craft market. Then at the end of the line, there was a bigger craft market. We were told that the market only operates when the cruise ships come in.
On the way back, we had a lovely lunch with more wine.
We got off at Dunedin station to explore the city, our mother went on back to the ship.
There was a festival on which was a bonus for us.
At the end as we were leaving the wharf, we where sent off by a Pipe band which was lovely,