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Home > Member Reviews > WineandRoseLady's Port Reviews of Auckland, Tauranga, Dunedin, Sydney (Australia), Sydney (Australia), Hobart

WineandRoseLady's Port Reviews of Auckland, Tauranga, Dunedin, Sydney (Australia), Sydney (Australia), Hobart
Celebrity Solstice cruise in January 2013
Member Name: WineandRoseLady
Cruise Date: January 2013
Embarkation: Auckland
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Member Review: WineandRoseLady's Celebrity Solstice Review
Auckland
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Spent three days in Auckland pre-cruise. The Museum in the Domain is outstanding. Lots of cricket games to watch there, too. Several cruise ships came into town, and while we couldn't go on them, they were fun to see up close. We took a ferry to Waiheke Island with a tour by bus, then walked to wineries and the sculpture walk. The Auckland area is wonderful - don't miss it!

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Tauranga
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Loved the kayaking in Tauranga on Lake Rototui. The glow worm caves were apparently tiny, but it was cool seeing the glow worms. Very informative bus driver. The tour operator provided ziplock baggies for wallets and cameras, which I think were sufficient; however we were glad we had brought small waterproof sport bags.
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Dunedin
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We spent the day walking around Dunedin. We toured the Cadbury factory, saw the railroad terminal, walked to the botanical gardens and up the "steepest street in the world", Baldwin Street. Great day, except for the queue for the bus to return to the dock. Apparently all the tours dropped off at this same downtown location. We waited around 1 ½ hours in line. Local kids provided musical and dancing entertainment.

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Sydney (Australia)
Blue Mountains Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
The tour was by 4WD bus. Booking with the cruise line was convenient, but paid more than a separately arranged tour, of course. Not sure why a 4WD was necessary; maybe for the road up to one of the lookouts. Guide showed us how to use a boomerang, the materials used for rock drawings, talked about all things Australian, and played folk music.


Featherdale Wildlife Park Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
This was part of the Blue Mountain tour, along with Mt. Tonah Botanical Garden (where we had a delicious lunch-try the barramundi). Featherdale is a small park, but displays a lot of animals and birds native to Australia. We were allowed to pet a koala, as well as kangaroos.


Sydney Opera House Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We got tickets directly at the Opera House. Their guide told us the history of the Opera House, and showed us several of the venues. Quite an interesting piece of architecture.


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Sydney (Australia)
Blue Mountains Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
The tour was by 4WD bus. Booking with the cruise line was convenient, but paid more than a separately arranged tour, of course. Not sure why a 4WD was necessary; maybe for the road up to one of the lookouts. Guide showed us how to use a boomerang, the materials used for rock drawings, talked about all things Australian, and played folk music.


Featherdale Wildlife Park Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
This was part of the Blue Mountain tour, along with Mt. Tonah Botanical Garden (where we had a delicious lunch-try the barramundi). Featherdale is a small park, but displays a lot of animals and birds native to Australia. We were allowed to pet a koala, as well as kangaroos.


Sydney Opera House Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We got tickets directly at the Opera House. Their guide told us the history of the Opera House, and showed us several of the venues. Quite an interesting piece of architecture.


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Hobart
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We took a ship-arranged trip to bike down Mt. Wellington. The ride was enjoyable, although the bikes looked pretty beat up (we checked, the brakes were good). Part way down we opted to take the mountain bike trail-our first time mountain biking. It was a bit scary, but quite fun. We got off the bikes at the ship, and walked back into town. There was a festival at the waterfront, so we were busy until it was time to leave.

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Adelaide
Barossa Valley Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
Being into wine, we had really looked forward to Adelaide. The ship was greeted with live folk music (the Gum Tree-O Band, whose CD we bought) and dancing information guides... There was a lot of trouble getting the gangway installed from the dock, but it was entertaining to watch from our veranda. The ship-arranged tour was very disappointing. Beyond transit time, we had perhaps 35 minutes for a rushed tasting and tour at the first huge winery, Richmond Grove, and about an hour at another huge related winery -- Jacob's Creek (whose wine is available in the US). Jacob's Creek had an interesting vineyard display of most grape varietals, which we could taste; something we hadn't seen side-by-side before. More time at the wineries would have made for a nicer experience, even if we weren't particularly impressed with the wines. (Note: ship friends who arranged private tours were very happy with their experiences at other wineries.) Not sure why we had a ridiculously long queue to reboard the ship, but wait and wait we did.


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Perth (Fremantle)
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Our cruise ended in Fremantle/Perth. It's a shame the ship didn't stay overnight -- there was much to see and do in both locations, and there's lots of public transportation to get around and between them. We stayed for two nights, taking in King's Park, Rottnest Island, the Fremantle Market, and looking at the amusing bronze statues around the two downtown areas. It was $4/pp to take a bus or train from Fremantle to downtown Perth. Both cities have free downtown-area shuttles.

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