Adelaide Zoo is host to a breeding pair of giant Pandas, brought from China three years ago so it was on the top of our list of things to do and we visited these delightful animals whilst in Adelaide Zoo. It was such a privilege to see these adorable, beautiful, but endangered creatures. They are playful for very short bursts of time as they can't store energy. The Zoo is collaborating with a number of organizations and Zoos in a worldwide breeding programme to prevent the Pandas from becoming extinct. They are doing remarkable work and we hope they are successful.
Sailing into Hobart is truly majestic with it's sapphire waters and leafy suburbs. We had pre-booked an excursion with Royal Caribbean to Port Arthur which is located about two hours drive west of Hobart. Port Arthur was a penal colony established in the 1800's bringing convicts from England as a workforce to establish the city of Hobart. The prison and surrounding buildings and gardens are beautifully maintained and reflect Australia's colonial past. Although the penal system was harsh, it is an integral part of Australia's history and Port Arthur is well worth the visit.
Dunedin is a vibrant, and, what I would describe a serene and "classy" city. The Radiance sailed into Dunedin's port town called Port Chalmers where we visited the Maritime Museum, a quaint town with original 18th century bluestone buildings, steeped in history. Then a shuttle bus took us into the city of Dunedin. We meandered through the markets and shopping precinct, then hopped on a local tour bus which took us to the unique and beautiful Dunedin Railway Station. This building is a work of art and should not be missed.
Wellington, with it's famous cable car was a pleasant respite from historical buildings, pavements and traffic. A one-carriage cable car slides up to the top of Kelburn Lookout where a breathtaking view awaits over the city, the harbour of Tara - Te Whanganui a Tara. Once at the top, the Wellington botanical gardens provide a beautiful setting and one can choose to walk through the gardens and then down the mountain or take the cable car back to town.