A benefit of living on the west coast of the United States for many residents is the ease with which you can get into nature, whether it’s surf, sun, or sand you’re seeking, or mountains and valleys you’re looking to trek. This love of adventure and the great outdoors makes New Zealand a prime spot for west coasters to vacation, and a cruise is an excellent way to get acquainted with the gorgeous country of New Zealand, which is made up of two main areas: the North Island and the South Island.
Here are some areas of New Zealand you may love depending on your west coast related interests.
New Zealand Port of Call for Mountain Lovers
For mountains that tower into the sky right next to the ocean, you can’t miss a journey through Milford Sound. Located on the South Island, Milford Sound is a breathtaking display of steep mountains, winding waterways, and sparkling waterfalls, all visible from your spot on a comfortable boat during a Milford Sound shore excursions while in port.
New Zealand Ports for Wine Connoisseurs
Celebrity Cruises has New Zealand itineraries that visit multiple wine region hot spots both on the North and South Islands.
On the South Island, the Marlborough region is a big draw for wine enthusiasts and is especially known for its crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
A great way to get around Marlborough for a day of wine tasting is on a rented bicycle since the region is mostly flat with many wineries and tasting rooms close to each other. Another ideal way is with a car and driver. Celebrity Cruises can help you arrange both transportation methods while in port in Picton thanks to its Private Journeys shore excursions, a VIP way to visit a destination since you’ll get to customize your day by working with a dedicated team of Celebrity specialists who will help you plan your perfect day before departing on your cruise.
On the North Island, there are also prime wine regions. While in port in Napier, take a shore excursion to the Hawke’s Bay wine region for a blissful day of wine-focused conversations and beautiful scenery. There is even a wine museum you can visit while in Napier.
New Zealand Cruise Ports for Beach Fanatics
For blissful beach lounging on the North Island, don’t miss the white sand beaches of Tauranga while in port there. The shoreline is also rife with sea life so you may even see seals and dolphins during your day in port.
On the South Island, ocean lovers will also love the sandy beaches in Picton. Located on the south island across the harbor from Wellington, Picton is a picturesque little city that has a grass-lined beach area perfect for picnics and families with little kids.
Coastal City Cool on New Zealand Cruises
Auckland is the city to explore if you’re looking for big city life. Auckland has a number of different neighborhoods depending what vibe you’re looking for. Head to Parnell for quaint tree-lined streets with pretty buildings and al fresco restaurants. For a bustling downtown experience walk along Queen Street and Quay Street, plus make time to go up in the Sky Tower for panoramic views of the city. For an oceanfront drink with a view, walk down Viaduct Harbour and take a seat in one of the restaurants lining the pier.
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and another iconic city to visit while in New Zealand. Wellington has a scenic location right on Wellington Harbour and adjacent to Fitzroy Bay. Besides the chance to see Parliament’s House of Representatives and learn more about New Zealand’s government, popular Wellington activities include visiting New Zealand’s National Museum, the Cathedral of St. Paul, and shops and cafes along scenic Oriental Bay.
New Zealand Shore Excursions for Movie Buffs
Los Angeles is the land of the golden screen, and if you’re from southern California with a love for cinema that extends to the Lord of the Rings franchise, you won’t want to miss filming locations while in New Zealand. Lord of the Rings put New Zealand on the map for many people, who flocked to the country after seeing the films and the many breathtaking scenes that were shot in New Zealand.
While there are spots all over New Zealand that were featured in the films, the main attraction for Lord of the Rings fans is Hobbiton, located on the North Island near the port of Tauranga. The filmmakers of the Lord of the Rings built an actual town to film the Hobbiton scenes, and it is open to tourists to tour, which you can do during a Hobbiton shore excursion.
Plan Your New Zealand Cruise
Ready to book your New Zealand cruise? Browse Australia and New Zealand itineraries with Celebrity Cruises or speak with your travel agent.