A retired business owner, my passions are cooking, photography and eating. I use all three of these when I write for recipeyum.com.au which is on HubGarden
Published May 8th 2018
This trip should be on bucket lists as it is breathtaking
Ovation of the Seas is currently the largest ship cruising from Sydney and it is part of the fleet of amazing vessels run by Royal Caribbean.
People dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of this ship
This is my second article on this giant, and you can read all about the food on-board at this link. On this tri,p we were going around the bays of the areas in New Zealand, as well as making five stops along the way.
This cruise was exquisite and we enjoyed watching the scenery from the comfort of our veranda! It meant that as we sailed through the bays starting at 5.30 am, we could watch it all without having to dress and find a spot and a seat.
We visited the following areas in New Zealand:
1. AT SEA The first few days were spent cruising from Sydney and as with all cruise ships, we wake up to find a program of events for the day under our door. The problem then is to decide which ones you want to do as there are also delightful pool areas.
One such area was for adults only and consisted of several small "lounging" pools. In these pools, you can have a drink while you laze around in the tepid waters with the boat slowly rocking back and forth. There is so much to do on this ship, however I will cover this in another article!
2. MILFORD, DOUBTFUL & DUSKY SOUNDS These are all fjords in the southwest of New Zealand's South Island. They have huge peaks and consist of rainforests and waterfalls. These can be seen from the ship as it travels extremely close to the fjords. It also travels at a very slow pace so you have ample time to look at these towering peaks. You can also see many waterfalls gracefully flowing or gushing down the hillsides.
What can I say - these were stunning hours spent slowly passing by
This is an extremely incredible group of fjords and made even more stunning by the fact the ship is so close to the shore. This part of the trip lasts several hours and is just amazing and a "must see"!
Dunedin was the first actual stop of the cruise and we all fell in love with this quaint town. Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and it has bays and coves, with houses perched high up on the hills. We even talked about going to live there, however I do not know if any of us could handle the cold in New Zealand!
Dunedin is a University town and we were lucky enough to find a driver and car. We therefore had a private tour around this charming town. This was a spectacular idea and not much more expensive than paying for the transfers into the city itself. Dunedin has many museums and art galleries, and we only had time to see one of these. We went to the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum. Here there were many rooms full of old, interesting items.
There are 100,000 odd items in this FREE museum, and it is divided into sections. The displays highlight the character, culture, technology, art, fashion and transport of the Otago province from before the time of European settlement to the present.
You could even dress up in the fashions of the day:
One of our party dressing up in style!
There are also some grand old building, such as this one which is the railway station.
There were pretty gardens surrounding this building
Baldwin Street in Dunedin is also home to the world's steepest residential street, according to The Guinness World Records.
Photo does not do this long street justice!
Wellington is the capital city, as well as the second most populous urban area of New Zealand.
This city is home to the famous, Weta Workshop, which is a special effects and props company who produce SFX for television and film.
Front entrance to Weta
One of their greatest claims to fame is The Lord of the Rings. Their main display is The Lord of the Rings and this is absolutely fascinating! Although I am not a fan, I was intrigued with the items on display, and the short movie that I watched.
I cannot say enough about these rooms packed full of the most amazing things (not only Lord of the Rings). Also available here are tours of the whole establishment which were very interesting.
Napier is another city on the North Island and it is known for it's art deco landmarks.
Several of the building are fascinating and they had a parade of old cars and people in the town. The people were dressed in retro gear which made for a very charming day out. As it was a Sunday, there were some fabulous markets on the waterfront and this was also a charming town. There is also a prison but beware - it is a long walk on an extremely steep series of hills!
At the top of steep hills lies the old prison
Picton is a small town, and is the South Island base for the ferry service that links the main islands of New Zealand and the heart of the Marlborough Sounds. It has some lovely gardens where you can sit and relax. It also has galleries and museums, which I will cover in a later article.
We also went to a maritime museum not far from this park area. This had some really fascinating antique items in it, even though it was not a large museum.
We've cruised to NZ twice, but I didn't know about the car museum in Dunedin nor the railway station. Our taxi driver did take us up the steepest residential street of Baldwin St & told us a girl who was with some friends, had gone down the hill in a wheely-bin for fun..but died!