The Ultimate Cruise Travel Guide: Australia & New Zealand

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More than just a gateway to the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand have emerged as brilliant cruise destinations in their own right over the past decade. Popular with Southern Hemisphere locals and visitors from the north alike; the two nations boast a number of the world’s most liveable cities and beautiful islands.

With the majority of major cities and sites dotted around the coastline of the two nations, cruising provides the perfect chance to explore the very best Australia and New Zealand have to offer. And of course the Great Barrier Reef truly is one of the world’s must visit locations – the only living organism which can be seen from space.

Fast Facts

kangaroos on beach australia travel guide

Number of Port Cities: 82

Busiest Port: Sydney Cove Passenger Terminal – 1million Passengers/Year

Popular Ports: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Newcastle, Fremantle, Wellington, Tauranga, Timaru, Auckland

Regular Visitors: Ovation of the Seas, Queen Mary 2, Mariner of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Celebrity Solstice, Sea Princess, Legend of the Seas, Queen Victoria, P&O Arcadia

Must Visit Cities

melbourne australia travel guide

Often mistaken for Australia’s capital city, Sydney is the first port of call for many people visiting the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Distinguished by its high standard of living, beautiful infrastructure, relaxed atmosphere and the stunning Opera House; Sydney combines culture and relaxation like no other city on the planet.

Found in the state of Victoria, Melbourne is characterised by beautiful 19th century architecture and tree-lined boulevards. With a stunning skyline and a series of beautiful structures, Melbourne still benefits from the hugely profitable Victorian gold rush of the 1850s – with affluent streets opening themselves up to be explored and enjoyed by foot.

wellington new zealand travel guide

The capital of New Zealand, Wellington is a major hub for both government and tourism. Marketed as the coolest little capital in the world, Wellington is a wonderful place to explore for those who love culture but not the huge crowds drawn by the world’s largest cities.    

Proudly sitting on New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is the country’s largest and most populous city. Routinely topping polls regarding the world’s most liveable cities, Auckland combines sites of grandiose opulence with beautiful natural topography – creating an eclectic and truly inviting experience.

Hidden Gems

new zealand travel guide

Found in the southern stretches of Australia, Wilpena Pound is a completely natural amphitheatre, found at the very heart of the Flinders Ranges National Park. Popular with rock climbers and bush walkers, Wilpena Pound is like a trip through the nation’s history with some of the rocks and interior walls featuring aboriginal paintings.

Australia’s foremost sea lion and dolphin experience, Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience gives you a chance to swim with these beautiful creatures. The experience has been designed to benefit the wildlife as well as the tourists, forcing none of the animals to partake in any activities they choose not to.

tongariro new zealand travel guide

A snow-capped volcano in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, Tongariro may be recognisable as one of the primary filming locations for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a popular hiking route, but one best left for the more intrepid and able footed.

Characterised by sparkling rock pools, glittering waterfalls and multi-coloured rock formations, the caves of Karijini National Park are almost too beautiful to believe. The crystal clear waters of the national park are incredibly inviting and the local area is also a habitat for red kangaroos, wallaroos and echidnas.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our latest cruise deals to Australia.

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The Ultimate Cruise Travel Guide: Australia & New Zealand
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The Ultimate Cruise Travel Guide: Australia & New Zealand
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Claire Wilde

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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