Summary : From the city of Noumea in New Caledonia, set sail aboard the L’Austral. Discover dynamic landscapes including volcanoes, hot springs, gushing geysers, rivers and gorges, and vibrant lakes. Sail to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. This ancient site of the Maori people, as demonstrated by the city’s historical heritage, perfectly combines local traditions and bustling nightlife. On New Zealand's South Island, L’Austral will cruise to the heart of a park with landscapes shaped by the successive glaciations. Explore Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and the well-known Milford Sound − three spectactular fjords with opportunities for great wildlife watching.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Perched on a peninsula between bays and hills, on the southwest coast of Grande Terre, Noumea enjoys a magnificent natural setting. Embark the vessel in the evening.
Standing on a beautiful strip of land off the coast of Noumea, the Amédée lighthouse looks over the entrance to the harbor of the New Caledonian capital. This historical treasure was built in Paris in 1859, before being dismantled, packaged up and boxed into 1265 parcels, and then shipped by boat to its island in the Pacific. It is one of the tallest lighthouses in the world, now planted in the biggest lagoon in the world. Climb to the top of its 247 steps for an incredible view. This is an easy price to pay to be able to feast your eyes on a simply stunning panorama of the barrier reef and its incredible natural marine reserve.
On the east coast of the North Island, the Bay of Islands promises an incredible journey into the origins of Aotearoa, the “land of the long white cloud”. Russell, the first harbor city founded in New Zealand by Europeans, will be your entry-point into this corner of paradise. Among white-washed houses and little gardens, Russell offers you a gentle and romantic setting. A few traces of its past remain, like Christ Church, the oldest church in the country. Shimmering waters highly prized by local fishermen, beaches of fine sand and wild nature make this a picture post-card experience.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. You’ll soon understand why it's called “the city of sails” when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The iconic Sky Tower, offers a splendid view. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes, like mount Eden, Auckland shelters abundant nature and magnificent beaches of black sand. A blend of Maori, European and Asian culture, this place will not leave you untouched.
Located in the north of Rotorua, Tauranga stretches along the Bay of Plenty, shielded by the island of Matakana, a little further away from the shore. Although very active economically, especially thanks to its harbor life, the calm, laid-back atmosphere of this lovely coastal city will surprise you. The waterfront neighborhood is modern and lively, with many cafés and restaurants. The city center has even more picturesque features in store for you. The surrounding areas are brimming with splendorous natural sites: the “sleepy” beauty of Mauao volcano from where, at its feet, magnificent beaches cherished by surfers, stretch as far as the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park, a true open air botanical wonderland.
Crowned with gentle green hills, Wellington harbor is located in the far south of the North Island. This city offers a charming blend of traditional and modern cultures, bestowing on the New Zealand capital, a unique atmosphere, at once friendly and avant-guard. Where some sites, like the large National Te Papa Tongarewa museum, reflect the city’s Maori past, others, like the many cafés and restaurants, affirm the inhabitants’ incredible lust for life.
Set on the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch is the second biggest city in New Zealand. You can soak up its irresistibly easy-going atmosphere by strolling around one of its many green parks and gardens, which give the city its nickname “the garden city”, or relax a while on the pedestrian esplanade of Cathedral Square, set in the city’s historical heart. You can also enjoy one of the quaint cafés of which you’ll find quite a selection around the center. In the southeast of the city you’ll find the steep cliffs of Banks Peninsula: an old volcano with a highly jagged coastline whose natural port of Akaroa is one of the country's most authentic treasures.
Disembark the vessel after breakfast.
Milford Sound fjord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the southwest coast of the South Island, in Fjordland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances miles inland into the Southern Alps. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred meters high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.
Disembark the vessel in the morning after breakfast.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.
Meals on board the ship; Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; coffee, juice, soft drinks and open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands); gratuities; luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa; 24-hour room service (special selection); butler service is included for guests staying on Deck 6. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones included; passport and visa fees; travel and medical insurances; personal expenses such as onboard medical consultations and drug prescriptions, spa, internet, laundry and hair salon; other drinks not included in open bar; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: Milford Sound © Nathalie Michel; Gannets, Maori Carving, and Dolphin © Margot Sibilaud; Bird Cliff © Francis Latreille, © Ponant