11 Night cruise sailing from Auckland to Melbourne onboard Queen Elizabeth.
Leave dynamic Auckland for Tauranga's sparkling harbour. Pause in Christchurch, then fall for Dunedin's Scottish roots. Glide through the Fiordland National Park, sail to Tasmania and on to Melbourne.
Highlights of this cruise:
Auckland, New Zealand
In a nation where stunning scenery is a given, this water wonderland 'City of Sails' sparkles in the sunlight, surrounded by more than 48 extinct volcanoes in wild mountainous scenery. A natural joy.
An undulating succession of bays and inlets stretches along the seemingly endless shores of spacious Auckland, with its downtown area featuring expansive farm-like parks.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Tauranga is the largest and most populated port in the Bay of Plenty region. This is an appropriate name due to the abundant beaches, rolling white waters, hot mineral springs and even kiwi orchards.
From here visit the thermal wonders of Rotorua, where geysers spout, mud boils and steam escapes through cracks in the pavement. Maori people have used the healing hot springs since the 14th century.
Christchurch (tours from Akaroa), New Zealand
Akaroa means 'long harbour' in Maori, and the town certainly lives up to its name. Overlooked by a dormant volcano on its thin peninsula, the sheltered Akaroa is a popular resort with stunning views.
Akaroa harbour provides boat tours that feature the South Island's diminutive dolphins - and the town has several welcoming bars or restaurants. Christchurch is 52 miles away by road.
Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin is the second-largest city on New Zealand's South Island and principal of the Otago region. Its population boomed during 1865, with a steady stream of new settlers arriving in search of gold.
During your time here, the outstanding Dunedin Railway Station is a must-visit, and a ride on the world famous Taieri Gorge Train is a scenic experience you'll cherish for years to come.
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand (Cruising)
As you sail through parts of Fiordland National Park, you will appreciate how it has mesmerised and intrigued travellers and tourists over the centuries, with its graceful and mostly untouched beauty.
Amongst and beyond the glacier-carved fjords of Doubtful and Milford Sound, stand impressive snow-capped peaks, luscious green slopes and forests that are home to unusual and unique species.
Hobart, TAS, Australia
Wave goodbye to any preconceptions you may have of Australia, as you say hello to wonderful Hobart on the southeastern coast of Tasmania. Revel in the capital's splendid heritage, scenery and culture.
Hobart has a distinctly European look and feel, and a unique local character. Capital of Australia's Island State, with Mt. Wellington as its backdrop, it has plenty to offer the adventurous and the inquisitive.
After Sydney, Hobart is the second-oldest capital city in the country, having been established in 1804 as a penal colony. Its location in the estuary of Tasmania's Derwent River means it is sheltered and calm, although its southern latitude means it often experiences cooler climates than on mainland Australia.
Hobart may be a small city, but it is tightly packed with history, culture, art and an emerging food scene that is quickly gaining national attention.
Known originally as Hobart Town or Hobarton, Tasmania's capital city was named after the Colonial Secretary at the time of the town's settlement, Lord Hobart.
Before Europeans arrived in Tasmania, the region was inhabited by indigenous peoples known as Muwinina, and in their language, the mountain that towered over the area was called kunanyi. Today it is known as Mount Wellington.
Although convicts were some of the earliest European settlers in Hobart, local opposition to the transport of more prisoners began in the 1840s. By 1853, no more penal colonies were brought to Tasmania, then known as Van Diemen's Land.
Hobart is the home port for Australian and French Antarctic activities, with nearly 2,000 tons of cargo leaving the port for Antarctica each year.
One of the first sights that will greet Hobart cruise passengers is Mount Wellington, the city's natural backdrop and an incredible viewpoint to see Hobart from a bird's-eye perspective. The mountain towers over 4,000 feet above the harbour its peak dusted in snow in winter and covered in lush greenery for the rest of the year. Shuttle buses regularly make the 25-minute journey from the centre of Hobart to Mount Wellington.
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens offer visitors 14 hectares of landscaped natural beauty, made up of flora from all over the world. It is a tranquil escape from the city, and ideal for a romantic stroll or some quiet reflection.
Get a feel for Hobart's European influences at Battery Point, where Georgian and Victorian architecture dominate the historic streets. There are plenty of cafs and boutiques to explore, but to learn more about the area's history and culture, take a walking tour of Battery Point. Led by a local guide, these tours allow visitors to take in the picturesque surroundings of the historic precinct while learning about its inhabitants and heritage.
If you are visiting Hobart on a Saturday, head straight to Salamanca Place, where you will find the bustling Salamanca Market. Beginning life as just 12 stalls in 1972, the popular street market now has over 300 vendors, and over 25,000 visitors each week. It is the ideal place to pick up some fresh local produce or locally-made handicrafts as a souvenir.
The Museum of Old and New Art, or the MONA, is located on the grounds of the Moorilla Winery in Hobart, and is home to over 400 works of art from founder David Walsh's private collection. As a highly acclaimed attraction in a small city, Hobart's MONA has been likened to Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum.
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Originally part of New South Wales, Victoria became a colony in its own right in 1851. The discovery of gold and the development of agriculture launched Melbourne's rise to prominence and prosperity.
Flower gardens and graceful, tree-lined boulevards give Melbourne its refined air, and it is considered the hub of Australia's cultural, intellectual and financial life. Certainly by Melbournians.