Australia/New Zealand 
January-February, 2010

This Trip

  1. 1.Wednesday, January 13, 2010-Leave Washington Dulles at 2:35 P.M. on Delta Flight 1324 (First Class: MD-88); arrive Atlanta at 4:33 P.M. (534 miles). Leave Atlanta at 6:40 P.M. on Delta Flight 17 (Business Class: Boeing 777-200LR); arrive Los Angeles at 8:50 P.M. (1,946 miles). Overnight in Los Angeles. Marriott Courtyard Hotel LAX/Century Boulevard

  2. 2.Thursday, January 14-Leave Los Angeles at 10:55 P.M. on Delta Flight 17 (Business Class: Boeing 777-200LR) for Sydney, Australia (7,488 miles) PHOTOS

  3. 3.Friday, January 15-En route to Sydney

  4. 4.Saturday, January 16-Arrive Sydney at 8:40 A.M. Overnight  in Sydney. Sir Stamford at Circular Quay Hotel  PHOTOS

  5. 5.Sunday, January 17-Leave Sydney on Qantas Flight 439 at 2 P.M.; arrive Melbourne, Australia at 3:30 P.M. (433 miles). Overnight in Melbourne. Hilton on the Park Hotel

  6. 6.Monday, January 18-Melbourne. Australian Tennis Open Hilton on the Park Hotel PHOTOS

  7. 7.Tuesday, January 19-Melbourne. Hilton on the Park Hotel

  8. 8.Wednesday, January 20-Leave Melbourne on Qantas Flight 422 at 10 A.M.; arrive Sydney at 11:25 A.M. (433 miles). Sail on Holland America Volendam from Sydney for New Zealand at 6:30 P.M. PHOTOS

  9. 9.Thursday, January 21-At sea

  10. 10. Friday, January 22-At sea

  11. 11. Saturday, January 23-Milford Sound, New Zealand-7 A.M.-8 P.M. PHOTOS

  12. 12. Sunday, January 24-Dunedin, N.Z.With its four distinctive seasons, the province of Otago has some of New Zealand’s finest gardens. This special half-day tour visits two of the region’s finest country-style gardens. From the pier, the tour takes the scenic high road with its spectacular coastal views and countryside to the historic town of Waikouaiti. This is one of the earliest pioneering farming settlements in New Zealand. Visit Glebe Cottage set in two acres of woodland, cottage and formal gardens overlooking the Hawkesbury Lagoon. Special features include a beautifully planted herbaceous border and an organic garden. Enjoy light refreshments before visiting nearby the quaint St. John’s Anglican Church. Then return to Dunedin via the seaside town of Waitati, visiting Brentley Garden perched high on the northern slope overlooking Blueskin Bay. This garden is surrounded by native trees and terraced on a moderate incline with raised beds displaying a wide variety of plants. View the interesting handcrafted sculptures and panoramic vista over the bay. Pass through the center of Dunedin, renowned for its fine Edwardian architecture at Otago University and the beautiful Dunedin Railway Station. 7 A.M.-6 P.M. PHOTOS

  13. 13. Monday, January 25-Christchurch, N.Z. Christchurch is often referred to as “the most English city outside of England,” with its beautifully maintained parks and fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Trace the city’s past by visiting two of its most historic sites. From the port of Lyttelton, the tour coach will climb the Port Hills and stop for photos at the Sign of the Takahe. Continue on to Riccarton House and Deans Bush, where the first farm in Canterbury District was established in 1843. The original pioneer cottage remains, while the much grander Riccarton House was built in several stages from 1850. Tour Riccarton House and walk through the beautiful Deans Bush floodplain forest. Leaving the city, the tour will cross the fertile Canterbury Plains to Homebush, where the Deans brothers established another huge farm of 30,000 acres. Tour the Homebush Stables which are some of New Zealand’s oldest and finest farm buildings protected by the Historic Places Trust. Look through the fascinating museum’s collections of farm, household and sporting memorabilia. After a delicious barbecue lunch served with local wines and beers, there will be a sheep shearing and sheepdog mustering demonstration. Walk through the beautiful gardens and lawns on the way back to the coach. Back in Christchurch, visit the International Antarctic Centre to see the many informative displays depicting life and work on the Frozen Continent. Experience sub-zero conditions in a specially designed white-out room. The tour also stop at the Arts Centre and the nearby Botanical Gardens. Return to the ship by way of the Lyttelton Tunnel.-7 A.M.-7 P.M. PHOTOS

  14. 14. Tuesday, January 26-Wellington, N.Z. Become acquainted with the essential sights of the world’s southernmost capital city; from the pier drive along charming Oriental Bay to Mt. Victoria, for sweeping views encompassing the city and harbor. Nearby is a memorial to Admiral Byrd, the famous Antarctic explorer. Next, drive through the center of Wellington’s main business and shopping district, Lambton Quay. Climb aboard the red cable car for a ride up to Kelburn, where you will rejoin your coach for a short drive to the Botanical Gardens. Walk through the Begonia House and Lady Norwood Rose Gardens. The latter gardens are laid out in a formal design with more than 500 varieties of roses. Close by, see the Parliament buildings, which are dominated by the unique architecture of the Beehive. You’ll also see one of the largest wooden structures in the world--the Government Building. At Old St. Paul’s Church you will see one of New Zealand’s finest examples of colonial Gothic architecture. Designed by Reverend Frederick Thatcher, it was completed in 1866 and is built entirely of native timbers. As an alternate tour, a half-day safari offers a unique view of the rugged beauty of the South Coast where the seal colony is situated. Travel is by 4x4, with much of the driving over unpaved roads and along the beach. In addition, the tour traverses a large coastal ranch or station, where wild goats and horses may be seen, as well as deer, ostriches and beef cattle, where tales of the early farmers’ exploits will be related. Explore Wellington’s seismic fault line en route to the coast, and take in spectacular views of the city and, weather permitting, the South Island, some 30 miles away. But the impressive coastline and the seals are, of course, the main attraction on the safari. Tongue Point is home to the New Zealand fur seal and the famous Leaning Lighthouse. Here, get close to the seals as they bask on the rocks and go for frequent swims in the sea in search of food. Journey around the rocky bays and black sand beaches back to Wellington.7 A.M.-4 P.M. PHOTOS

  15. 15. Wednesday, January 27-Napier, N.Z. The Hawke’s Bay region is renowned for its arts and crafts, and its beautiful homes. With its balmy Mediterranean-like climate and relaxing lifestyle, the region has attracted artists and inspired gardeners for many years. You’ll visit a gallery with a difference, where worldwide cultures and temporal eras intertwine to create a truly timeless experience and a garden and home that perfectly capture the local lifestyle. From the port of Napier, drive along the Norfolk pine tree-lined Marine Parade to Clive, then inland to Havelock North, a pretty township lying under the shadow of Te Mata Peak. Visit Birdwoods Gallery which displays internationally recognized metal sculpture designed by Louise Stobart, formerly of Zimbabwe. Works by renowned local and international artists are exhibited in an historic church hall and sculpture garden. Then visit Julie and Mike Russell’s Round Pond Garden. It’s a five-acre garden surrounded by a one-hundred-acre horticultural block yielding organic plums, asparagus and olives for export. The inner garden is a formal design with interlocking garden rooms, but there is also an appreciation of layering. Green planting explores angles and textures with hedges of buxus and lonocera and alleys of Italian alder. The garden and house look out onto a paddock planted in Mediterranean trees, including a grove of olives, while other features include a large pond, and a planted wildflower and poppy field with several contemporary sculptures. Enjoy a guided walk through this pretty garden and enjoy delicious refreshments prepared by Julie, which will include an informative olive oil tasting. Return to the port via the downtown art deco district.-7 A.M.-2 P.M. PHOTOS

  16. 16. Thursday, January 28-Tauranga, N.Z. From Mount Maunganui, drive south by coach to Te Puke--a prosperous town built on the wealth of kiwi fruit farming. At Longridge Park, take a guided tour of a working kiwi fruit orchard, along with avocado, pine and nut plantations. Enjoy feeding the farm animals and the tame eels before relaxing over morning tea. Then, experience the exhilaration of a 30-minute boat ride along the Kaituna River, which flows from Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti to Maketu on the Bay of Plenty coast. Native bush and steep cliffs line this beautiful river. Your skilled jet boat driver will take you along seven miles of the most beautiful section of river. The boats were invented by a New Zealand farmer back in the 1950s. Return to the ship through the city of Tauranga passing by the Maori War Canoe, Te Awanui, the Monmouth Redoubt and the Elms Mission House built in 1847. Cross the Tauranga Bridge to return to the ship.-8 A.M.-8 P.M. PHOTOS

  17. 17. Friday, January 29-At sea PHOTOS

  18. 18. Saturday, January 30-Auckland, N.Z. Today’s excursion visits two of Auckland’s most popular attractions. First, drive along the picturesque waterfront to Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World. Here, view a life-size recreation of Captain Robert Scott’s 1911 Antarctic Hut on the shores of McMurdo Sound. Then board a Snow Cat and plunge into a simulated Antarctic whiteout. The weather is fierce; huge storms blow tons of snow and ice across the continent. Emerge from the whiteout into a live penguin colony, where these beguiling birds catch fish, look after their chicks, swim and play on ice. Next, travel through a clear, acrylic tunnel on a moving walkway as schools of fish and sharks swim around and above you. A special highlight is the Stingray Bay where these magnificent fish with six-foot wingspans and long barbed tails swim gracefully. Continue the excursion to downtown Auckland and the famous Sky Tower. Take the elevator to the main observation deck for panoramic views over Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. On a clear day, Great Barrier Island, some 60 miles away, can be seen. Completed in 1996, Sky Tower is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere at 1,072 feet. Return to the pier through downtown Auckland. 7 A.M.-8 P.M. PHOTOS

  19. 19. Sunday, January 31-Bay of Islands, N.Z. Explore the Bay of Islands’ lovely inlets aboard a luxury touring catamaran. Relax and enjoy a leisurely journey through big-game fishing waters en route to the Cape Brett lighthouse. From the catamaran’s comfortable indoor and outdoor viewing decks, view beautiful Motukokako Island and the famous Hole-in-the-Rock. Next is the tour’s highlight--a trip into the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave. On the return trip, time will be spent meandering among the inner islands’ restful beauty. -7 A.M.-4  P.M. PHOTOS

  20. 20. Monday, February 1-At sea

  21. 21. Tuesday, February 2-At sea PHOTOS

  22. 22. Wednesday, February 3-Disembark in  Sydney, Australia at 7 A.M.   Overnight in Sydney. Sir Stamford at Circular Quay Hotel PHOTOS

  23. 23. Thursday, February 4-Sydney. Sir Stamford at Circular Quay Hotel

  24. 24. Friday, February 5-Leave Sydney at 11:25 A.M. on Delta Flight 16 (Business Class: Boeing 777-200LR); arrive Los Angeles at 6:10 A.M. (7,488 miles). Leave Los Angeles at 7:50 A.M. on Delta Flight 16 (Business Class: Boeing 777-200LR); arrive Atlanta at 3:10 P.M. (1,946 miles). (Snow in DC prevented travel to DC) Atlanta Airport Westin Hotel

  25. 25. Saturday, February 6-Atlanta. Atlanta Airport Westin Hotel

  26. 26. Sunday, February 7-Atlanta. Atlanta Airport Westin Hotel PHOTOS

  27. 27. Monday, February 8-Leave Atlanta at 10:20 A.M. on Delta Flight 1958 (First Class: MD-88); arrive Washington National at 12:08 P.M. (534 miles).

Other Trips (click to view)

Itinerary ALL PHOTOS

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