Saturday, 16 February 2019


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


Our first sight of Dusky Sound was so magical and we were out on deck in the mist to view this beautiful area of our world. One of the most complex fjords on New Zealand’s southern coast, Dusky Sound is a place of serene beauty, accessible today only by sea or air. Dusky Sound is a fjord on the south west corner of New Zealand, in Fiordland National Park. It is also one of the largest, 40 kilometres in length and eight kilometres wide at its widest point. To the north of its mouth is the large Resolution Island, whose Five Fingers Peninsula shelters the mouth of the sound from the northwest. Along the east coast of the island, Acheron passage connects Dusky Sound with Breaksea Sound, to the north. Several large islands lie in the sound, notably Anchor Island, Long Island, and Cooper Island. Sightseeing highlights include the hundreds of waterfalls cascading into the sound during the rainy season, seals and dolphins

After leaving Dusky we headed into Doubtful. New Zealand's deepest and second-longest sound, Doubtful Sound is a fiord home to spectacular waterfalls, wildlife and otherworldly landscapes. It's often called the 'Sound of Silence' due to its serenity and the fact that it remains so untouched by the modern world. Exploring Doubtful Sound means adventuring into pure, untouched New Zealand wilderness. Doubtful Sound is a haven for the unique flora and fauna that call this place home. Visitors are never left wanting for a more vibrant spectacle with untouched forests that sprawl from mountain top to sea level and rare marine and birdlife that abound. Playful Bottlenose Dolphins frequently dance the bow wake of boats and New Zealand Fur Seals bask on the rocks along the shoreline. Rare Fiordland Crested Penguins are also a special sight here.

Known for its pristine beauty and wildlife, Doubtful Sound is the second largest of the 14 fiords in Fiordland National Park and is three times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound. It is home to bottle-nose dolphins and fur seals – both of which are often seen. In season, you may also catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin.

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
In Maori legend, this colossal fjord was created by the godly figure Tu Te Raki Whanoa. Four young sea gods assisted him by carving the fiord’s long, sheltered arms. Today, Doubtful Sound remains an unspoiled wilderness of many moods; one minute clear blue and sun-drenched, the next mysterious and mist-cloaked.

Milford Sound is by far the best known of all of the fiords and the only one that can be accessed by road. Wet or fine, Milford Sound is incredibly grand. Mitre Peak magnetises photographers, and the fiord’s sheer cliffs excite both admiration and apprehension. Visitors to Milford Sound will not be disappointed - it is truly spectacular, with scenery that has remained unchanged throughout the ages. There is no denying that Milford Sound should make it onto your New Zealand itinerary. Although at times it can be overrun with tourists, it's obvious to see why. The views over this spectacular Fjord are unique and breathtaking.

As far as the commercialization goes, you still won't find phone reception, tourist shops or Mcdonalds here. I honestly hope it will stay that way.

Check out the Highlights:


Lady Bowen Falls. This is the tallest waterfall in Milford Sound, measuring 162 metres or 531 feet. Named after the wife of one of New Zealand’s first governors, the Lady Bowen Falls are not only beautiful, but useful too. These falls are the sole provider of electricity and water for the people and businesses based in Milford Sound.

Fairy Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Just some of the magnificent permanent waterfalls on display in Milford Sound. When it rains, of course, even more are created.

Sinbad Gully Opposite the wharf in Milford Sound you’ll see this perfectly U-shaped valley, formed by the slopes of the surrounding mountains (including Mitre Peak). It was within this remote valley that the rare native kakapo bird was discovered in the 1970s, after scientists thought it had become extinct.

Stirling Falls. Another of the most famous waterfalls in Milford Sound, Stirling Falls drops 146 metres or 479 feet from a valley between two imposing mountains.
Highlights: The Lion. Its official name is Mt Kimberley, but you’ll soon see why this mountain peak has gained its animal nickname.   
Mitre Peak. The most iconic sight of Milford Sound, Mitre Peak rises 1,692 metres (5,555 feet) directly from the sea floor. Its name comes from the distinctive shape of its summit, like a bishop’s mitre or hat. The shape is actually created by five peaks all together.

Seal Rock. While Milford Sound is regularly visited by wildlife, most of its coastline is made up of sheer vertical cliffs. Seal Rock is one exception, a large rock that the native New Zealand fur seals who live in Milford Sound can clamber upon to rest and bask in the sun.    

“And the purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

Friday, 15 February 2019


“Instead of wandering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”


Tip: Visit the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head. It's the site of the only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross in the world.
Our holiday has been running very smoothly, been well organised and we very much liked meeting new travelling companions.  Again calms sea, we woke to little Port Chalmers, which was only 13km from central Dunedin but it feels a world away. Somewhere between working class and bohemian, Port Chalmers has a history as a port town but has long attracted Dunedin’s arty types. The main drag, George St, is home to a handful of cafes, design stores and galleries, perfect for a half days’ worth of wandering, browsing and sipping away from the city crush.

Dunedin's Otago Peninsula is renowned for hosting the world's only mainland breeding colony of northern royal albatross and various other unique species. Dunedin is also regarded as New Zealand's architectural heritage capital. The foundations of New Zealand's richest architectural heritage were built on the gold rushes of the 1860s, and today Victorian and Edwardian buildings can still be seen at every turn. The grandeur and rich heritage of Dunedin's historic homes is something to be experienced. The Octagon, with its many bars and cafés, is a well-known meeting place in the city centre. Well known for its artistic flair, Dunedin is also the place to check out the local art and fashion scene.

When disembarking in Port Chalmers while on a cruise ship holiday you will quickly discover Dunedin and it surrounds have a wide range of activities and attractions on offer for cruise ship passengers.  Dunedin shore excursions range from unique wildlife encounters and heritage sightseeing opportunities through to adrenaline pumping thrill rides.

“The most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

We made the most of our time on a half-day "Highlights" small group, personal tour. We learnt about Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula with our own guide, including entry to the grounds of historic Larnach Castle.

We enjoyed the small group experience better than the big bus in Wellington, as we were shown the best of what Dunedin has to offer. Our first stop was a look around Otago University, New Zealand’s oldest university. Founded in 1871 with just 3 professors, it is now home to over 20,000 students. 

 Tip: Catch the Taieri Gorge Railway for a 4-hour excursion around the region. The train departs from the historic Dunedin Railway Station.

Next on the agenda was a look at Dunedin Railway Station. A photogenic architectural gem that is one of Dunedin’s ‘must-do’s’, still performs its original function and houses new ventures, such as the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. 

 Tip: Wander through Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle. It perches on a hill overlooking the magnificent Otago Harbour.

We then went down the road to the museum for a quick look before heading to the grounds Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. Spread across 7 acres, the gardens are classified as a ‘Garden of International Significance’. We paid the small upgrade fee of $15.50nzd to enter the castle itself, and learn the interesting history of this stately home. Situated on the picturesque Otago Peninsula, Larnach Castle is one of New Zealand’s premier visitor attractions. Lovingly restored by the Barker Family, the Castle and surrounding grounds are at the heart of the Dunedin visitor experience. We didn’t go inside, but had a lovely lunch in the ballroom. Set in the beautiful grounds of Larnach Castle, the Ballroom Café offers the perfect option to sit and take stock of the historic surrounds that Larnach Castle offers. 

Our guide then promptly delivered us to the Jacobean-styled, Olveston House. Built in 1907 by famed architect, Sir Ernest George on behalf of wealthy merchant, David Theomin, the grand structure was equipped with all the bells and whistles. A 'must visit' for lovers of art, heritage and history, Olveston is lavishly furnished with exotic artifacts, prized artworks, antique furniture, ceramics and statues Mr Theomin collected from around the world. The house was gifted to the people of Dunedin in 1966, fully furnished with the original contents, Olveston is a time capsule as little has changed inside the house since it was occupied as a family home.  

Tip: The cruise ship doesn’t organize the transport from the port to town. There is plenty to see and do in Dunedin. There isn't really a downtown due to the size of the place, it's all just town!

Lastly we headed to “The World’s Steepest Street”, Baldwin Street. If we were feeling fit we could see how far up we could walk. Some Scenic vistas of Otago Harbour as we traverse some of the scenic roads on Otago Peninsula with amazing views over Dunedin city (and beyond) from the Signal Hill lookout, and back for a walk around Port Chalmers before getting back on the boat.  The tour guide commentated from start to finish, and was funny and a joy.

Tip: Carey’s Bay Historic Hotel – For perhaps the best seafood dinner you’ve ever experienced, be sure to head to Carey’s Bay Historic Hotel in Port Chalmers (where the ships usually dock) and order the Seafood Platter. The Seafood Chowder is a close second.

Tip: Olveston House - Opened in 1967 as a museum, Olveston House is a time capsule as little has changed inside the home since it was occupied by the Olveston family between, 1906 - 1966. Fine art, furniture and artefacts from all around the world are on display depicting the life of a wealthy merchant family from the early twentieth century.

Tip: Otago Museum - A favourite with families, Otago Museum is very interactive and particularly good if you are travelling with kids. Engaging and hands on, you’ll learn about everything from Pacific cultures to maritime to animals to people of the world. Entry is free.

Tip: Emerson’s Brewery - If all you’re discovering has worked up a thirst, how about a visit to Emerson’s Brewery? For lovers of craft beer, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the brew process from the malt room, to the fermentation, bottling and, of course, tasting.

Tip: Otago Peninsula - To really see the wildlife, we recommend taking a tour on the Otago Peninsula. Fur Seals, Little Blue Penguins, Cormorants and Yellow Eyed Penguins all call this area home. You may also be lucky enough to see Sea Lions, Leopard Seals, White Faced Herons, Black Back Gulls and Oyster Catchers.

Dunedin Street Art Trail - If you only have a spare couple of hours in Dunedin, perhaps pop on your good walking shoes and take in the Walking Tour from the city centre. Dunedin has over 30 amazing murals and artworks by local and international artists throughout the city. The self-guided walk takes around 90 minutes to complete and you can pick up a map at Dunedin’s i-Site Visitor Centre.

Check Out Dunedin:

Day 9 Entertainment.

Showtime: Jonny Balance
Johnny Balance is a comedy magician that left everyone in stitches and wanting more. His act is very interactive and makes everyone a star. Great night out.

Tango Dance Class
Cruise staff Patricia untangle the Tango and makes the most passionate Latin styles accessible.

New Orleans Mardi Gras with Showband.
Soak up the sounds of the Big Easy as the Jewel Showband create their own Mardi Gras

Australia Day Rock Party With Prism
Celebrate what it means to be an Aussie as Prism kicks into a very special Australia Day Party.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019



After calms seas overnight we woke to a glorious sunrise at Akaroa, meaning “Long Harbour” in Maori,  is an old whaling township situated on the Banks Peninsula, south-east of Christchurch.  Akaroa is a small town with French and British colonial history, nestled among hills and the Akaroa Bay. 

 Tip: Did you know that there is a waterfall in Akaroa? Enjoy walking, but short on time? Well this is the perfect de-tour for you. Try the Newton’s Waterfall walk, departing from Aylmer’s Valley Road. It’s a pretty easy 10-minute walk to the waterfall which flows all year round.

Tip: Did you know that the Lighthouse has been in Akaroa for over 40 years? It is now run by dedicated volunteers.  The best time to visit is on Sundays from 11am-2pm or on cruise ship days. Have a look at this historic building; all it takes is a 10 – minute walk from Akaroa town along the water and through the beautiful nature. And make sure to take a picture in or around the lighthouse to remember the beautiful historic building.

With a population of less than 700 residents, quaint doesn’t even begin to describe it. Akaroa Village has many historic buildings, arts and crafts shops, cafes and restaurants. During your stay in Akaroa, you can enjoy a boat ride around this harbor, stopping to take in the natural beauty and snap picturesque photos.

Tip: Picture perfect The Ōnuku Marae has been around for centuries and has been involved in some significant and historic events including the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Want to see the real culture of New Zealand ? Then take a visit to the Ōnuku Marae. The Ōnuku Marae is located 5.2km away from the township and is a 9-10-minute walk along the coast and through the trees.

Many tourists come to Akaroa just to view Hector’s Dolphins, which is a small species of dolphin found exclusively in New Zealand.  The peninsula is also known for Blue penguins (smallest of all penguins) and seal colonies.  Since there are little predators or natural dangers to New Zealand’s wildlife, you often have an excellent chance of seeing them in their natural setting.  In fact, New Zealand has often been called the “Seabird capital of the world” due to the number of species that live there or breed along its coasts.

 Tip: An absolute Akaroa treasure. If you want to find out more about the fascinating historical French township of Akaroa and the history of Banks Peninsula. Its varied collections include archives, art, photography, costume and textiles, taonga, and technology.You can also learn about what buildings are heritage buildings, and they provide a research service. With it being open from 10:30am – 4:00pm during the winter and 10:30am – 4:30pm in the summer months you can come and visit 363 days a year for free.

Tip: Interested in a little free fudge tasting or a delicious piece of cheese? Head to Pot Pourri to try some cream and butter fudge. Pot Pourri is located just as you come into Akaroa on the right-hand side after the playing field. They hand make a variety of fresh delicious fudge daily and offer a complimentary tasting before you buy.

We didn’t book any tour for Akaroa and waited for the herds of touring people tendered for their trips to see Christchurch, wineries and Dolphins Tours.  Later we headed off the ship to the shore, which boasted beautiful boutiques, jewellers and galleries. With the delightfully sheltered French Bay dividing the retail area of town into two, it’s was a pleasant stroll between the two shopping areas sited between the recreation ground and the main wharf. It was only just over 1 km from one end of the town to the other so we took a leisurely stroll there and back so Kim could search out a souvenir of her Akaroa visit. We took our time and enjoyed the sights as we wandered along the waterfront and we made sure we peeked around the corners for the hidden gems.

 Tip: If you are more interested in the cheesy side of things then you must stop off at the Barrys Bay cheese factory to try some traditional handcrafted cheese. Local New Zealand cheese, made by local people…they’ve been handcrafting cheese’s for over 120 years.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Akaroa  and were glad to have finally experienced another really beautiful part of New Zealand. For us Akaroa was rated first in Ports we visited in New Zealand. Akaroa is a tiny coastal town with a volcano to cycle on and the world’s friendliest dolphins. What more could you ask from a hidden gem than this! Sometimes when you travel, it's refreshing to visit a place like Akaroa. We personally can't recommend it enough.

Check out our time in Akaroa:

Day 8 on the cruise the Entertainment was:

Showtime: Velvet.
Velvet is a nightclub, a state of mind, a fantasy. Inspired by Studio 54, famous for wild parties and non-conformity, a culture of acceptance blind to color, creed, class and given to wild abandon. The Jewel Production Cast present Velvet, and amalgam of Variety and Concert forms - sheer entertainment set to a blistering disco soundtrack.

Karaoke Blast with Cruise Staff
Everyone belting out their favorite tunes in the Bliss Lounge.

Diva Fever with Prism
Prism played tribute to music of the most notable Divas.

Sunday, 3 February 2019



Another calm night, we arrived in Wellington day seven early, a little high cloud, with a slight breeze.

: VISIT: TE PAPA TONGAREWA.  Shell out for a guide, the only way to experience the national museum and art gallery of New Zealand, a surprising highlight of any visit to Wellington.

On a sunny, windless day, Wellington is up there with the best of them. For starters it’s lovely to look at, sitting on a hook-shaped harbour ringed with ranges that wear a cloak of snow in winter. Victorian timber architecture laces the bushy hillsides above the harbour, which resonate with native birdsong.

Wellington is compact, cultural and cruise friendly. Each year there are over 120 cruise ship visits into Wellington's stunning harbour and the city and surrounding areas are rich with things for passengers to see and do.

TIP: TOUR: ZEALANDIA This is a conservation area at the city's edge which acts as a refuge for New Zealand's fragile native plants and birdlife, with the aim of restoring the land to its original state.This is also where you'll see the Tuatara, a tiny, two-and-a-half pound reptile touted as the only dinosaur to survive extinction. Tours are escorted by volunteers who are best equipped at spotting wildlife around the lush green valley.

We berthed early at Aotea Quay, two kilometres or a 10 minute drive from the centre of the city.  You can reach the city either by shuttle bus or taxi, both of which are available once you disembark the ship. Cruise shuttles will drop cruise passages off at the north end of Lambton Quay, opposite the Beehive, or Wakefield Street, close to the i-SITE Visitor Information Centre. Smaller ships use the Queens Wharf which is closer to the city and an easy walk along the waterfront into downtown.

TIP: TOUR: WETA STUDIO TOURS Go behind the scenes of Peter Jackson's cutting-edge film empire, view the artisans as they work and admire some of the ghoulish creatures brought to life in film. Short tours illustrate the incredible detail that goes into every single production, which extends far beyond the Lord of the Rings trilogy to exhibits such as Gallipoli, now showing at Te Papa. You can also tour WETA's modern reboot of Thunderbirds and its incredible miniature sets.

There are lots of things that could be achieved in a day independently or better still, escorted by passionate Wellingtonians on a guided tour. From culture to coffee, music to movie-making, Wellington’s sights will leave you wanting more. You can check out their culture at Te Papa, get a taste of Wellywood at Weta Cave, and come face-to-face with nature at Zealandia, all in the same day. 

At the last minute we opted for the Highlights of Wellington. We jumped on the tour bus for an historical and scenic highlight of New Zealand’s centre of government and culture, known as the “Capital of Cool”. We then took a picturesque drive along the lovely Oriental Bay towards Mount Victoria, which offered a spectacular 380 degree view of Wellington and its well-protected harbor.
TIP: RIDE: CABLE CAR The iconic cable car has been running since 1902 and takes you on a short journey to hilltop Kelburn via tunnels glowing with fun disco lights. Disembark at the Botanic Gardens, which has stunning views of the city, and swing by the cable car museum which as well as running through its history, plays a fascinating video on the well-heeled of Wellington's exclusive form of transport

Next stop was one of Wellington's most popular tourist attractions, the Wellington Cable Car, which runs from downtown Wellington to the picturesque suburb of Kelburn and Wellington Botanic Garden. Along the way, you'll travel under the corporate towers of The Terrace, past Kelburn Park and Victoria University of Wellington. Emerging at the top, check out the lookout and Cable Car Museum or walk through the Wellington Botanic Garden. You'll also be a short walk from Space Place at Carter Observatory. The view from the lookout takes in the city's central business district, Mount Victoria and out across the harbour to the Hutt Valley and Eastbourne. 

 TIP: EXPLORE: HANNAH'S LANE They don't call this "Little Portland" for nothing. This terrific little laneway lined with street art is home to some of Welly's best producers. Stroll up and down to sample anything from fancy Six Barrel Soda to baked goods at famed cafe Leeds, before settling in at Shepherd restaurant, one of the city's best. End the night at Hanging Ditch, an quirky, specialist cocktail bar where liquor hangs from the ceiling.

We then visited the Wellington Botanical Gardens, established in the 1860’s. We then headed down Bowen Street, home to New Zealand’s Parliament. The Highlights around Wellington so underwhelming we got out at the ships transfer area and walked around a little before getting the shuttle back to the ship for the afternoon Trivia. Kim enjoyed the night-time entertainment which made up for disappointing, underwhelming Wellington.

Check out what we got up-to in Wellington:

Night-time Entertainment was:

ABBAFAB – The Premier ABBA Experience.
That night took us back to 1970’s with music of ABBA. Mamma Mia the movie has brought ABBA back into the limelight, and ABBAFAB performed all the ABBA hits.

80’s Flashback Dance Party with Prism
After ABBA it was flashback time. Everyone dusted off their leg warmers, leased their hair and pulled out the acid wash jeans to a time where video killed the radio star, the awesome 80’s

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls

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Tony And Kim are travelers, adventurers, and bloggers from Brisbane. Tony & Kim + Shari Outdoor Adventures has something for everyone to enjoy including what adventures you can have in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and Overseas. One thing’s for sure: once you start browsing our blog, you’ll be booking annual leave before you can say “bucket and spade”. While I don’t identify ourselves as a writers, We've always been travelers. From a young age, we both were given the opportunity to travel and spend countless hours on family road trips & vacations to what seemed, at the time, distant places.We got our first taste of traveling as a couple in Palm Cove, Queensland on our Honeymoon and learned about each other same passion.We not a writers, so why blog? It’s a commitment to ourselves that holds us accountable. It’s the home for our adventure stories. We want this blog to inspire you, to inform you and to add fuel to your wanderlust. We hope you’ll join us on this adventure!