I'll give a really brief look at the ports we stopped at along the way.
Our first stop was Auckland and it is called the City of Sails and after two days of sailing it was lovely to see land again.
We had such beautiful warm weather in New Zealand and we were lucky that the Lantern Festival was on to celebrate the last day of the Chinese New Year and everything was open to 10pm.
Our next stop was Tauranga and we went on the Hobbiton Village tour on the advice of Wendy who reads my blog. Wendy was correct when she recommended the tour. We had such a lovely look at the countryside as our bus took us there. I know why The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings was filmed in beautiful New Zealand.
I took so many photos of Hobbiton, the place where many of the outside scenes were shot in the Hobbit movie.
There were nearly 50 Hobbit Holes (Hobbit Houses) and they were all different and so cute.
Our tour guide us told us many stories about the filming and all the trouble and extreme detail that Peter Jackson went to for the film to be just like the novel.
Thank you for the recommendation, Wendy.
I really loved Napier, which was our next Port and it is known as the Art Deco town and I love Art Deco. Once again we went on a tour that took us all over the town to see the famous Art Deco landmarks and buildings.
When the ship arrived at the port there were people dressed up in Art Deco fashions standing next to old cars of the era.
We were lucky enough to have all day in Wellington, so we started with the Lord of the Rings tour. Our tour guide had been in the movie and so we had a very enjoyable morning listening to his tales about the filming.
You can get the feeling of the movie by being in the forest.
In the afternoon we took the cable car up to the Botanical Gardens and they were one of the most beautiful I had been to. I couldn't believe all the flowers that were out and I realised how much Australia's 10 years of drought had taken it's toll on our flowers.
We came across a section called The Quilted Garden and there were flowers set out in quilting block patterns.
There was also a 6 pointed star and hexagons, I don't know what other ones there were. What a novel idea though.
There was also a huge hothouse with the most beautiful begonias.
We left the North Island and sailed down to Dunedin which is where a lot of Scottish people came to settle and Dunedin has a wonderful Scottish flavour.
We went and saw one of the most famous buildings in New Zealand, the Dunedin Railway Station.
After lunch we visited the Cadbury chocolate factory and then went to a beautiful Chinese Garden where everywhere you turned was a photo composition. It was such a peaceful place.
The only bad weather we encountered was when our ship spent the day floating through, Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sound. The weather turned cold, foggy and windy and all the animals and birds were hiding. It was still very impressive and beautiful.
We have a soft spot for Hobart because we had our honeymoon there 35 years ago. We didn't remember anything except for the Cat and Fiddle Shopping Centre that had really increased in size. Hobart has a famous Salamanca Market on Sundays and it wasn't Sunday but they staged a mini market for us as we got off the ship. I bought a couple of scarves but I could have bought more, it's funny how a husband can make you a bit more restrained!
As we were walking back to the ship that afternoon we came across the Town Hall just as a tour was being conducted by the deputy Mayor.
Inside was a beautiful ballroom that is very popular for weddings.
We arrived back in Sydney at 5.30 in the morning and I was hoping to get some beautiful sunrise photos with the bridge and Opera House but it was too cloudy. I got some nice shots with the harbour all lit up though.
I had got a few sunset and sunrise photos on the cruise though.
That was a very brief look at our New Zealand cruise and our wonderful holiday.
Another Needlework cruise is planned for April 2015. This time it is Freemantle to Singapore and once again goes for 14 nights. I am not teaching on this one but it looks like a lovely cruise with many great classes. Click on this link to find out about it.
Bye for now,