Countries
New Zealand and Australia
Highlights
Discover New Zealand's breathtaking scenery & spectacular gardens on this luxury cruise aboard Celebrity Solstice. Highlights include the majestic Fjordland National Park & the unique gardens of Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Tauranga, Bay of Islands & Auckland.

Garden Cruise of New Zealand with Sue McDougall

 

Day 1 Sunday November 27, 2016 Sydney
This afternoon we board Celebrity Solstice on this fantastic garden cruise to New Zealand. Be up on deck as we cruise Sydney Harbour and out through Sydney Heads.

Day 2 Monday November 28, 2016 At sea
The morning will be free to explore the ship. In the afternoon Sue will organise a Garden Trivial Pursuit, dividing the group into teams competing to answer garden questions. This is a great way to meet your fellow group members and there will be prizes for the winners.

Day 3 Tuesday November 29, 2016 Melbourne
This morning we arrive in Melbourne and travel to the Dandenong Ranges to visit two exceptional gardens. We first visit Cloudehill, where a maze of stone walls and jewel like garden rooms are set within woodlands of historic cool climate trees. This afternoon we travel to Olinda, the home garden of Phillip Johnson. Phillip’s spectacular design for Fleming’s Nurseries won Best Garden in Show at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013. His gorgeous home garden has a sustainable billabong, that doubles as a chemical free swimming pool. Beautifully positioned walkways meander through the garden featuring many indigenous plants.

Day 4 Wednesday November 30, 2016 At sea
We have a free day at sea today to enjoy the many facilities and activities aboard the ship. In the afternoon, Sue McDougall will give a talk on her career in horticulture and the media, and answer any questions you might have.

Day 5 Thursday December 1, 2016 At sea
Today you are free to enjoy some of the many activities available aboard Celebrity Solstice. In the afternoon Sue McDougall will host a trivia quiz.

Day 6 Friday December 2, 2016 Fjordland, NZ
Nothing can prepare you for the majesty of Milford Sound, star of Fjordlands National Park. New vistas mesmerise at each turn, towering Mitre Peak, rising 1692 metres above the sound, plunging waterfalls, bottlenose and dusky dolphins, fur seals and Fjordland crested penguins are among the wonders in this place of outstanding natural beauty. Sometimes called The Sound of Silence, there is a cloistered serenity within Doubtful Sound that contrasts with Milford Sound. At forty kilometres long and eight across at its widest point, Dusky Sound is one of the largest and most complex fiords in Fjordland. Dusky Sound was discovered and named by Captain Cook in 1773 who originally called it Dusky Bay because of its sombre aspect.

Day 7 Saturday December 3, 2016 Dunedin
Arriving at Port Chambers this morning, we’ll be met by our private coach to travel to the city of Dunedin. Originally founded by Scottish settlers and known as the Edinburgh of the South, it features beautifully preserved buildings overlooking parklands. We’ll visit the Glenfalloch Woodland Garden, situated in a fertile coastal valley above the harbour. Originally developed by Philip Brady in 1917, it has a collection of superb European trees from 1872, under planted with azaleas and rhododendrons. Fuchsias and native ferns grow luxuriantly beside Russell Creek. Returning to Dunedin, we visit the historic, Jacobeanstyle Olveston House, containing a treasure trove of art and antiques, set in .4 hectare of garden.

Day 8 Sunday December 4, 2016 Akaroa
Today we call in to the pretty village of Akaroa, originally founded by the French, it is now a delightful town still retaining the ambience of France. We visit Coombe Farm which is a working eight hundred and fifty sheep farm in the Takamatua valley. The garden is in a beautiful setting
surrounded by hills strewn with native trees and bush, abundant bird life, creeks and a waterfall.

Day 9 Monday December 5, 2016 Wellington
Arriving in Wellington, the nation’s capital, we enjoy a private sightseeing tour of the main city sights, including the Houses of Parliament, known locally as the Beehive. At Mount Victoria, there are breath-taking, 360-degree views of the city, and we also visit the Wellington Botanic Garden, famous for its rose garden and begonia house. In the afternoon we travel to Masterton, where we experience a very different garden, Assisi. It is in a stunning location on the side of a hill, with wonderful views over the Wairarapa landscape from the architect-designed house. The dynamic owners made a decision to concentrate on natives to suit the climate, and have planted hundreds of grasses, flaxes, renga lilies and cabbage trees.

Day 10 Tuesday December 6, 2016 At sea
A day free to explore the ship.

Day 11 Wednesday December 7, 2016 Rotorua
We dock in Tauranga and travel to Rotorua to visit two gardens today. The 12ha Tikiteret garden, developed since 1987, incorporates a natural stream, established trees and bog plants including hostas, iris and primulas. Bridges cross the stream, which is lined with a collection of Japanese maples and cherry trees, while azaleas and rhododendrons cover the slopes beyond. We travel on to visit Miller’s garden, a private well-established garden with many interesting features.

Day 12 Thursday December 8, 2016 Bay of Islands
Our final stop is the spectacular Bay of Islands, one of the most historic areas in New Zealand and comprising of 150 scenic islands. We will have a sightseeing tour to Waitangi, including the Treaty House where the treaty between settlers and Maoris was signed in 1840. In the Treaty House grounds, as well as stands of historic, native trees, there is a small, semi-formal garden planted to suit the period. Don’t miss seeing one of the world’s largest carved war canoes.

Day 13 Friday December 9, 2016 Auckland
This morning we arrive in Auckland, the largest city and commercial centre of New Zealand. After disembarking, we enjoy a sight-seeing morning city tour which takes in the main sights of Auckland, including the Harbour Bridge, which spans the beautiful Waitemata Harbour and the quaint and stylish shopping area of Parnell. At Ayrlies Garden, created from 1964 by Beverley and Malcolm McConnell, gardening is an art form. Covering 4.5ha, it is one of New Zealand’s finest and best known gardens, incorporating three large ponds, cascading waterfalls, a rose garden, rockery, meadow garden and the stimulating “Lurid Border”. There’s also an adjoining 14ha wetlands reserve. This is a superb seasonal garden to which you will want to return. We are then
transferred to our hotel.

Day 14 Saturday December 10, 2016 Arrive Australia
This morning we are transferred to the airport for our flights back to Australia and the cruise arrangements conclude.

  • Travelrite Garden Cruise of New Zealand with Sue McDougall 2016 Download

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Pricing in $AUD
Interior cabin, deck 8, 9 $4390 twin-share, $6040 single fare
Interior cabin, deck 9, 10 $4490 twin-share, $6230 single fare
Balcony cabin, deck 6, 7 $4990 twin-share, $6730 single fare
Balcony cabin, deck 7 $5090 twin-share, $6830 single fare
Balcony cabin, deck 8, 9 $5190 twin-share, $6930 single fare
Balcony cabin, deck 6, 7, 8, 9 $5290 twin-share, $7030 single fare
Concierge Class cabin, deck 9, 10 $5490 twin-share, $7230 single fare
Aqua Class cabin, deck 11 $5790 twin-share, $7530 single fare
Port & handling charges, gratuities and air taxes included.

Supplement to include airfare for Auckland to Perth $200 per person.

Included in the price of the Garden Cruise to New Zealand:
• Economy-class air travel from Auckland back to Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane and Perth. $200 surcharge for Perth
• Travel on Celebrity Solstice in the selected cabin category
• All meals, entertainment and service charges on Celebrity Solstice
• Private activities on board Celebrity Solstice
• 1 night’s accommodation in Auckland including breakfast
• Sightseeing tours of Melbourne, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Tauranga, Bay of Islands and Auckland in New Zealand and visits to gardens listed
• Tour leadership by Sue McDougall
• Fully escorted by a professional Travelrite International tour manager
• Port and handling charges on Celebrity Solstice
• Cruise taxes
• Air taxes as of January 20, 2016
• Onboard gratuities

Not included in the price:
• Flights to Sydney – call our travel consultant for the best price available.
• Travel insurance
• Additional travel arrangements not detailed in the itinerary; these will be quoted for separately
• Drinks on board
• Lunches when not on the ship
• Visas