Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cruise 1/19/2016 from New Zealand to Sydney Auckland Pre-cruise

We flew from Dayton Ohio to Minnesota (airport only- 2 hour layover) to San Francisco (5 hour lay over) to Auckland Via Air New Zealand. A 13 hour flight- arriving in Auckland at 6 am.
Watching "Whale Rider" and "Flight of the Conchords" to get us in a New Zealand frame of mind.

We tried the skybed but I would not recommend them. Once the person in front of you reclines there is no getting out of the flat position and really only room for 1 person. Just upgrade to premium economy! Look at the photo and pretend that you are the guy behind the reclined seat....yeah.

We stayed at Sky City our room was not ready until 1 pm (we had requested an early check in). A ship was leaving and it was summer peak season.

We rode the Hop On, Hop Off bus, shopped for souvenirs & toiletries . We were hesitant to commit to too much this day.

Jim enjoying special time with his parents. And look a kiwi!

The gardens overlooking the city of Auckland were beautiful.

 We got to see a Maori show in the natural History Museum

 As we returned we could see the people walking around the Skywalk.

We had a breakfast at Denny's but this one has the fern so you know it's New Zealand~
We left on an all day tour to the Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton down the middle of the north island

Since I was a child,seeing the glow worm caves on my view master, it's been on my bucket list.

We boarded the boats and no cameras allowed. I think we went in a circle but what a beautiful circle it was!

Every now and then you'd feel a drip.....I loved it.
We stood in front of a green screen and they added photos behind us.
Some of us bought elf ears....


Bette was the shortest in our group and got to be our honorary hobbit.

Even though it was raining, it was beautiful

Keelie,our guide, served us beer or ginger beer at the bar after the tour.

The fire was nice and warm after the cool summer rain

For only 32 seconds of film in all of the movies, they did a great job here!
And a quick stop for Dan to buy a fan
We did the Sky Walk the following morning. I was terrified.

Jim was not!

Our group was brave....'cept me.
Our video of the walk- see our ship in the background? We hoped on the ship and began our ocean journey~


  1. Thanks for your blog posts! We are doing this same cruise in December & I'm looking for tips, like taking the Hobbiton tour from Auckland rather than the ship.

  2. Zealadia tours is who we used.We were very pleased. Not sure what a full day tour would add- we saw an awful lot. Freed up the cruise day in Rotorua- we stayed with this tour company for all of New Zealand (except Wellington). We were really pleased with them and the guides. Have a blast!

  3. Also going in ahead of the cruise and doing this is what I'd recommend.