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Setter - Answered a Question by Padington (18 Nov 08 17:28)

Yes, we did an excursion to Rotarua in Feb. of this year, with Celebrity. We did the one which included lunch at a Maori village. we feared that it might be a bit "touristy" but felt it was something we should experience and were very glad we did! The whole visit and experience is taken very seriously and treated as a "cultural experience" rather than being a tourist show. The thermal geysers at Rotarua itself are well worth seeing, but be aware that it is likely to be very hot there( not to mention very smelly from the sulpher, but that was to be expected!) We did not do an excursion from Dunedin, just took the shuttle into the town and spent the day there. It has a surprisinly good Art Gallery-we went in expecting to wander around for an hour at the most and came out 2 and a half hours later. Quite a remarkable collection of European paintings including several Stanhope Forbes and a superb La Thangue. If you are at all into art, its well worth a visit. Hope this helps, have a great time. Cynthia.

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Aldrich - Answered a Question by Padington (18 Nov 08 18:15)

There is a better place to ask or look for the answer as far more contributions - It is easy to find recommendations of local tour operators and what to do in each port etc, - go to a browser and enter 'message new zealand cruise' and the first link returned should give you all the info you need (it begins CCMB).

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BLYTH - Answered a Question by Padington (19 Nov 08 09:03)

We did Sydney to Auckland in January on the Mercury, we loved the Restuarant car trip in Melbourne, it is the only one in the world where you can have a meal on a tramcar, plenty of food and drink including champers whatever your choice is but not cheap but we are glad we did it. In Christchurch we visited a sheep farm for shearing and a sheep dog trial and both were great, a bit early though for sheep shearing. We should have just taken the bus into Dunedin, the trip we did was not very good. The White volcanic island was great when we passed it by, very active. As we were in New Zealand we did visit the Kiwi fruit farm and thought it appealed to us but not to everyone. What did strike us in New Zealnd was on nearly all our visits it was the boss who took you round and they were very proavtive to us and it was great most trips it someone from the company but the bosses out there take the visits to heart, but maybe we were just lucky. We found the New Zealanders were the friendlist and the country is really like Scotland so we felt at home but the Australians, well the not quite so friendly. If you want to be boared have a look at the pics on http://billblyth.co.uk .

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Robertson - Answered a Question by Padington (27 Dec 08 05:47)

Hope you are enjoying your trip. We were on the 7th December cruise. When we got off we got a cab. We shared with another couple we met on board which obviously worked out better. The trips on board are extremely expensive. You can either hire a car easily at the port or get a cab. We paid 350 dollars for the whole day. We went to the buried Maori village, which was excellant, also saw a great waterfall here. Then onto Rotoura where if you get the taxi driver to take you to the entrance of the sulphar village, walk down by the river and along you will see just as much here as going into hte village. Into routoura and vist the park you will see the hot thermals and also there is a small pool to bathe your feet. On the way back visit the Kiwi( not the fruit!!! a mix up with our driver ended in jpeels of laughter) place and next door is the lift, but this does not go very high. We also saw the steepest street. Our taxi driver was Pete but at lpresent I cannot put my hands onto his details. Have you visited Dunedin yet?

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