During the 14 days cruise we called into 10 ports including Sydney, the starting point, and Auckland the disembark port. So almost every day we had a different place to explore.
From Sydney and along the coast of Australia it was a full day sailing and then a stop at Melbourne. Then another full day sailing to Hobart, before leaving Australia behind and taking 2 days sailing across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. So 4 full days at sea gave us time to explore all the Oosterdam had to offer on board.
Milford Sounds was to be our first sight of New Zealand, or as the Māori name it, Aotearoa, “land of the long white cloud”. These large liners could not go into the Sounds unless the weather was calm. Two of our friends had been on recent cruises that had missed the spectacular cruise through this World Heritage area due to wild weather.
But we were lucky…
At 7am we rushed out to the Promenade Deck to see the misty, majestic cliffs of Milford Sounds slowly floating by.
We had been here before, but on a smaller boat. It was raining that day and the waterfalls were cascading down the sheer rock face. A very different experience to today. (Go here to see it)
“Milford Sounds has been judged the world’s top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. Rudyard Kipling had previously called it the eighth Wonder of the World.“(Wikipedia)
This was the small boat we went in last time and quite a number of passengers had booked to take this tour which would take them closer to the waterfalls and further into the fiord.
I took so many photos, it is mesmerizing.
See how every one is dressed? It was very chilly on deck.
By 11am we had moved through this fiord and could go inside and warm up with a cuppa and some food. But we still had 2 more fiords to cruise through. At 1pm we would be in Doubtful Sound
By 1pm, as we sailed into Doubtful Sound, the mist had cleared and it can be seen why this land is called “the land of the long white cloud”
But the day is not over yet. At 3pm we sailed into Dusky Sound.
Slowly the mountain profile of this magical land disappears over the horizon and everyone on board is delighted that this time this huge liner was able to cruise through this very special place.
Now it was back to ship board life, as over night we sail to the next port of call. Tomorrow we wake up to Dunedin…
To be continued…