New Zealand 2016

Sydney Awaiting Embarkation

Feb 4: A two hour stroll in Sydney with Jo, Jim & Amy, waiting to board the Diamond Princess. The embarkation was delayed because of a norovirus outbreak cleanup from the previous cruise.

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Feb 8: Hobbiton Movie Set
Board your motorcoach at the port of Tauranga, and travel towards Matamata and the Hobbiton Movie set, enjoying the beautiful
Waikato Scenery along the way. Enjoy strolling around the home of the hobbits, including Bag End where Bilbo Baggins lived. See
the Party Tree, the restored bridge and the old pub. After your guided tour, you will head to the Green Dragon Inn for light
refreshments and then return to the ship at the Port of Tauranga.

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Feb 10: In the Footsteps of the "Lord of the Rings"
Visit the locations featured in the film trilogy and learn how the magic of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was created. Get a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the making of "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy by a PRINCESS EXCLUSIVE visit to director Peter Jackson's custom built Weta Workshop, the production studio behind Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Avatar, King Kong to name a few. The story of the creative process is told and guided by a member of the talented Weta Workshop crew from the workshop floor using the props, models and weapons they have helped make for the movies. you watch interviews with co-founders Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk.

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Feb 11th: Canterbury Station, Mt Sunday & Lord of the Rings Sights
Journey to the remote and beautiful high country station, home of Mt Sunday and see how this peaceful mountain was transformed into Edoras, the capital city of the Rohan people in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Immerse yourself in the natural unspoiled beauty of the high country's sparkling clear lakes, glistening blue rivers and fresh mountain air. As this easy full-day excursion unfolds, you'll marvel at one breathtaking sight after another: the farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, the high country of the Southern Alps, Rakaia River, Lake Clearwater, and the Akaroa bays. After morning tea, arrive at the spectacular setting where Lord of the Rings fans will recognize Edoras. Take time to enjoy the views and have your photo taken with Lord of the Rings replica swords. With a delicious picnic lunch at a High Country setting, your day out is complete.

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Feb 12: City Drive, Olveston House & Botanic Gardens
There is much to intrigue you on this moderate half-day tour filled with Dunedin's treasured heritage. From its construction in 1904-06 to its bequeathal to the City of Dunedin in 1966 by Dorothy Theomin, only one family lived in the Jacobean-style Olveston House. It is this continuous heritage that provides such a unique glimpse of the era's privileged lifestyle. Your tour continues through the north end of town to the Dunedin Botanic Garden. Established in 1863, it hosts a variety of plant collections set amidst 72 acres of natural beauty. Explore the formal paths and discover 6,800 different species of plants from all over the globe. Along the way enjoy numerous city sights and enjoy photo stops at Dunedin Railway Station and the Octagon, two of Dunedin's best known attractions.

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Fiordlands National Park

Feb 13: Fiordland National Park Scenic Cruising
Established in 1952, Fiordland National Park is now over 1.2 million hectares in size, and encompasses mountain, lake, fiord and rainforest environments. The National Park is administered by the Department of Conservation. The variety of habitats in Fiordland support a diverse range of flora and fauna, with many developing in relative isolation leading to a high rate of endemism, or plants and animals that have evolved to be completely unique to this area.
In the morning we entered Dusky Sound and in the late afternoon, Milford Sound.

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Sydney Hop On-Hop Off

Feb 16: We walked to Circular Quay from our Hotel and took a day tour on the Sydney Hop-on Hop-off. Along with a tour of the city, we also made our way to Bondi Beach

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Sydney Blue Mountain Day Trip

Feb 17: Blue Mountains Day Trip and River Cruise
Explore the Blue Mountains on a full-day tour that features the UNESCO World Heritage-listed region’s natural beauty, including landmarks like Three Sisters, Jamison Valley, Leura and Scenic World. On the return trip to Sydney, meet native Australian wildlife at Featherdale Wildlife Park, then cruise into the city on a scenic Parramatta River boat cruise. Travel with a small group limited to 18 people for a personalized experience of Blue Mountains National Park and beyond. The trip Included morning tea and a delicious two-course lunch in Wentworth Falls.

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