The Lands Down Under
A plethora of experiences are waiting for you before and after your cruise from Australia or New Zealand.
By Natalie Kessell
The idyllic lands down under are more accessible than ever with a bevy of cruise ships sailing south for the summer each year. The neighboring island nations of Australia and New Zealand are as alike as they are different and, while you may not be able to explore the countries in their entirety before or after your cruise vacation, there are some key cities that deserve pride of place on your bucket list.
Sydney: The Harbour City
Perhaps best known for its eye-catching landmarks and idyllic beaches, there is a lot more to this jewel in Australia’s crown than meets the eye. Pop your walking shoes on, grab a camera, and explore. A vast city it may be, but many of Sydney’s gems are within walking distance of each other.
Start at Circular Quay, home of some of the world’s most famous landmarks. Weave your way through the steel arches to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb and soak in the sunset. Climb the famous steps of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Sydney Opera House, venture inside for a behind-the-scenes tour, or take in one of the hundreds of performances to grace its stages each year.
Wind your way through the charming cobblestone alleys of The Rocks, and immerse yourself in the historic architecture, vibrant pub scene, and artisanal shopping.
Stroll from Circular Quay along the piers of Walsh Bay to Sydney’s newest harbor-side playground, Barangaroo. Dip your toes in the water at the 22-hectare (54-acre) area that embraces its indigenous heritage with a tree-lined reserve and spectacular sandstone formations that throw back to a time before European settlement.
Accommodation options in Sydney are many and varied. The budget conscious should veer away from harbor views, but those wishing to splash out have an array of choices with stunning landmark-peppered vistas.
A Snapshot: Australia’s Wish list–Worthy Cities
Australia is home to many cities worthy of a spot on your destination wish list. Explore the many graffiti art–filled laneways of Melbourne and discover some of Australia’s most edgy fashion designers, coffee nooks, and funky rooftop bars. Soak up one of the many shows, festivals, or….