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Top 10 Australia and New Zealand Shore Excursions

A cruise is the best way to discover the other side of the world, so pack your bags and get ready for an adventure down under! From iconic landmarks, picturesque beaches, and the stunning cities of Australia, to the historic towns and beautiful fjords of New Zealand, this part of the world is just waiting to be explored.  Take a look at our Top 10 shore excursions to get the most out of your time here.

View our Top 100 Shore Excursions home

1. Evening at the Opera House, Sydney


The Sydney Opera House is known the world over for its iconic shape and command of the harbour skyline. On this fantastic excursion, not only will you have the chance to explore some of the interior of the building, but also watch an unforgettable performance. Get dressed to the nines and delight in the opera and the stunning decor of the venue. Unsurprisingly, tickets for this experience get booked up quickly, so if you'd like to be a part of it, make sure you reserve your spot as soon as you can.

Cunard Cruises can take you to see a beautiful opera. Take a look at all Australasia cruises with Cunard.

2. Auckland Bridge Climb, Auckland

Auckland Bridge

This excursion offers one of the most unique and unforgettable experiences you can have in this part of the world. The Auckland Harbour Bridge stretches over the Westhaven Marina. As you climb up the side of the bridge, your tour guide will share with you the bridge’s colourful secrets, and explain all its amazing architectural features. The views when you reach the top are incomparable to anything else you will see during an Australia and New Zealand cruise.

Take on the Aukland Bridge Climb with Royal Caribbean. See all Australasia cruises with Royal Caribbean.


3. Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling, Port Douglas

Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef is on so many buckets lists, and it's obvious why. It is the world’s largest and most renowned coral reef system, and you mustn't visit Australia without going to see it! From Port Douglas, you will travel to the reef for hours of unforgettable snorkelling, diving, and close encounters with the most amazing marine life in the world.

Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef on your Princess Cruises holiday. Browse through Princess Cruises' Australasia cruises.


4. Australian Animals, Melbourne


See the wildlife Australia is known for on this full day excursion. First you will visit the Serendip Open Range Sanctuary, where your guide will tell you all about the lives of the animals you'll see, including kangaroos, wallabes, emus, and different bird species. After this you will enjoy a tasty barbecue lunch while a local Aboriginal person plays the didgeridoo and tell you all about traditional life. Once lunch has finished, you will move on to a National Park and see wild koalas in authentic Australian bush land. This is a truly memorable experience, especially for animal lovers. 

Cruise & Maritime offer this fun excursion. See all Australasia cruises with Cruise & Maritime.

5. Australia Zoo, Brisbane

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo is home to a large variety of animals, and guarantees a wonderful day out for everyone. Famous for being Steve Irwin’s second home, you will get the chance to see the live crocodile shows that he was famous for. As you walk around this remarkable zoo you can see giraffes, elephants, tigers, and saltwater crocodiles to name a few. There are many interactive programmes that take place - including the chance to feed kangaroos and hold a koala bear. When you feel like you have completed your day at the zoo, you can visit the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital which is run by Steve Irwin’s family. A tour of the facilities will show you how they work to rescue various animals in need.

Holland America Line can show you the amazing Australia Zoo. Have a look through all Holland America Line cruises in Australasia.

6. Taieri Gorge Railway, Dunedin


Take a journey through time on this brilliant excursion, during which you can sit back and admire not only the scenery, but also the vintage train carriages. Some of these are almost 100 years old, and boast an authentic wooden trim, and sash windows that offer panoramic views. You will pass through ten mountain tunnels, and across stunning iron bridges and viaducts - including the 1880s Wingatui Viaduct which is still the largest wrought iron structure in New Zealand. Soak in all the history as the onboard commentary explains the significance of the sights you pass.

Princess Cruises include this opportunity among their excursions. See all Australasia cruises with Princess Cruises.

7. Lord of the Rings Tour, Wellington


Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy will find this extraordinary excursion offers an amazing insight into the fascinating details of the films. You will visit the Weta Cave - the home of director Peter Jackson's special effects studio - and varius filming locations around Wellington, including the 'Outer Shire', where the journey of the hobbits begins. A Lord of the Rings expert will be your guide, and will talk you through the filming, and answer any questions you might have.

Take the Lord of the Rings tour with Oceania Cruises. See all Oceania Cruises' Australasia cruises.

8. Wine Tasting, Adelaide


Many would argue that a visit to Australia is not complete without a wine tasting. There are plenty of these all over the country, but this opportunity in the Barossa Valley is one of our favourites.After traversing the beautiful scenery of the Adelaide hills you will arrive to the region, where there are around 50 different wineries. You will attend tastings and enjoy tours of four of these, and have the opportunity to purchase the wine you try. There is also a delicious gourmet lunch served in one of the wineries. Use this superb opportunity to enhance your knowledge of oenology and viticulture in Australia.

Holland America Line can take you to see the vineyards. Browse the selection of HAL cruises in Australasia.

9. Whitsundays Sail, Hamilton Island


Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsunday Islands are described by many as the most stunning islands in the world. There is no better way to explore these islands than by boat, so grab a lifejacket and try this excursion! You will board a sail boat at Hamilton Island - close to where your ship will dock - before beginning your adventure. As you sail over the pristine waters of this tropical paradise, your crew will explain the history behind these wonderful islands.

Cunard offer this brilliant excursion. Take a look at Cunard cruises in Australasia.

10. Glow Worm Caves, Bay of Islands

Glow Caves

This excursion offers a unique experience that allows you to connect with a charmed, natural wonder. The limestone caves are home to a galaxy of glow worms that light up around tunnelled walkways. Escape to an enchanted land as you slowly walk through the burrows, and enjoy the silent twinkling of the Kawiti Glow Worms. An informative guide will explain the history behind these caves as you walk around, as well as pointing out some secrets along the way!

Discover glow worms with Oceania Cruises. See our selection of Oceania Cruises in Australasia.

If you’re looking for a taste of opulence down under, our Luxury Cruises New Zealand will tick all the boxes.

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