New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 13
After getting my cruise ticket, I was supposed to board the cruise ship via the Pier 4 dock, but there was a little bit of a wait to let the passengers out from the cruise before.
The cruise ship was a medium-sized boat divided into upper and lower decks. Most people seemed to choose the upper deck to have a better view. When we were leaving the harbour, I saw a really big cruise ship. Surprisingly enough, this was the Celebrity Solstice, one of the top 20 largest cruise ships. I saw lots of passengers from Celebrity Solstice waving at us, but they were on decks so high they looked like little dots.
Once our 1.5-hour tour started, our boat cruised through Waitemata Harbour. The tour guide was showing and describing all the places of interest along the coastline. We headed towards Rangitoto Island.
Rangitoto Island is a volcanic island that was formed by eruptions 600 years ago. Today, Rangitoto Island is a nature reserve and popular day-trip destination. We did not actually get off the boat at Rangitoto Island; our boat just went close and stopped for a few minutes to have better view.
Some other points of interest were Devonport's historic naval base, Bean Rock Lighthouse, Hauraki Gulf, and Auckland Harbour Bridge. Tea, coffee, and some light snacks were provided, but there were a lot more options if someone wanted to pay for more.
The views of Auckland harbour and the coastal areas surrounding the harbour were breathtaking. After 10 minutes of passing Auckland’s waterfront and harbour area, natural splendor takes over. I noticed very few residential units along the coastline, unlike Sydney where the coastline is full of residential houses and apartments.
Once the boat tour was over, my last item on the itinerary was the Sky Tower visit.