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Setting sail from Auckland
Auckland offers a buzzing waterfront and a vibrant arts scene, and provides a fascinating introduction to New Zealand's proud cultural heritage. The centre is home to excellent shopping and a number of fantastic restaurants, while the north of the city has a distinctly more laid-back vibe, and to the west is the city's oldest wine region.
It’s not all about the city; there is stunning natural beauty within easy reach, including black sand beaches, islands and extinct volcanic cones.
New Zealand: Bounty Islands
New Zealand: Antipodes
New Zealand: Campbell Island
Campbell Island is one of the most southerly of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands, a windswept and seemingly inhospitable place that sustains a surprising diversity of large, colourful plants known as ‘megaherbs’. The island is also home to six different species of albatross and three species of penguin.
New Zealand: Enderby Island
Enderby Island is part of the Auckland Islands archipelago, a place where native flora and fauna are flourishing following a successful programme to eradicate invasive species in the 1990s. The island is an important habitat for the rare yellow-eyed penguin, and the main breeding location for the New Zealand sea lion.
Australia: Macquarie Island
Macquarie Island lies far to the south of mainland Australia, a bizarrely shaped subantarctic island that is home to unique flora and spectacular wildlife. The island is best known for its huge penguin rookeries, with thousands upon thousands of royal, king, southern rockhopper and gentoo penguins.
New Zealand: Snares Islands
The Snares Islands are the northernmost of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands, renowned for their incredible birdlife. Endemic species include the Snares penguin, Snares snipe and Snares tomtit, and some three million sooty shearwaters come here to breed during the austral summer.
Arriving in Dunedin
It's an odd concept - Edinburgh, but on New Zealand's South Island. Visitors are amazed by the extraordinary Victorian and Edwardian buildings dating back to the gold rush, which bring to mind the city's Scottish roots - not least when the sound of the pipes echoes through the streets. Of course the region was inhabited by Māori long prior to the European arrival, so a rich history abounds. Meanwhile outside the city, the extraordinary natural beauty and wildlife of the Otago peninsula are on hand, home to New Zealand fur seals, Hooker's sea lions, yellow-eyed penguins, and the only mainland royal albatross colony in the world.
Rail buffs will love the Taieri Gorge railway, the perfect way to see the fantastic scenery.
Your home from home
Sleek and stylish, Ponant's wonderful Explorer yachts blend luxury and intimacy with a discreet elegance and tasteful décor.
What we love
Named after six of France's most famous explorers, Le Champlain, Le Lapérouse, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont d'Urville, Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier offer exciting and adventurous itineraries in the utmost comfort. Technologically advanced, with the latest in environmentally friendly hardware, the new ships embody Ponant's trademark élan and flair, with just 92 spacious rooms and suites, a stylish pool deck and an intimate, refined onboard ambience.
|Style||Refined with a wonderful mix of a modern super yacht and nautical tradition, all with a French flair.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Auckland
There are some great luxury lodges within easy reach of the city. In the city itself we like the Langham.
About 3 hours north of the city is the Bay of Islands, an area of pristine islands and turquoise water as well as small towns of historic and cultural interest.
Our favourite hotel near Dunedin
Up the coast at Oamaru, the charming Pen-y-bryn Lodge is a heritage homestead - and perfectly placed to visit the blue penguins!
Explore the South Island
Visit the Catlins Coastal Rain Forest and Curio Bay – next stop Antarctica!