Day tours from Melbourne & Tauranga

By Carl Boyer
This item appears on page 47 of the April 2016 issue.

My wife and I took two day tours worth recommending.

• While in Melbourne, Australia, on Nov. 10, 2015, prior to a cruise on the Golden Princess, we (along with four friends) took a 7-hour trip to the Healesville Sanctuary ( in the Yarra Valley.

At the sanctuary, we saw animals and birds native to Australia. Included in the tour was a ride on the Puffing Billy steam train. Two 1912 locomotives pulled a 20-car train on the 25-minute ride. The valley was gorgeous.

This cost $116 per person, and I arranged it on, though, of the many tour choices, I forget which company I ended up with.

• Our Princess cruise ended in Tauranga, New Zealand, and when we got off the ship, tickets were being sold for almost any tour imaginable. It was very well organized. 

I bought a tour to Rotorua for NZD135 (near $90) per person, a little more than half the price of the ship’s shore excursion. And, since the tours were all in minivans, we left within minutes for a fascinating full day. 


Santa Clarita, CA