Australasia is a continent of contrasts. A choice of Australia cruises with Cunard may showcase rainforests in the north and stunning beaches and cosmopolitan cities in the south, which give way to a vast interior and huge ranches. New Zealand boasts towering mountains and verdant valleys, washed by tumbling waterfalls. Certain cruises extend out into the sparkling Pacific to reveal idyllic South Seas islands.
There’s a sense of mystique on a Cunard cruise to Australasia. It may stem from the impossibly beautiful Polynesian lagoons, watching Fiji’s firewalkers or meeting the tribes of Papua New Guinea. It could be seeing Australia’s weird and wonderful wildlife up close, including koalas, kangaroos and crocodiles, or even snorkelling at the majestic Great Barrier Reef. From our New Zealand cruises, it may be a performance of the Maori haka, ascending Auckland’s Sky Tower or sailing into breathtaking fjords that most define your visit.
Australasia’s history is inextricably linked to that of the UK. Mass emigration from the UK sowed the seed for today’s growing population, and Australia’s links to the Commonwealth are still strong. Meanwhile, the relative isolation and self-reliance of the Pacific Islands has helped maintain a traditional way of life and a strong identity still very much in evidence.
In fact, this sense of identity is very strong right across the Pacific and Australasia, with indigenous art and performances celebrated throughout the region. A visit to a Pacific Island will undoubtedly lead to you enjoying traditional tribal performances. Of course, modern culture plays a big role too – the Opera House in Sydney is hugely popular, and New Zealand boasts perhaps the most famous film sets in the world, thanks to Lord of the Rings.
Australia is known for its barbecues and outdoor dining, while New Zealand cuisine owes much to the British. Saying that, Far Eastern and Pacific influences make the menu an eclectic affair in both countries. On the Pacific Islands, you’ll find an emphasis on locally sourced food. Expect freshly caught fish and home grown meats, served with local vegetables and sweet fruit – delicious!