Southward bound! National Geographic Orion steamed steadily toward the Australian exclave of Macquarie Island today. We had bright sunshine overhead and perfect wind as flying birds blew across the waves. We spent all day in the company of albatrosses and petrels, the world’s most impressive fliers. With wingspans of over ten feet, the southern royal albatross simply glides with ease in any wind. We were regaled with informative lectures by the natural history staff and treated to exquisite service by the crew. A very exciting day awaits us tomorrow at Macquarie Island.
National Geographic Orion
Our destination today was Rotorua, Bay of Plenty: A neighboring town with rich cultural heritage - Rotorua nui a Kahumatamomoe. Some of the highlights from our visit to Rotorua included the visit to Te Puia. It was exceptional, featuring a comprehensive 90 minute guided tour encompassing the art school, kiwi conservatory, geysers, and captivating stories of Tūtanekai & Hinemoa told through waiata (song). The tour concluded with a scrumptious buffet filled with traditional Māori cuisine, enhancing the cultural immersion. Following our visit, we ventured into the town center to visit the picturesque lake, absorbing the natural beauty and tranquility. We then headed back to the ship to enjoy an educational session with our Underwater Sea Specialist , Gail, who presented an engaging session on kelp, enlightening us with insights into this marine life. The day concluded with the captain’s farewell cocktail hour, a briefing for the following day's activities, and beautiful dinner as customary. Later, we enjoyed the heartwarming film, The Whale Rider, accompanied by delicious popcorn and hot cocoa.