P&O Top Ten Must Do Shore Excursions

30 August 2016

The iconic cruise line of P&O has forged some great itineraries around Australia, Asia and the Pacific – these itineraries include some amazing on-shore destination experiences exclusive to P&O – we have selected the top two from P&O’s top five destinations, to give you the ten absolute must do on-shore excursions for your next cruise. We hope that if the words don’t convince you, the pictures will.

Papua New Guinea - Conflict Islands

In the heart of the Coral Sea, lies a group of 21 islands that surround a bright blue lagoon, and these are known as the Conflict Islands. This is one of the world’s most bio-diverse reef systems where passengers can take advantage of the idyllic environment for a whole lot of water action of kayaking, snorkeling, and reef discovering.

 Coral Sea in all its glory (image: Getty)

Papua New Guinea - Madang

Madang is all about the water adventures with fantastic water visibility but here cruisers will also get to experience a little bit of PNG culture and see the Goroka mud men from the highland areas come together and share their culture and traditions.

 Goroka Mud men. (image: Getty)

Vanuatu - Pentecost Island

A visit to Pentecost Island is an exclusive P&O experience. The rarely visited island’s beauty lies within its untouched rainforests, cascading waterfalls and clear blue streams and ocean waters. Cruisers can take a village tour, or walk through and visit the beautiful rainforests, waterfalls and swimming holes.

 Untouched beach beauty.(image: Getty)

Vanuatu – Champagne Bay

Champagne Bay never fails to disappoint as one of the most exquisitely beautiful beaches in the world. The “Champagne” effect is a freshwater spring that flows into the lagoon, causing a spa-like bubbling at low tide. Champagne Bay is situated on the east coast of Espiritu and is the perfect spot to spend the day on this incredible beach that sits alongside dense tropical rainforest.

 Beach meets rainforest. (image: Getty)

Australia - Kangaroo Island

P&O Australia delivers a whole range of fantastic cruising destinations and just 15 kilometres off South Australia’s mainland, lies Kangaroo Island – a wildlife sanctuary and foodie heaven. On the island you can watch sea lions lounge, observe kangaroos nibbling on a grassy expanse, and perhaps if you are lucky, catch a glimpse of the timid platypus. Visitors need to ensure that they sample the local produce of fresh seafood and cheese made from sheep’s milk.

 A Kangaroo Local. (image: Getty)

Australia – Broome

Located on Western Australia’s remote northern coast, Broome is a great thing to include on the serious traveller’s Aussie bucket list. It is a town where the desert meets the sea, and you can watch the sun disappear into the Indian Ocean from the sandy stretches of Cable Beach. Broome has its own very unique style from its architecture to its food, which showcases a range of influences and includes local Indigenous bush tucker and plenty of neighbouring Asia-style dishes.

 Cable Beach, Broome - remote WA. (image: Getty)

New Zealand - Stewart Island

Another exclusive to P&O is cruising to Stewart Island. This little island sits a short distance off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island. With 85% forming the National Park, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to flora and fauna. The island known as the Island of Tranquility offers a great on-shore day excursion with a variety of peaceful walking and tramping tracks to see a very different Pacific landscape.

 A different sort of Pacific island. (image: Getty)

New Zealand - Dunedin

Known as “Little Scotland”, Dunedin was settled by Scottish pioneers in 1848, and is a great spot to include on your itinerary, as it is home to New Zealand’s only castle, the neo-Gothic-style Larnach Castle. It is also a great city to visit to experience its vibrant arts, restaurant and bar scene, a stark contrast to the Edwardian and Gothic style architecture.

 Coastline near Dunedin. (image: Getty)

New Caledonia – Isle of Pines

The “Jewel of the Pacific” is often used when describing Pacific islands, but it is absolutely on the money here for the Isle of Pines. With its banyan trees and columnar pines lining the island’s white sandy deserted beaches, the island is small enough to fully explore during your shore excursion. And your cruise arrives in a bay that is home to a population of sea turtles, in water so clear that you can see them swimming beneath the walkway – a wonderful introduction.

 Pine trees in the Tropics. (image: Getty)

New Caledonia - Maré Island

The best kept secret of all of New Caledonia’s islands, Maré has a truly untouched beauty and with its incredible marine life, is described as Nature’s Aquarium. Maré encapsulates all that is recognised as Pacific perfection – cruisers to Maré will attest that its beaches are picture postcard, its waters are the perfect temperature and its vistas are truly unforgettable.

 Mare Island, a Pacific secret.(image: Getty)

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Tara Young

The experience of travel changes a person. I see my job as highlighting what amazing travel opportunities there are to broaden your knowledge of that great big world beyond your doorstep and what you may learn about yourself on the way.