In-Transit Adventure: The Wines & Gannets of Kumeu
Settled in the 1930s and ‘40s by Croatian immigrants with traditions in winemaking, Kumeu has become a renowned wine region in its own right, especially revered for Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs. During this half-day outing, discover not only the region’s wines but also its wildlife, most notably the large colony of gannets that nest on the cliffs of Muriwai Beach.
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Departing the pier, make the half-hour transfer to Soljans Vineyard, where you will learn about the estate’s history and enjoy a wine tasting. Skillfully marrying traditional with modern techniques, the winery produces stylish, richly flavored vintages.
Next, appreciate Kumeu’s wildlife as you venture to the windswept coastline of Muriwai Beach, home to one of the few mainland gannet nesting sites in the world. Stop to get a close-up look at the large white seabirds with black-tipped wings, yellow heads, blue-gray bills and blue-rimmed eyes. From a boardwalk path that runs along the clifftops overlooking the Tasman Sea, observe the gannets nesting on the rocks and plunging into the sea for food. Also marvel at the rugged beauty of the New Zealand coast with a stroll along the beach’s soft, black sands.
From Muriwai Beach, transfer to a nearby venue for afternoon tea. Then travel to a second award-winning winery, perhaps Coopers Creek or Westbrook, depending on availability. Savor a wine tasting and take in the ambiance of the semi-rural setting before returning to the city and your Crystal ship.
Guests must be a minimum of 18 years of age in order to participate in this excursion. As this excursion involves walking over uneven surfaces, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. It is recommended that guests dress in casual clothing and wear flat, comfortable shoes. Guests should also bring along a light jacket or sweater. This excursion will operate in all weather conditions. The order of sights visited may vary. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.