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Akaroa Road views on the way to Christchurch Ford Transit Minibus for 15 passengers Punting on the River Avon in Christchurch NZ Shore Excursion Pop Up mall from Containers in Christchurch after the Earthquake Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral Cruise Ship Shore Excursion from Akaroa Christchurch City Tram on our Cruise Ship Shore Excursion from Akaroa NZ River Avon in Christchurch and the Punting boat sheds Christchurch Cathedral after the earthquake The River Avon in Christchurch Shore Excursion from Akaroa Ford Transit Interior for 15 passengers

Christchurch Highlights

Get a taste of the rebuilding Garden City on this small group tour

Make the most of your time in Akaroa on our "Christchurch Highlights" small group (15 persons or less) tour. Be guided to see the stunning sights of Akaroa, Banks Peninsula and Christchurch city, plus we have time for one of Christchurch's famous activities - the Tram, Punting on the Avon or the Botanic Gardens Tour.

AKA-1 | 6.00 hrs | Adults NZ $115.00 | Children NZ $85.00


You will see

  • Akaroa and Banks Peninsula
  • Christchurch City being rebuilt
  • Lake Ellesmere
  • Stunning scenery
  • The Avon River, Cathedrals & Botanic Gardens
  • Views over Christchurch City

Having met your guide just a few steps from the tender jetty in Akaroa, we head out through this very "French" town, which retains it Gallic charm even today. Akaroa means "Long Harbour" in Maori and its harbour is in fact the crater of a long extinct volcano - the rim of which rises 1500 feet. Our journey today will see us climb over this on our tour to the city of Christchurch.

With stunning views into the many bays from the summit road, we drive down to sea level, passing farmland and lakes as we leave the Banks Peninsula crossing the plain to Christchurch City.

As we head into the city we will pass many of the areas badly damaged in the earthquake and also see the huge reconstruction process now underway. Access to many areas is still restricted and changes daily but we will try and show you the iconic landmarks before we stop for lunch at a riverside cafe on the Avon River (lunch is own cost).

Following lunch you will have time to enjoy one of the famous Christchurch activities - Punting on the Avon, The Christchurch City Tram (which can take you places not possible by road) or a tour through the Botanic Gardens. We are also just a short walk from the Museum and other city landmarks should you like to take a stroll to see how the city is being rebuilt. Check out the "Summary" tab on this page to see more details.

On the way home we will take a slightly different route to see Christchurch from above. Travelling over the Port Hills that frame the city, you will hopefully see panoramic views all the way to the Southern Alps - far inland from the city. Travelling down alongside Lyttelton Harbour also provides more scenic photo opportunities. Depending on the ships departure times, we may be able to stop at Barry's Bay Cheese Factory or the Hilltop Tavern before arriving back in Akaroa. You may want to have a look around this interesting and historic town before boarding the tenders back to the ship should time allow.

If you would like a private version of this tour then please contact us for a quotation.

  • Air conditioned minibus
  • Collection and return to the cruise ship tenders
  • Experienced driver/guide
  • Free coffee/tea for those buying lunch from the designated riverside cafe stop
Not Included
  • Lunch is not included, but we do reserve a table at a very popular riverside cafe.
  • The cost of any additional options, such as the Tram ride, punting or the Botanic Gardens tour. These can be pre-booked [recommended] on our web site or on the day.
  • If the ships time in port does not match the tour start and end times then we will adjust these to suit.
  • The tour start time is set at 9.30am but on some days there may be delays in the tender transfers to shore, so please ensure you catch an early tender so we can start on time as the transfer from ship to shore can take 30 minutes. If you arrive early you can browse the local shops in Akaroa.
  • Children under 4 are carried free of charge but will have to sit on a parents lap if there are no spare seats. To guarantee a seat for an infant you will need to purchase a child rate ticket.
  • Due to the variation in the ships departure times, we may need to depart Christchurch sooner than usual, so the free time to do one of the "options" may be reduced on certain days.
  • For an additional cost you can choose to do one of the following options after our lunch stop:

    Christchurch City Tram - $25 Adult, Children 15 and under FOC with each adult, see here: Christchurch Tram Tour

    Punting on the River Avon - $28 Adult, $12 child [5 to 15] under 5's FOC, please request a trip time of 1pm when you make an enquiry for this option, see here: Punting on the River Avon

    Botanic Gardens Tour - $20 Adult, $9 child [5 to 15] under 5's FOC, see here: Botanic Gardens Tours

    Advance bookings are recommended as on the day availability may be an issue. Or you can just take a stroll through Hagley Park or the City.
  • If you like this tour itinerary but have a group larger then 15 persons then please contact us for a quotation.

Standard Tour Schedule Options

      start time     end time
Day tour 10:00 16:00
Note: Start and end times may be adjusted
to suit ships ETA or ETD in port

Standard Tour Charges

Adult price     NZ $115.00
Child price (4 to 14 yrs)     NZ $85.00
Infant price (0 to 3 yrs)     NZ $75.00
Note: Infant ticket ensures a seat
Without a ticket an infant may have to sit on a parents lap
Family price (max adults 2 max children 2)     NZ $359.00

    Do we need to make a booking for any of the "options" in Christchurch.

It is recommended to pre-book the Punting, Tram or Gardens Tour as on the day places may not be available. You can book these extra activities on our web site under the "Experiences" tab for Akaroa/Christchurch port page.

    What if the ship can not get us to shore by tenders due to bad weather?

As per all of our tours, if your ship does not make port or you are unable to get ashore in the ports where tenders are used you will receive a 100% refund, this happens only rarely though.

    The child rate is 4 to 14 years, are those under 4 free of charge?

Children under 4 are free of charge if they sit on an adults lap, if a seat is required then a child rate ticket must be booked to guarantee a place.

    Do we have time to do some of the "options" you list?

Yes, any of the 3 options can be done after our lunch break, Punting is just 30 minutes and the Tram and Botanic Garden tours take an hour each. You will need to book the 1.30pm garden tour though as this is the only trip that fits in with the tour plan. If you want to skip the lunch stop then you could do two of the three options.

    You only offer 15 paces on this tour but our group is larger, can you help.

The Highlights tours are limited to 15 persons [12 persons until 1st Decemeber 2016] or less as this is the size of minibus we operate and it suits the itinerary we offer. If you have more in your party then please contact us as we will be able to organise a special tours for you in most cases.

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Just added for 2016, our new "Highlights" range of tours in each port showcasing the best of each destination at an affordable price. We can avoid the big groups on the coach tours and let you see and do more.

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