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Akaroa Christchurch Cathedral ruins The Avon River Antarctic Centre Penguins Botanic Gardens

Christchurch and Antarctic Centre

Learn all about the Antarctic

A scenic 90-minute drive from Akaroa by coach takes us into the heart of Christchurch, past Lake Ellesmere and through the farming district of the Canterbury Plains. A short break at the Botanic Gardens to look around and then to the Antarctic Centre.

AKA-3 | 6.00 hrs | Adults NZ $145.00 | Children NZ $80.00


You will see

  • Banks Peninsula
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Christchurch City
  • Great scenery
  • The Antarctic Centre

The transfer from Akaroa to Christchurch which takes about 90 minutes will be on larger coaches as we usually combine the various tour groups for AKA-1, AKA-2 etc., together. Then passengers are sometimes split onto smaller vehicles at the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch.

The journey from Akaroa to Christchurch takes you on a scenic ride up and over the hills of the Akaroa Peninsula, an ancient volcano that now forms the peninsula and at its centre the crater, now the Harbour. The many picturesque bays and inlets can be seen as you climb the hills before the descent down to the flat farm land of the Canterbury plains with the Southern Alps in the distance.

You will pass by Lake Ellesmere, stretching to the south, its far shore near impossible to see as the sun glimmers on the still waters - this is a haven for birds and other wildlife.

In Christchurch our first stop will be at the Botanic Gardens in the heart of the city. Here you will have a short time to explore the gardens and perhaps buy a snack for lunch, before joining your coach for the drive through the heart of Christchurch, so badly damaged in the recent earthquake. Access is limited to certain routes but you will see clearly the extent of the damage and the reconstruction work that continues on.

Then we head out to the International Antarctic Centre, a chance to find out about life in the most inhospitable continents on Earth. Learn about the environment of the region, its special significance to our Planet and the changes that are taking place. Read about the explorers who conquered the harsh terrain to reach its centre, the South Pole, maybe even see a penguin or two.

You can also take a ride on the special Hagglund vehicle used by explorers and scientists at the research stations on the ice. Watch the 4D video and experience a South Pole Storm for yourself [cold weather gear provided] time permitting.

We then depart Christchurch for the drive back over the hills to Akaroa. Watch out for the amazing views of the cruise ship anchored in the Harbour as you crest the top of the pass before the descent back to the wharf.

  • Comfortable air-conditioned transport
  • Entry to the Antarctic Centre
  • Ride on the Hagglund Ice Rover
  • The Antarctic Storm with cold weather gear
  • Viewing the 4D Show
Not Included
  • Any meals
  • Depending on the number of persons booked on the day, this tour is usually run using coaches for 22 to 45 persons.
  • The meeting point for the tour is at the end of the wharf and the drivers are waiting on the grass by the old canon.
  • The tour starts at 10.30am so if you catch an early ships tender [recommended] then you will have to look around the historic french settlement of Akaroa before the tour.
Meeting point on the grass at the end of the Wharf


Standard Tour Schedule Options

      start time     end time
Cruise ship day Tour 10:30 16:30
Note: Start and end times may be adjusted
to suit ships ETA or ETD in port

Standard Tour Charges

Adult price     NZ $145.00
Child price (3 to 13 yrs)     NZ $80.00

    Will we be back to the ship in time

Yes, we always aim to be back by 4.30pm. many of the ships own tours don't end until much later so the ship wont be leaving without them.

    Will I have time to buy something at mid day?

You should have some time to catch a light snack, either close to the Botanic Gardens stop or at the cafe at the Antarctic Centre.

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