best of banks peninsular & christchurch (ex Akaroa) 7 hrs
The name says it all. From the moment we meet you the scene is set for an enjoyable and informative day, highlighting the very best features of the Garden City of Christchurch. The perfect combination of sightseeing by private vehicle and walking, ensure we cover all the 'must see's', complemented by many other unexpected treasures. This tour is suitable for all ages. Some walking is involved but it is not strenuous by any means
Bonjour, Kia Ora and welcome to Akaroa
Timed to meet with your cruise ships arrival into the delightful French influenced town of Akaroa, your personal driver and guide will be waiting to welcome you and begin the scenic journey to Christchurch (or Ōtautahi as it is known in Maori), via the small settlements of Duvauchelle, Barry's Bay and Little River. We'll pass Lakes Forsyth and Ellesmere, a vast number of farms and some smaller vineyards before arriving at the city centre.
Since the Earthquakes that rocked Christchurch in 2010 and 2011 the city has experienced a massive transformation in much of its architecture. You'll see an eclectic mix of old and new buildings, and a number still undergoing extensive rebuild programs such as the Cathedral, which for many years was the centre-point of Christchurch.
From here we'll continue down Worcester Blvd, featuring the extensive Tram network that circumnavigates a good part of the central CBD, past the city's dynamic Art Gallery, the beautifully restored stone buildings of the Arts Centre and on to the Canterbury Museum. Part of the allure of Christchurch is the number of well kept gardens and parks in and around the city. Next to the Museum is the beautiful Botanic Gardens, through which runs the Avon river, the lifeblood of Christchurch. In Spring and Summer particularly you'll see many canoeists and flat bottomed Punts ferrying passengers along the river.
We'll wander down colourful New Regent st, the most vibrant of all inner city streets, watching out for Trams as we do. There'll be time to stop for a Gelato, baked delicacies or liquid refreshments and to soak up the atmosphere for a short time before we head off again. Leaving the city we venture into the hills once more and stop at one of the city's landmarks, the Sign of the Takahe, offering extensive views over the city to the Southern Alps beyond. We continue over the hills and around some of the attractive bays of Lyttelton Harbour, through Gebbes Pass and re-joining state highway 75 making our way back to Akaroa where our journey concludes.
* Cruise passengers note: We guarantee to have you back in time for ships embarkation. (Duration of tour could alter slightly due to cruise ships scheduling)