see, smell, touch, taste Akaroa (7 hrs)
An easy paced tour covering comprehensive highlights of Akaroa, nearby bays, and a variety of attractions. Suitable for young and not so young. A relative degree of fitness is beneficial. Please note, there are uneven surfaces and slopes on this tour
For those joining from the city, your friendly driver/guide will get acquainted with you as we make our way through the city and via the road tunnel linking Christchurch with the Port of Lyttelton, where we may pick up cruise passengers (subject to cruise calendar). We continue around the delightful collection of little bays and settlements that line the northern banks of Lyttelton harbour, before climbing Gebbes Pass and continuing on to the Akaroa-Christchurch highway. It's a scenic journey through an ever changing landscape, passing lakes Ellesmere and Forsyth before we make a comfort stop at the small settlement of Little River.
Continuing over the rolling hills that follow, we eventually turn off toward Wainui, our destination being a very special farm. Alpaca farming is not common in New Zealand, and certainly few are located in such a beautiful spot as the one you're about to set foot on. As well as hearing about the challenges of caring for these beautiful animals, you'll also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with them. Continuing our tour we head back toward Akaroa, stopping at one of the oldest, original cheese factories in New Zealand at Barry's Bay. You'll get to see, smell and sample some of the finest cheeses produced on site by passionate cheese-makers. Barry's Bay cheeses have received numerous awards in domestic cheese-making competitions and are a sought after delicacy.
Time to sit back, relax and enjoy some of the majestic scenery that opens before us, as we head to the tiny settlement of Okains Bay, and a fine museum detailing the history and rich heritage of Māori culture. The museum proudly displays over 20,000 exhibits, a range of replica and relocated heritage buildings and a wonderful collection of traditional Māori canoes, known as Waka. After sufficient time to take it all in, it's time to imbibe in a drop of the local nectar, as we continue our journey to a nearby winery. You're not driving, so you can enjoy some tastings of the local vartietals, savouring the spectacular views as you do.
Venturing towards Akaroa, our next stop is also one of the absolute highlights of our journey. 'The Giants House' is the private work of a local talented sculptor named Josie Martin. Her creative and colourful mosaic works adorn virtually every inch of the equally magnificent gardens, enjoyed throughout the seasons by locals and visitors alike. The majority of works on display are whimsical and not unlike the colourful personality of their creator. The Giants House has been recognised as an International Garden of Significance, you'll understand why.
Allowing ample time for you to enjoy the gardens and sculptures, we then make the short drive into the town of Akaroa itself, where we'll share an included lunch at a local restaurant, before giving you some free time to wander the streets, explore the shops at your leisure and indulge a myriad of other interests.
Mid afternoon your driver/guide will meet you at the designated meeting point to begin the drive back to Christchurch. After an eventful and enjoyable day, you can once again sit back and enjoy some relaxing music as we return to Christchurch. Cruise passengers will be dropped off at designated shuttle stops in Lyttelton for transfer back to your ship, after which we'll turn towards the city and applicable hotels/motels for guests accordingly.
Tesla Tour Option: If you choose this option you may personalise the itinerary in consultation with your driver/guide if you wish.
* Cruise passengers note: We guarantee to have you back in time for ships tenders or embarkation. (Duration of tour could alter slightly due to cruise ships scheduling)
* Guests staying in central city hotels: This tour runs throughout the year and only includes cruise guests on dates when ships are in port.