All tours return to Akaroa ahead of time for the boarding of the cruise ship.
Our departure and return times using our small luxury mini-coach tour vehicles enable a no-rush experience, ensuring the most efficient use of your valuable time ashore by eliminating the lost time and frustrations associated with large passenger coach travel.
A group may book an exclusive 'Private Tour' - generally the most preferred option, as private touring enables so much more flexibility during the time ashore.
Cost and Availability: Please email your tour preference(s), along with the number of persons touring to enable us to advise you of the cost and the Akaroa port procedures.
Volcanic Peninsula, Christchurch City and Surrounds Tour
The tour includes a scenic trip travelling over the long extinct volcanic areas of Banks Peninsula, taking in the sights of both Akaroa and Lyttelton Harbours from the 475m (1500 feet) high volcano crater rim scenic road. The day also includes an extensive tour of the city including the city's exciting re-build following the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. The time spent within the city includes a break for lunch and an opportunity some retail therapy.
Due to our private tours being totally flexible we have the ability to include in the day should you so wish, visits to the many other city attractions like the International Antarctic Centre, The Cardboard Transitional Cathedral and the city's parks and residential areas. At the conclusion of the Christchurch area tour we return to Akaroa travelling on different sections of roads to those travelled on route into Christchurch.
On return to Akaroa there is generally sufficient time to stroll around the small village of Akaroa before returning to the ship.
This tour includes a scenic journey travelling over the long extinct volcanic areas of Banks Peninsula, taking in the sights of Akaroa Harbour and other picturesque bays from the 475m (1500 feet) high volcano crater rim scenic road.
With this tour remaining within the Volcanic Peninsula region we are able to include many of the local features: A visit to a number of the smaller bays by descending from the crater rim down to sea level, travelling through spectacular rural hill-country farm land and various seaside communities and townships with their features that include craft shop, cafes, historic displays and a local Maori Museum.
Farm visit: When requested, we include a visit to a Peninsula area farm where NZ sheep dog's abilities are demonstrated along with the shearing of sheep. The farm does have days when the facility is unavailable, and we would ascertain if your tour day is a working day. The farm visit includes morning tea and taste of some local farmhouse style cooking.
As an alternative to the sheep farm, we can recommend a visit to a working Alpaca farm where one mixes freely with both adults and baby Alpacas. Alpacas are extremely inquisitive and most friendly animals, resulting in a unique experience with an added bonus of the stunning vista of the Akaroa harbour from the remote and rural the Alpaca farm location.
Lunch and Wine Tasting: To that end we recommend a pleasurable stop for lunch at a restaurant away from the crowds that are ever present in Akaroa on cruise ship days, plus a wine tasting at a local Volcanic Peninsula winery.
Southern Alps Mountains and Inland Rural Canterbury Tour
Travel inland up to and beyond the scenic mountain village of Arthurs Pass. This area boasts of spectacular farmland and mountainous scenery as the tour travels over the volcanic peninsula and through many rural towns of inland Canterbury Plains.
A full day tour to experience the magnificent scenery within the area of the Arthurs Pass National Park and its high Southern Alps mountainous area that is bordered by the two mighty rivers of the Rakaia and the Waimakariri.
A tour into this area encompasses many magnificent views including locations made use of by many movie studio productions. The route includes the traversing the two high mountain passes leading to the mountain village of Arthurs Pass.
Arthurs Pass being the alpine village made famous by the TransAlpine train journey that travels from Christchurch to Greymouth, located on the West Coast of the South Island.
Near to the Arthurs Pass village is an engineering achievement of a impressive roadway viaduct that ensures road users safe and all year round vehicle access to the extremely scenic West Coast region of the South Island.
Should the day's weather conditions be favourable, one can expect a close at hand experience with some of the New Zealand protected parrots - the "Cheeky Keas" in their natural habitat of the mountainous and forest covered environment.
The Volcanic Peninsula, THE Southern Alps Mountain Foothills and Christchurch Central City Tour.
An all-inclusive day of scenic touring departing from Akaroa, travelling the Volcanic Peninsula with its magnificent elevated and picturesque views of the Akaroa Harbour and its bays, before descending to the flat and fertile high productive farmland area of the Canterbury Plains.
After passing through a number of rural towns the tour commences a climb into the foothills of the Southern Alps Mountains by way of a steep mountain pass before entering an inland scenic basin area of alpine rivers and lakes.
The day is all about scenery that includes a visit to the famous ‘Castle Hill’ limestone rock formation that has been a location for many a Hollywood film production. After a stretching of the legs and the taking in of some fresh ‘mountain air’ the tour then turns towards Christchurch city, it being New Zealand’s second largest city known as ‘The Garden City’ of New Zealand. The city and its residential surrounds being home to around 500,000 New Zealanders.
The tour includes many of the city’s iconic locations such as Cathedral Square and the city's famous Cathedral that is now being restored back to its pre-earthquake state, The Transitional (Cardboard) Cathedral, the city's expansive Botanic Gardens, Canterbury Museum, Arts Centre and Hagley Park, before leaving the city for the journey back to Akaroa.
Lord of the Rings Film Set Location at Mount Sunday
This tour is a must for Lord Of The Rings followers. It involves travelling inland into the Canterbury Plains region over some of New Zealand's high productive rural farmland that is extensively involved in dairying, grain and seed crop farms.
From there we leave the flat plains area and travel into a spectacular and picturesque Rangitata river gorge located at the base of the Southern Alps mountain range. Mt Sunday was the location for the movie set for the Edoras of the Lord of The Rings.
Whilst no evidence remains of the movie set that took nine months to construct as on completion of the filming, the set was required to be fully de-constructed and the land area returned to its pre-filming state.
Our visits in to the area provides New Zealand visitors (Lord of The Rings fans) an opportunity to see the area close up and to see why Peter Jackson decided the area so ideally portrayed Tolkiens Edoras.