Located on the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch – just like the rest of New Zealand – is a city of contrasts. It is a place where its residents continue to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment world-renowned for its beauty. A growing cosmopolitan ambience also adds a touch of excitement without overt flashiness.
Internationally famed ‘The Garden City’, Christchurch’s well-established expansive parks and public gardens owe much to the planning and foresight of the city’s founding fathers.
The centrally-located 161 hectare Hagley Park, the Botanic Garden’s, the four leafy inner-city avenues, Victoria Square and spectacular gardens such as Mona Vale on the banks of the River Avon bear testimony to this legacy. It is a vision which is embraced and perpetuated today by proud residents’ right throughout the city.
Christchurch and Canterbury are famous for natural beauty and a wealth of things to do, here are just a few of our suggestions:
The tour view’s some of the areas affected by the earthquakes and focuses on how Christchurch is preserving some of its iconic heritage buildings and hear about the exciting vision to rebuild and restore the inner city.
Your day begins with a scenic tour over the Canterbury Plains to the Waimakariri Gorge where you will board the famous Hamilton jetboat for an exciting 45 minute jetboat ride on one of New Zealand’s most spectacular rivers.
On return from the jetboat board an off-road vehicle for a scenic 4-wheel-drive adventure across Mt Torlesse Station. This station is a 10,000 acre working sheep and cattle farm situated in the spectacular foot hills of the Southern Alps. You will get to experience the thrill and excitement of off-roading while taking in the spectacular alpine scenery and learning about the farm.
After an exciting morning stop at a quaint country café for a delicious lunch. After lunch pass through the Canterbury high country before entering the National Park to Arthurs Pass township.
From Arthurs Pass board the world famous TranzAlpine train, sit back and relax with a glass of beer or wine and enjoy the spectacular scenery on your journey back to Christchurch. You will be collected from the Christchurch railway station and returned to your accommodation.
Departing Christchurch travel to Akaroa via Sign of Takahe, Sign of Kiwi, Governors Bay, Gebbies Pass, Lake Forsyth and Little River and Barrys Bay where we stop to sample some fine New Zealand cheese
Enjoy Akaroa and partake in a lunch at Bully Hayes – a popular restaurant on the water front in the heart of Akaroa with a wide choice of New Zealand food available.
Following lunch enjoy a two hour cruise on the Canterbury Cat exploring the delights of Akaroa Harbour and sighting dolphins, penguins and seals.
On the return journey to Christchurch if time permits a stop will be made at Birdling Flat on the Kaitorete Spit. This stony beach at the entrance to Lake Forsyth provides a commanding view of the southern facing cliffs of Banks Peninsula. An interesting selection of pebbles and semi-precious stones can be found on the beach.
Once in Hanmer Springs lunch at the Garden House Café and in the afternoon explore the village of Hanmer Springs. Spend part of the day relaxing in the hot thermal pools found in the centre of the village. As an alternative in the afternoon a therapeutic massage is available for relaxation.
Following a 1.5 hour journey North of the city via the Waipara wine growing region visit Thrillseekers Canyon and challenge the white water rapids of the Waiau Gorge by jetboat. Optional Bungy Jumping from the Waiau River bridge is an option before continuing to Hanmer Springs where lunch is included at the Garden House Café.
This afternoon enjoy the famous Hanmer Springs Hot pools complex, soak and relax in the hot thermal pools before returning to Christchurch later this afternoon.
(Tour price includes your choice of either jetboating or therapeutic massage)