Christchurch is the major departure point for tours starting and finishing in the South Island of New Zealand.

The well laid out city is bisected by the River Avon and has an English feel complete with urban parklands creating a comfortable feel.

 

8911 Christchurch City Canterbuy Julian Apse
Antarctic Centre

Christchurch has traditionally been the last port of call for Antarctic adventurers. New Zealand's antarctic supply flights cleave from here and ships also leave from Lyttleton harbour. The collection of Antarctic artefacts used on exploratory missions and accompanying historical overviews creates a rich collection for those interested in the southern continent. Interactive displays give you a real feeling of the extreme climate of Antarctica. There are also penguins to see here, a rare opportunity to see them.

Banks Peninsula day tour

Banks Peninsula is a 90 minute drive from Christchurch. Situated on the coast it is an area rich in colonial and Maori history. There was a small French settlement here in the early 19th century and Akaroa town street names reflect this. Wildlife tours into the protected harbour offer opportunities to see dolphins and seals. Historic cottages, restaurants and accommodation line the quaint streets of Akaroa to visit.

Free (or almost free):
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Earthquake tourism

After the 2011 earthquake many of the city's architectural landmarks were severely damaged and were either knocked down or required restoration. The city centre was especially damaged. The revival of this area has focused on container pop-up stores as the reconstruction of buildings has gathered a pace. It's created a lively atmosphere especially around the Cashel St area.

Botanic Gardens

The gardens are world renowned for their native and exotic collections. They are a source of civic pride and a reflection of the English ideals of the city to create publicly accessible gardens for the populace. Give yourself at least two hours to see the gardens, more time really explore and have time to absurd their beauty. The river Avon flows through the gardens adding to the ambience.

Port Hills

The Port Hills over look the city of Christchurch, which effectively set on a large flat plain next to the ocean. So even with a little altitude the city is revealed in a new perspective as it buts up against the hills. There are walks and good mountain biking to be had through the hills for the more active.

Lyttleton

The port town of Lyttleton is over the hill from Christchurch or through a tunnel by car and by bus. Lyttleton has an excellent deepwater port that services Christchurch and is an historically old part of the region with some excellent old architecture and feel. The 2011 earthquake was particularly harsh on some of the older buildings here but the history lives on.

Tours to get you there



Guided jet boat ride along Shotover River

Shotover Jet

The World’s Most Exciting Jet Boat Ride and the only company permitted to operate in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons.
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Scenic Tour and Jet Boat

Journey into a land of outstanding natural beauty rich in gold mining history and experience an exclusive tour or Winky’s Museum and the Sainsbury Gold Claim plus the jet boat ride.
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