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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights Tour

Akaroa, New Zealand
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights Tour

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Free cancellation
Up to 7 days in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon6 hours  (approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Travel from Akaroa Harbour on this shore excursion through the Banks Peninsula to Christchurch, whose city center was devastated by the 2011 earthquake. Drive past city landmarks in the old CBD and stroll the Christchurch Botanic Gardens with a knowledgeable guide. En route, take in the scenic splendor of the Southern Alps and the Canterbury Region.
  • Banks Peninsula and Christchurch shore excursion from Akaroa Harbour
  • Admire the breathtaking scenery of Akaroa Harbour and the Southern Alps
  • Take a walk through Christchurch Botanical Gardens
  • See the devastating effects of Christchurch's 2011 earthquake and the old CBD
  • Visit the coastal towns of Sumner and Lyttleton
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship
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Port pickup and drop-off
Air-conditioned vehicle
Worry-free Shore Excursion Guarantee
Food and drinks
Akaroa Dolphins , 65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand

From the Main Wharf in Akaroa, head down to the end where you will see the Akaroa I-Site and a small park on the right-hand side. Next to the Canon statue, a representative will be waiting for you. Please arrive by 10.15am for a 10.30am departure.

10:30 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
When your ship pulls into Akaroa Harbour, you’re picked up at the port for your shore excursion. Get settled comfortably aboard the coach for the drive to Christchurch, traveling a scenic route along the Akaroa Highway through the Banks Peninsula. On the journey through the Canterbury Plains—a farmland region east of the Southern Alps—hear narration about the highlights you pass.

On arrival at your destination, hop off the coach at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens for a stroll with your guide, and learn about one of New Zealand’s most impressive collections of native and exotic plants. 

Your city tour continues with a drive around the old CBD to observe recovery efforts since the damaging 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Your guide provides information on each landmark before stopping for lunch (own expense) in the beach suburb of Sumner. See the coastal town of Lyttleton and view Christchurch from the hills above during the leisurely return to the  Akaroa cruise port in the afternoon.

Worry-free Shore Excursion: We ensure your timely return to the Akaroa cruise port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Pass By:  
Akaroa Village Inn
First you will be collected at the park at the end of Akaroa Wharf (opposite the Akaroa Village Inn) at 10.30am and driven through the village of Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula with stunning views of rolling hills, lakes and coastlines before arriving in Christchurch.
Stop At:  
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
After boarding our coaches from the Akaroa Port, we'll take you through to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens & Christchurch Museum via the scenic Banks Peninsula. Explore on your own for 30 minutes.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Christchurch Cathedral
After a some time at the Botanic Gardens, your driver will take you for a sightseeing tour of the central city and highlight the Earthquake damage of 2011. After which, stop for a 45 minute lunch break (own expense) in the city.
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Explore the township of Sumner (time permitting) and the beautiful port town of Lyttelton Harbour for beautiful sights of Governors Bay.
Pass By:  
Sign of the Takahe
Drive up the port hills to the Sign of the Takahe for stunning views of the city, Southern Alps, and Canterbury coastline (time permitting a stop will be made so you can walk to the viewing platform). Finally return to Akaroa in time for your tender with the cruise ship.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • At time of booking, cruise ship passengers must provide the following information: ship name, docking time, disembarkation time and re-boarding time
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Please note that activity times and schedules can be slightly amended depending on your cruise ships timetable.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 50 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Leisure Tours
You can cancel up to 7 days in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • Any changes made less than 6 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • For a 50% refund, you must cancel 3–6 full days before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 7 full days before the experience’s start time.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

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Traveler Tips

  • "This was a very good day tour if you want to visit Christchurch and much cheaper than a similar tour taken through the ship." See review
  • "We wouldn't recommend this tour as it take too long to reach Christchurch and you have no time to see anything of the city, if the tour company picked up earlier this might have given us more time." See review
  • "We were on a 50 passenger bus, so that eliminates the opportunity to ask questions." See review


221 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 221 reviews
Worth Seeing
, Apr 2020
Very informative & engaging representative. Gave personal insight into sights & went out of his way to accommodate wishes.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2020
Thank you for taking the time to submit your review. I am pleased to learn that you had such a great day and enjoyed the tour so much. I do hope you have the opportunity to visit New Zealand again.
Somewhat disappointing
, Mar 2020
The drive to Christchurch from Akaroa is very beautiful and offers gorgeous NZ landscapes. However, we found our drive to be disappointing in terms of our guide. He did not introduce himself in the beginning (which we think is a must) and we felt his attitude was "just get the job done". He was a very good driver (necessary on windy, mountainous roads) but lacked personal "joy d'vie". The tour offered as advertised but we found it a long day.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thank you for taking the time to submit your review. We appreciate your feedback and acknowledge that all reviews are subjective. I am sorry that driver of the excursion did not meet your expectations which is surprising given all of the other great reviews for this excursion.
Not a Good Choice
, Mar 2020
This excursion was very poorly planned. There was some delay at the Port with our group bus not arriving on time, we were taken in a large bus to the Museum in Christchurch, where we had only 20 minutes to see the museum and the adjacent Botanical Gardens. This was the main attraction for me, and it was very disappointing not to have the opportunity to see very much there. When we were seated on a smaller bus for the rest of the tour, although it was a new vehicle, it was so crowded and seats so small that it was uncomfortable. After a short drive in the City we stopped for lunch but were told that there was no time to have lunch in a restaurant, just 30 minutes so we could pick up something from a take-out. This was not as described when we purchased this tour. We then drove back to the Ship. The route was long, and we had one stop along the way at Little River where there were restrooms and a small store. The drive after that, back to the Ship, seemed dangerously fast on the hilly and curved road. Basically we drove all day and had 3 short stops where we could not really experience or enjoy the City. The tour drive was fine in explaining the sites that we did see but it was not a good experience over all.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
It is always disappointing to receive a poor review especially for an excursion which constantly receives 5 star reviews. We acknowledge that all reviews are subjective, however, the reviewer has been disingenuous at best with the facts. As you will see from the other reviews the excursion is very well organized, however, what the reviewer has failed to mention is that Akaroa is a tender port and on the day of travel the cruise ship was slow at tendering and the reviewer and some of the other passengers were late in coming ashore. The main coaches had already departed with the customers who had arrived on time and the reviewer and some other late passengers were transported in smaller back up vehicles which were held in reserve for those that maybe running late. Had the reviewer been ashore prior to the scheduled departure time of 10.30 there would have been no waiting for some other passengers who were also running late and I am sure the excursion would have meet or exceeded her exceptions.
Trip to Christchurch
, Mar 2020
Driver was from area and gave us so much history, stories, and facts. Very comfortable ride and beautiful sites.
icon Response from Host , Apr 2020
Thanks for the awesome review Cynthia! I'm really happy you had an awesome time on your Christchurch Sightseeing Tour from Akaroa Port. It's fantastic that you had learnt so much from your driver/guide and I truly hope you get to return to this country someday soon!
Akaroa to Christchurch
, Mar 2020
My group of 12 had a wonderful day travelling from Akaroa to Christchurch. I thought it would be just a coach ride but our driver was very informative and knowledgeable. He took us to lots of sights along the way and gave us playoff time to look around.
icon Response from Host , Apr 2020
Thanks for the awesome review, Sherryn! I'm really happy you had such a nice time on your Akaroa shore excursion to Christchurch. Regarding your comments, its great to hear you enjoyed the commentary of your driver. I'll be sure to pass on your kind words. It's also nice to hear you were pleasantly surprised to have a local guide with you. All of our shore excursions include commentary throughout from a local driver/guide - each are particularly knowledgeable about the Akaroa, Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula. Thanks again and I hope you return to New Zealand one day soon!
great information and knowledge
, Mar 2020
what a great and thrilling trip , Phil the driver was very informative and knowledgeable, any opportunity to get a great photo or more info as always was an easy task for Phil to achieve. his vast knowledge was the most important part of the day. What a place to visit
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thanks again Sharyn for another fantastic review, this time for your Banks Peninsula and Christchurch Sightseeing Tour. It's great to hear you had such a wonderful time on your shore excursion from Akaroa Port, especially thanks to your driver/guide, Phil. I'll certainly be sure to pass on your kind words to him. It sounds like you had a great on your cruise ship throughout New Zealand and I really hope you get to return someday soon!
Scenic view of areas
, Mar 2020
Not clear on time for lunch and locations to stop at,as well as timing of free time although was shown a lot of Christchurch and surrounds
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thank you for your review of your Banks Peninsula and Christchurch sightseeing excursion from Akaroa. As Akaroa is a tender port the excursion is a six hour tour starting at 10.30 and returning at 4.30 pm which allows everyone sufficient time to come ashore and to ensure that everyone is back in port in time for the last tender. The excursion operates to a strict schedule so all of the stops, and the free time in central Christchurch to explore on foot and get some lunch are standard inclusions. I apologise if you did not understand that the free time you had to explore Christchurch was also the break for you to have some lunch.
Excellent Tour Company
, Mar 2020
I was on the Christchurch City Sights Tour today and had a delightful and informative 6 1/2 hours. Scottie was the tour guide and driver and was one of the best I ever had. Great sense of humor and actually brilliant on his knowledge base of Christchurch. His pride of the city made it all the more special. Of course his recommendation to have a meat pie at THE BUTCHERS PIE was spot on. Great job today, Scottie!
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thank you Gary for the awesome review of your Banks Peninsula and Christchurch Sightseeing Tour. It's great to hear you had a delightful and informative shore excursion from Akaroa. It's even better that your day was made that much more enjoyable thanks to your driver/guide, Scotty, who was with you on the day of travel. As I'm sure you have noticed from other reviews, he's one of our most popular tour guides and he often gets 5 star reviews for his insightful commentary and great personality. It's amazing to hear he's one of the best guides you have ever had and I'll be sure to pass on your kind words to him. Thanks again and I hope you get to return to Christchurch and Akaroa someday soon!
More information please
, Mar 2020
Liked the tour well enough. However please train your bus drivers to be more informative about stops if they include time for a lunch break or not especially when they arrive at destination right on the lunch hour when we arrived at Christchurch Museum and Arts Centre. Also latecomers back from stops should not be tolerated in such a lenient fashion.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thanks you for the positive review, Katherine. I'm happy that, for the most part, you enjoyed your Banks Peninsula and Christchurch Sightseeing Tour. Just to address some of your comments there, our driver/guides always inform their passengers how long they have at each stop and are happy to answer questions regarding places to get some food, points of interest, etc (it's also stated in your itinerary). Also, on busy days such as the day you travelled with us, we always depart the first coaches around 10.00am and 10.10am for those who arrived at the meeting point early so the can spend more time in the city. If it's a very busy day with the tenders and people are having a hard time arriving on shore, then we try to keep at least one vehicle behind for latecomers joining our tours. With that said, we do not encourage this as it greatly increases the risk of people missing their tour, which is why we ask people to arrive at shore and check-in at least 15 minutes before the tours departure.
Return journey around the bays after visiting Christchurch
, Mar 2020
Tour did include Christchurch city & a nice drive both to and from Akaroa. However the driver provided no details of the day’s program both at the start of the day and during the day. This led to some people rushing to have lunch when the intended lunch stop was later. Also on one occasion give different return times to part of the tour group. Plus wasted time in Christchurch by having to re-board the bus after a short stop for a city tour and then we had another stop about a block away from our first stop.

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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights Tour
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights Tour


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Free Cancellation


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