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Thrifty Tours

The Canterbury Charm Tour

Begin this short stay in Christchurch where you can take the day at leisure and take a punt down the Avon River. You can experience the region's flavors the next day by visiting the Waipara Valley, famous for White Wine. In the morning venture over the Banks Peninsula to the historic French Settlement of Akaroa. Take the afternoon at leisure, before headed out at dusk to see some of the local Penguins on a 4WD adventure. Next up you will take to the seas and meet some more of the locals. The harbour is famous for it's friendly Dolphins which you should get to see aboard the Canterbury Cat! Take the evening to explore the old French Settlement with many delicious eateries and antique stores. Departing back through the hills to Christchurch, dinner awaits aboard the Christchurch Tram. Take the next morning at your own pace before departing Christchurch.

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Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand Independent Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,110 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

6 days/5 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 5 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
- Private transfer Christchurch Accommodation to Akaroa
- Private transfer Akaroa to your Christchurch Accommodation
- Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport
1 lunch, 1 special dinner
Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
The Canterbury Charm Tour - Day 1
Welcome to Christchurch City

Christchurch New Zealand's garden city is steadily being transformed into a vibrant urban destination. Encompassing a large green belt, it is known for its wide tree lined avenues and lush gardens. A great way to explore the city or easy way to see the sights or ride the historic trams across town to the renowned botanic gardens and the unique cardboard Transitional Cathedral, that's right it is built of cardboard!

Art in Christchurch

Christchurch is a city that's alive with everything art, from exhibitions and galleries, to street art all around the city. Take some time while you're here to explore what's on offer, starting with the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. This has something for everyone, where the art on display ranges from old masters to modern art. They also run regular events including talks, museum tours and film evenings. Make sure you also visit The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, which is a hub for arts, culture, education, creativity and entrepreneurship in Christchurch. This collection of heritage buildings are home to museums, as well as boutique art galleries, eateries, retailers and offices. Away from the more conventional galleries and exhibitions, there is all the street art to be seen around the city. With a vibrant and growing arts scene, Christchurch has earned a strong reputation as the home of street art. Exploration of the inner city reveals colourful artworks from a range of inspiring artists. Be sure to keep an eye out for the ever-evolving murals in the city too! Notable street art to check out includes the Riverside Mural, Rauora Park and it's Spray Cans, and the urban aesthetics of the YMCA building.

 

Punting on the Christchurch Avon River

Relax and enjoy the tranquil Christchurch Botanic Gardens as you are expertly guided along the Avon River on a classic punting tour. You will be set aboard a handcrafted flat-bottomed boat, poled along by your punter in Edwardian attire from the platform at the rear of the boat. You will enjoy the spectacular flora that the Garden City is famous for from a unique perspective amidst fresh air.

Your accommodation: Heritage Christchurch

The Heritage Christchurch Hotel offers contemporary accommodation in the lovingly and safely restored Old Government Building. It is sited in a great location on Cathedral Square.

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The Canterbury Charm Tour - Day 2
Waipara Valley Wine Trail and lunch with Leisure Tours

This tour explores 4 of North Canterbury’s boutique vineyards. Travel 45 minutes north of Christchurch through the New Zealand countryside to the Waipara Valley, well known for its warm, dry climate and rich alluvial soils, ideal for superior wine production. Over 40 vineyards and wineries pepper the landscape of the valley, with Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominating local plantings. You will stop for tastings at Pegasus Bay, Waipara Springs, Greystone Winery and Waipara Hills Winery. If for any reason one of these wineries is closed on the day or your tour an alternative winery in the Waipara Valley will be included. This activity also includes lunch at Waipara Springs Winery. The platter lunch includes tastes of both a regional and New Zealand flavour and is the perfect accompaniment to some of these wineries fine wines.

Your accommodation: Heritage Christchurch

The Heritage Christchurch Hotel offers contemporary accommodation in the lovingly and safely restored Old Government Building. It is sited in a great location on Cathedral Square.
Meals included: Lunch

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The Canterbury Charm Tour - Day 3
Private transfer Christchurch Domestic Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Akaroa accommodation.

Akaroa & the Banks Peninsula

The Banks Peninsula lies just around 1 hour from Christchurch city centre. Formed by ancient volcanic eruptions the regions first settlers were Maori who recognised its potential for shelter and food. The sealers and whalers followed them and European colonists founded and settled Akaroa, Little River and Lyttelton and many of the Peninsula's other bays. Abounding with wildlife and history it's a great place to spend the day exploring.
The jewel is Akaroa which lies just over 70 kilometres from central Christchurch and the drive to this picturesque harbour town is a wonderful experience in itself as it can either take you via the port of Lyttelton and along the bays or over the Summit Road of the Port Hills.
The well-signposted tourist routes will guide you on a loop around the peninsula and through some spectacular and rugged farmland scenery. As you approach the small settlement of Duvauchelle you are greeted by New Zealand's oldest hotel.
The town of Akaroa has rather a French feel with many flags flying and cottages and streets with distinctly non-kiwi names. The reason being that 63 Frenchmen arrived here to settle the Banks Peninsular under the French Flag only to find the British had beaten them by 5 days. Their influence on architecture combined with a Victorian seaside feel make the town a delightful place to spend an afternoon. There are many activities such as nature cruises and swimming with dolphins.

Pohatu Penguin Evening Tour by scenic 4WD

Pohatu is the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Much work has gone into protecting the White-flippered Penguins from introduced predators. You’ll join a guided tour to view these birds in their natural habitat.  This evening tour gives you the chance to observe the birds returning from hunting at sea and you’ll be involved in the monitoring programme of the nesting boxes to learn more about the conservation work. The best time for penguin viewing is the breeding season between the end of August and January.

Your accommodation: Akaroa Village Inn - Bruce Waterfront Deluxe Apartments

Located right on the beach front road at Akaroa the Bruce Apartments offer luxury and convenience in the harbour town of Akaroa.

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The Canterbury Charm Tour - Day 4
Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Experience majestic scenery and stunning wildlife daily on a Black Cat Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise. You’ll see the rare, native dolphin – the Hector’s or New Zealand Dolphin. There’s also the chance to spot the world’s smallest penguin, the White Flippered Little Blue Penguin, Fur Seals and other sea birds.
Other cruise highlights are some majestic volcanic cliffs (including the impressive Cathedral Cave) and signs of Akaroa’s fascinating past including early Maori, French and British settlements.

Your accommodation: Akaroa Village Inn - Bruce Waterfront Deluxe Apartments

Located right on the beach front road at Akaroa the Bruce Apartments offer luxury and convenience in the harbour town of Akaroa.

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The Canterbury Charm Tour - Day 5
Private transfer Christchurch Domestic Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

Explore Christchurch City

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the pacific ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.
Go punting on the Avon River, take a historic tram ride, catch the gondola to the rim of an extinct volcano or do all three! See the world's only Cardboard Cathedral and for nature enthusiasts - wander the renowned Christchurch Botanic Gardens, or head to Oxford Terrace in the city to find a great spot to eat or drink.
Drive an hour in any direction to ski, mountain bike, wine taste, whale-watch, bungy jump or play golf. Take the winding Port Hills road to the French settlement of Akaroa and tour the vines in Waipara for an authentic New Zealand wine-tasting experience.  

Wine Matched Dinner Onboard the Christchurch Restaurant Tram

A truly unique dining experience in the heart of Christchurch. You'll board New Zealand's only dining tram for an unforgettable moving four-course restaurant experience. Enjoy a curated fine dining-style menu with matching wines while taking in the city sights on your journey through the streets of central Christchurch. Lasting two to two and a half hours, you'll complete 2.5 circuits of the city tram route passing New Regent Street, the Avon River, High Street, and Victoria Square.

Your accommodation: Heritage Christchurch

The Heritage Christchurch Hotel offers contemporary accommodation in the lovingly and safely restored Old Government Building. It is sited in a great location on Cathedral Square.
Meals included: Speciality Dinner

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The Canterbury Charm Tour - Day 6
A second day to explore Christchurch City and surrounds

A relaxing way to spend your second day in Christchurch is with a day trip to the village of Akaroa or the wine growing region of Waipara.  The historic French settlement of Akaroa sits on a picturesque harbour and is a beautiful place to relax, soak in its history and play in the harbour. Two of the most popular activities are the Akaroa Harbour nature cruise or swimming with the rare hectors dolphin.  If you prefer fresh mountain air and an adrenalin rush, Christchurch is a great base to explore the Southern Alps.  Enjoy an early morning hot air balloon ride, or a full day Alpine Safari, with jet boating, a 4WD farm tour and the spectacular TranzAlpine Scenic Train journey included.

Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Christchurch Airport in time for your departing flight.

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