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4 star rating: Recommended 10 Reviews

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  • Location:Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Duration:5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

This guided tour from Christchurch includes a Hagglund snowmobile ride at the International Antarctic Centre and a dinner buffet at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Start with the Snow and Ice Experience and watch the antics of playful arctic birds at the Penguin Encounter, then observe both native and exotic animals — including the endangered kiwi bird — at the wildlife reserve after your five-course meal. Round-trip hotel transport is included.


  • Visit the International Antarctic Centre and ride the Hagglund snow mobile on this half-day afternoon tour from Christchurch
  • Enjoy a scrumptious dinner at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  • See native New Zealand wildlife roam around the reserve
  • Plenty of photo opportunities
  • Informative and friendly guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop off from Christchurch

What You Can Expect

Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

International Antarctic Centre

The International Antarctic Centre — winner of the New Zealand Tourism Board's Tourism Award for Best Visitor Attraction — provides an interactive experience that recreates the terrain and weather conditions of Antarctica. The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve showcases a variety of animals both native and introduced to New Zealand.

After transport from your Christchurch hotel in the afternoon, use your admission ticket to the Snow and Ice Experience and immerse yourself in a likeness of the southernmost continent. After you battle arctic winds and blizzard-like conditions, visit the Penguin Encounter to observe blue penguins — the smallest in the world. Don’t miss an included 20-minute ride on the Hagglund all-terrain snowmobile.

Your tour continues to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, where you’re served a five-course New Zealand–style buffet dinner after free time to explore the farmyard and zoo.

Following your meal, tour the wilderness reserve for a look at kiwis in their natural habitat. Learn about New Zealand’s national bird and observe keas, possums, wallabies, capuchin monkeys, Asian otters, Siamang gibbons, ring-tailed lemurs and more.

Your tour concludes with the return to your Christchurch accommodation in the evening.

Please note: A minimum of 2 people per booking is required.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2014

Travelled with kids, and they simply loved it, lots to see and learn, a must see attraction if you going to Christchurch

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2008

The Antartic Center is a definite must - loved every aspect of that part of the tour. The Kiwi tour was a little disappointing but the meal they served was sensational, would do again.

4 star rating: Recommended March 2013

Interesting exhibits, with penguin feeding and commentary especially enjoyed. Ride on Hagglund altogether too wild for over 70's like ourselves - threw us around too violently to be appreciated. Wildlife Centre guided visit to native bird section was enthralling, close proximity to native and rare birds a real privilege.Dinner at the Casino was lovely.

Michael B

4 star rating: Recommended July 2011

It was a quiet day, so not all of the attractions were running as scheduled - except our tour guide made sure they did. The snow room and hagglund ride are a must - the 4D adventure comprised of getting squirted in the face with water (that was the 4th D)

4 star rating: Recommended July 2011

Though the earthquake closed the Antartic Center, the tour operator did a great job of providing alternative arrangements. Our driver, Ross, was outstanding -- friendly and personable.

Graeme S

4 star rating: Recommended April 2009

Great trip. Was ideal time as we flew in late night before was perfect timing, pick up in afternoon as it gave us the morning to get ourselves together and have a lazy morning. A quick look around, get our bearings before we started on the serious stuff. The driver was great and very helpful. We had a wonderful time.

4 star rating: Recommended August 2008

The Antarctic Centre was very informative. The Blizzard Room was great - if you closed your eyes you certainly felt as though you were at the South Pole in the middle of a blizzard with temperature of minus 18 Celsius! We then travelled to the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve for a meal and escorted tour of the Reserve. The meal was excellent, promptly served, and the guided evening tour was great. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and I would definitely recommend Willowbank as an outing - particularly the range of wildlife on display including a nocturnal house that displayed the kiwi. Great fun. The entire excursion was well organised; all staff at both locations were friendly and helpful.

3 star rating: Worth doing July 2012

the tour was ok as I was with teenager children. But the city is still not alive because of earthquake. So my group was me and my children only.

Mark W

3 star rating: Worth doing June 2012

The Antarctic Centre is alot of fun for kids and has some very interesting information for adults. We enjoyed the penguins, the Ice Storm room and reading about life in the Antarctic. The Haggalund is definitely worth doing. Willowbank was ok but wouldn't rave about it. We did get to see our first KIwi though. We had a bit of spare time before dinner so our driver took us on a little tour of the city and showed us some of the devastation caused by the Earthquake which we wouldn't have seen otherwise. We had dinner at the Casino which was really nice.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better July 2012

The Antarctic Centre and Willowbank Wildlife Centre are both great sights, but this tour was unfortunately somewhat disappointing. While we arrived at the Antarctic Centre before the 3pm departure time stated on the website, we barely had an hour there, missing out on some of the key attractions, before having to depart for the Wildlife Centre. The tour at the Wildlife centre began at 4:30pm for an hour, by which time the Reserve had closed (winter hours), and our driver was ready us rush off to the dinner destination. Dinner was fine, although in keeping with the rest of the tour, rather hurried. Again we were only allotted about an hour, and had only just got our mains when our driver returned to take us back to our hotel. Even though we would have made it back to our accommodation well before the 8:30pm finish time, only a small extension was offered, as the driver had another job to attend. We decided to make alternative arrangements.

This tour had a lot of potential, but perhaps the description needs updating, or additional information to let people that activities in the winter or off season (if that was the reason) are different to those stated. For example, the dinner wasn’t at the Wildlife Reserve, as described on the website. If you have very limited time in Christchurch, this tour might be worth considering. However, if you’re less restricted, neither of the sights are too difficult to get to on your own and there’s a free shuttle to the Antarctic Centre from the center of town.

From USD $ 151.08

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Tour code: 2950CLT07B


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