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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Christchurch Highlights City Tour

Akaroa, New Zealand
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icon6 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Maximise your time in port in Akaroa with a 6-hour shore excursion to Christchurch and take in the highlights of the Garden City. Admire city landmarks such as Christchurch Cathedral, enjoy lunch (own expense) at a riverside restaurant, then choose one of three tour options (for an added fee): a punting cruise along the Avon River, a tour of the Botanic Gardens, or a ride on the Christchurch City Tram.
  • 6-hour shore excursion to Christchurch from Akaroa
  • Admire views of Christchurch from the Sign of the Takahe
  • Enjoy lunch (own expense) at a riverside restaurant
  • Choose to ride the Christchurch City Tram, go punting on the Avon River, or visit the Botanic Gardens (own expense)
  • Tour includes pickup and drop-off from Akaroa cruise port
  • Small-group tour limited to 15 people ensures a personalized experience
Transport by air-conditioned minivan
Experienced, local driver/guide
Port pickup and drop-off
Lunch is not included but we do allow time for you to enjoy lunch in the city
The cost of any additional options

Departure Point

73 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand

Departure Time

10:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • The tour start time is set at 10:00am but on some days there may be delays in the tender transfers to shore, so please ensure you catch an early tender so the tour can start on time as the transfer from ship to shore can take 30 minutes. If you arrive early you can browse the local shops in Akaroa
  • If the ship's time in port does not match the tour start and end times then the tour will be adjusted to suit
  • Due to the variation in the ships' departure times, the tour may need to depart Christchurch sooner than usual
  • This tour is unsuitable for wheelchairs or scooters. A folding walker can possibly be accommodated but you must advise us of this at the time of booking.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Shore Trips and Tours

If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel at least 3 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during Akaroa Shore Excursion: Christchurch Highlights City Tour?
This activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Akaroa Shore Excursion: Christchurch Highlights City Tour.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "Very few of the historical buildings are remaining in the city, but it still is worth a visit, once the new, closer port is built." See review
  • "Tour was with a small group, always a treat since we were on a cruise and groups of less than 40 are rare." See review
  • "This harbor is not deep enough for the ship to dock." See review


48 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 48 reviews
, Mar. 2020
It was a long 90 minute bus ride from Akaroa to Christchurch. The regular tour driver was unavailable so we had a substitute driver who, while he was a good driver, did not have as much information to give us about Akaroa or Christchurch. At least 30 minutes of the drive is over very scenic winding roads which may not be comfortable for some riders. We had 2 hours to walk around Christchurch and it was very interesting to see what the city has done and still needs to do as a result of the damage caused by the earthquake. The Cathedral still looks like a bomb site. The drive back was equally long so it made for a long day. The driver was in a hurry on the way back and almost rear-ended a camper. Quite scary.
icon Response from Host , Apr. 2020
Sorry you did not have a 100% day, we can do little about the distance from the port to the city. Most clients find the scenery you see on the trip interesting. We are not aware of any issues with the driver that day but will look into this further. We are sorry that the drive back was equally as long as the drive to the city, had we made the return journey shorter you would have found yourself dropped off in the middle of nowhere with a long walk, so we always aim to drop you at the same place as we started [by the ship] and to date have not had anyone complain about this. We will try harder in future though. Regards ian
Nice views of Akaroa
, Mar. 2020
Driver was less than interested Drove us to earthquake sites I was very disappointed Akaroa was pretty we should have stayed there
icon Response from Host , Mar. 2020
Hi Stuart, sorry you did not have a great tour. The tour aims to show you the great scenery on the drive to and from Christchurch with chance to see how the rebuild is going after the 2010/11 earthquakes, most of our clients find this very interesting and a unique experience. We also allow a bit of free time so you can look around at your leisure and our lunch venue alongside the River Avon at the Antigua Boatshed cafe is usually a hit with our clients, great and reasonably priced food and a lovely setting. Sorry to hear that you though the was not interested, seems an unusual comment given the other reviews Graham usually receives, but i will follow up with him. Could you get in touch with us direct and confirm that date of travel so we can review. Hope you liked the rest of your shore excursions though. Regards Ian
Long day trip
, Feb. 2020
The tour was very nice and we had a good chance to see a lot of the country. Christchurch is an interesting town. But it is too far from Akaroa, maybe we should have stayed in Akaroa and enjoyed that little charming village!
icon Response from Host , Mar. 2020
Pleased you had a good day but sorry that you found the drive a little to long to Christchurch, if it was any shorter you would end up in the middle of the country. Its is 90 kilomters and about 90 minutes but we do see some stunning scenery along the way. The tour description does give full details of the tour so you should decide before booking if its the type of tour that you like. Akaroa is a great little town right where the ships tender come to shore, so that is a good option if you don't want the long drive. Regards ian
Maximum sightseeing in short amount of time
, Feb. 2020
John showed us as many sights as he possibly could in the time given. Ship was docked at Akora. 90 minutes from Christchurch. Smallish group. Stopped plenty of for photo shoot. No special souvineer shop stops. But had some free time in Christchurch. We also did tours with the same company. 'SHORE TRIPS AND TOURS' in Rotaroua, Wellington and Dunedin. and found them great value. I would thoroughly this company . They concentrate on showing places not souvineer shops and have small groups.
icon Response from Host , Feb. 2020
Thanks Peter, please you had a good day. We do cover almost all the ports of call in NZ with our great team of local guides and almost new minibuses to suit the smaller groups we prefer to have. Thanks for booking so many of your shore excursions with us, its always best to book direct with the actual tour company as then you get direct contact and often end up with a better deal. Regards Ian
Christchurch Excursion
, Feb. 2020
Somewhat delayed tendering off our Cruise Ship, but Viator waited for us. Very knowledgeable driver. took us to Christchurch where, after lunch, we were able to explore the town. then up into the mountains for scenic views. an excellent day out and another good excursion by Viator.
icon Response from Host , Mar. 2020
Thanks for the review, our guide Graham does try and wait for all our clients as there can be a delay getting ashore by the ships tenders, its always a good plan to get to shore asap or if you are delayed to call us direct at Shore Trips and Tours as per the details on the Viator voucher, as we are the ones in direct contact with our guides. Regards Ian
Akaora Shore Excursion-Christchurch
, Nov. 2019
Left on time, did a quick tour of Akaroa then drove to Christchurch which was very scenic.Trip only took us to Christchurch then city on our own.
icon Response from Host , Nov. 2019
Hi Anniele Tahnk you for the review, can you tell us which tour you took with us. If it is the Shuttle service then of course this just takes you to Christchurch where you have free time to look around on your own. If you wanted a fully guided tour then we do offer these tours but at a higher cost of course. If there was any aspect of the trip that did not meet your expectation then please let us know [by email if possible] and i will be happy to look into it. Regards Ian
, Nov. 2019
Although Christchurch is a beautiful, mostly rebuilt city, we did not anticipate the 2 and 1/4 hour trip each way from Akaroa through the mountains. Very few of the historical buildings are remaining in the city, but it still is worth a visit, once the new, closer port is built.
icon Response from Host , Nov. 2019
Thanks for the review but there is little we can do about the distances between places. Akaroa is 90km from the Christchurch and this journey usually takes 90 minutes each way [not 2.25 hours] and clients are usually aware that the port is a long way from the city, but we will add this specific detail to our web site. The drive is through some very scenic areas and most of clients enjoy the views along the way. The old port of Lyttleton is being rebuilt at present and some of the smaller ships will be going back to this port option this year. The city is gradually being rebuilt but despite this there are still many of the older buildings which have been restored Regards Ian
Excellent host. Fantastic small bus.Had...
Kevin K
, Apr. 2018
Excellent host. Fantastic small bus.Had a wonderful and informative day!!!
it was sad to see the devastation...
Marilyn M
, Apr. 2018
it was sad to see the devastation from the Earthquake but wonderful how the people have continued on. The shopping mall made from ship storage containers was really a sight to see.
12 of us had a great day travelling...
, Apr. 2018
12 of us had a great day travelling to Christchurch enjoying the scenery on the way from Akora. Our guide was very helpful as we was meeting friends so very pleased that we could coordinate this and gave us directions to the museum and a park near by.

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