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Christchurch Botanic Gardens Tours

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Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Christchurch, coined the Garden City, is an Anglophile settlement of well-tended gardens and tree-lined streets. Its crowning jewel is the 52-acre (21-hectare) Christchurch Botanic Gardens, attractively set within Hagley Park alongside the winding Avon River. The gardens are planted with thousands of exotic and indigenous plants and trees including seasonal blooms such as magnolias, azaleas, and 250 varieties of roses. 

The Basics
Many visitors opt for a narrated tour of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens by caterpillar—an electric-powered, open-top shuttle that makes frequent stops. Hop on and off at your leisure and meander through the extensive grounds. Combine your tour with a 30-minute punt ride on the Avon River: Relax in a flat-bottomed boat while a punter navigates the willow-lined banks with a long pole. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Botanic Gardens are a must-see for gardeners, arborists, architecture enthusiasts, or anyone wanting a relaxing oasis away from the bustle of the city.
  • This family-friendly destination features a children’s playground that’s been popular since the early 1900s. 
  • Smoking is not allowed, nor are dogs permitted. 
  • You’ll find a cafe at the Visitor Centre, a restaurant at the Tudor-style Curator’s House, crisscross trails for walking, and inviting lawns for a picnic.

How to Get There
Find the entrance to the Botanic Gardens on Rolleston Avenue, located on the western edge of central Christchurch, less than half a mile from the CBD. The destination is one of 17 hop-on hop-off stops on the Christchurch Tramway, which makes a 50-minute circuit around the Garden City.

When to Get There
Wander among more than 100 beds of roses in bloom from pre-Christmas into January. Bordering the Rose Garden you’ll find a stunning array of dahlias between January and April. Begonias can be found in the Townend House conservatory from mid-January until the end of March. However, any time of year is worth a visit. 

Plentiful Photo Opportunities 
The Christchurch Botanic Gardens include a water garden, rock and heather gardens, New Zealand gardens, a herb garden, a daffodil woodland, and so much more. Six conservatories protect desert plants, tropical blooms, begonias, alpine plants, and orchids. Also of note are architectural landmarks like the Peacock Fountain, Cuningham Glasshouse, Band Rotunda, and Antigua Boat Shed. 
Address: Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand
Admission: Free. Guided tour: NZ$5
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Ports of Call Tours

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Christchurch Highlights City Tour

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.
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  • 6 hours
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Day Trips

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Akaroa-Christchurch Cruise Ship - Spanish Driver Guide / Chofer Guía en español

Our exclusive service offers you absolute flexibility to do exactly whatever and whenever you want. Once you arrive after your long trip from home you can sit back, relax and enjoy as your driver escorts you around this fascinating country introducing you to guided local tours around different towns and natural landscapes, in English, Spanish and Italian.We are Professional Drivers and qualified by New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). Also we hold a Transport service Licence (TSL) and we are part of ProGuide Association. We can drive around all of New Zealand and our best option is to start or finish your trip in Christchurch.
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  • 7 hours
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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights

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, you’ll take in the scenic splendor of the Southern Alps and the Canterbury Region, including Little River, Lake Forsyth and Lake Ellesmere.
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  • 6 hours
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  • 6 hours

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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre

This Akaroa shore excursion takes you sightseeing in Christchurch via a scenic drive through the Banks Peninsula. See the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and other city highlights before a visit to the International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch's top attraction. Feel arctic winds at the Snow and Ice Experience and observe New Zealand wildlife at the Penguin Encounter. Finish with an all-terrain adventure on a thrilling ride by amphibious Hagglund vehicle.
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  • 6 hours
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  • 6 hours

Historical & Heritage Tours

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Tramway Restaurant Dinner Tour of Christchurch

Enjoy a 4-course dinner aboard the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant and travel in heritage style through the city center, round-trip from Cathedral Junction. Relax and enjoy views of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Avon River from your window-side table. The 2.5-hour journey in this elegant restaurant on wheels includes a welcome drink upon arrival, with tea and coffee to accompany your gourmet meal, served by professional waitstaff.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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Day Trips

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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City and Giants House Tour

If you're pulling into port in Akaroa, this shore excursion is designed to show you some of the sights of New Zealand's South Island. You'll explore the Banks Peninsula and the city of Christchurch, plus take a guided tour of the Giant's House. See how the city has rebuilt since the 2011 earthquake, and stop by places such as the Botanical Gardens. This tour allows you to relax on a pre-planned adventure instead of trying to find your own way around the area from the cruise ship port.
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  • 6 hours
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  • 6 hours
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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Jet Boat on Waimak River

When your cruise ship docks in Akaroa, take a shore excursion to Christchurch for a sightseeing tour, followed by an adrenaline-charged jet-boat ride on the Waimak River. Escorted by a knowledgeable guide, you’ll combine a drive through the Banks Peninsula with the city landmarks of Christchurch and an exhilarating jet-boat ride. Round-trip port transport is included.
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  • 6 hours
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  • 6 hours

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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Sheep Farm Tour

While your cruise ship is docked in Akaroa port, take a guided shore excursion to Christchurch and nearby Canterbury via the scenic bays and coves of the Banks Peninsula. Explore the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and other highlights during a city sightseeing tour, then see sheep dogs and a sheep-shearing demonstration as you get a feel for rural life on an authentic New Zealand sheep farm. Afternoon tea and round-trip port transport are included.
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  • 6 hours
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  • 6 hours

Half-day Tours

Grand Tour of Christchurch Including Botanic Gardens Gondola Punting and Hop-On Hop-Off Tram

Spend your time in Christchurch with tickets and transport to four top attractions. Enjoy a punt ride down the Avon River, a shuttle tour of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, a Christchurch Gondola ride to the Port Hills, and an independent hop-on hop-off tour of the city center aboard the Christchurch Tram. Visit the affluent coastal suburbs of Sumner and Redcliffs, or hop off at any of the 17 stops that showcase the highlights of New Zealand’s second-largest city. Hotel pickup is included.
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  • 5 hours
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

AKAROA PRIVATE SHORE EXCURSION (Christchurch City & Banks Peninsula)

Save time waiting for other cruise ship passengers and escape straight to Christchurch for this private shore excursion. Once you arrive, experience Christchurch without the noise and rigid timetables of a big tour group. Take a electric caterpillar bus around the famous Botanical Gardens, boat down the Avon river in a traditional English poling punt, and discover how Christchurch is rebuilding in the wake of the devastating 2011 earthquake.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Hop-on Hop-off Tours

Christchurch Hop-On Hop-Off Tram

Travel a 50-minute circuit aboard the Christchurch Tramway, which departs daily every 15 minutes. Use your ticket to hop on and hop off at 17 stops and create your own sightseeing itinerary. Drivers provide live commentary on the landmarks of this South Island city. Bonus: children up to age 15 travel free.
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  • 1 day
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

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Private Day Excursion from Akaroa to Christchurch and Banks Peninsula

This is a private small group tour for up to 9 people. The route from Akaroa to Christchurch takes you over the old volcanoes of Banks Peninsula with varied scenery (farms, sheep, volcanoes, harbours, lakes, villages) and there is 1.5-2 hours driving time (90 km/50 miles) each way. We are happy to customise your tour to include attractions such as the International Antarctic Centre or Willowbank Wildlife Park (cost extra) , etc. We are locals and give an in-depth commentary covering the volcanoes, NZ and local history, earthquakes etc. The route is more or less like a figure "8" so the scenery is always changing and we cover a lot of places of interest on this day excursion to Christchurch and back. We have you back at Akaroa Wharf at least 1 hour before the last tender.
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

This Akaroa shore excursion takes you on a scenic journey into Christchurch via the Banks Peninsula with a visit to the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Your tour of the ‘Garden City’ includes a stroll through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and a look at earthquake recovery efforts in the city center. You’ll find exotic critters such as wallabies, gibbons and lemurs at the wildlife reserve, and meet the elusive but iconic kiwi, New Zealand’s national bird.
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  • 6 hours
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  • 6 hours

Day Cruises

Christchurch Botanic Gardens Tour with Optional Hop-On Hop-Off Tram Gondola and Avon River Punting

Get a narrated tour of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens by electric-powered caterpillar shuttle. The ride makes frequent stops where you can disembark to explore the lovely landscapes and extensive plant collection. Combine your experience with a hop-on hop-off tour aboard the Christchurch Tram, a restored heritage vehicle that travels between 17 stops. Other optional upgrades include a punt cruise on the Avon River, a ride on the Christchurch Gondola, or a combination of all four tours.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$12.97
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Cruises

Punting on the Avon River with Optional Christchurch Gondola and Botanic Gardens Tour

Relax on a romantic 30-minute punt (flat-bottomed boat) ride along the Avon River in Christchurch. Float past willows lining the riverbanks as a punter, dressed in traditional costume, uses a long pole to propel you and your companions across the water while providing informative commentary. You’ll row past the city center and Christchurch Botanic Gardens, which you can opt to tour by electric shuttle. Other upgrades include a Christchurch Gondola ride to the Crater Rim and/or a Christchurch Tram hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour of downtown.
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  • 1 day
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation

Sightseeing Passes

Christchurch Sightseeing Pass

Visit four top attractions in the ‘Garden City’ with a Christchurch sightseeing pass. Set your own pace with this 4-attraction pass, which you can use on different days. See the city from above on a 10-minute Christchurch Gondola ride and visit the Time Tunnel exhibit; enjoy a 30-minute punt ride by flat-bottomed boat on the serene Avon River; tour the Christchurch Botanic Gardens by open-top caterpillar bus; and discover 17 stops during a hop-on hop-off tour aboard the Christchurch Tram.
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  • 4 days
  • Free Cancellation
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  • 4 days
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Bus & Minivan Tours

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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours

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Akaroa to Christchurch Full Day Shore Excursion

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  • 6 to 7 hours
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US$372.81
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  • 6 to 7 hours

Bus & Minivan Tours

Christchurch Half-Day Gardens Tour

See why Christchurch is coined the ‘Garden City’ on a 3.5-hour guided tour of its stunning garden landscapes. You’ll visit a combination of award-winning private and public gardens such as Mona Vale, the Sanitarium factory gardens and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Stroll past ponds, fountains, rose gardens and glass conservatories as you learn about herbs, roses, perennials and more. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included. 
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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US$94.01
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes

Cultural Tours

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Christchurch Private Luxury Full Day Tour

This private Full Day Tour explores complete Christchurch city from one edge to another with your private Driver/Guide. Christchurch, known for its English heritage, is located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Flat-bottomed punts glide on the Avon River, which meanders through the city centre. On its banks are cycling paths, the green expanse of Hagley Park and Christchurch Botanic Gardens.Highlights:• Sumner Village• Port Hills• Cardboard Cathedral• Bridge of Remembrance• Punting on the Avon River• Botanic Gardens• Antarctic Center (Optional)
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$71.32
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Bus & Minivan Tours

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Christchurch Day Tour

You will visit the highlight places in Christchurch. It's a fully private tour by our veteran local tour guide.
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  • 6 hours
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

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Stray New Zealand: Southern Gems - Freestyle Travel Pass

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  • 6 days
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US$288.52
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  • 6 days


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