Akaroa, New Zealand
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clock-o9 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English


Wander the charming village of Akaroa, and opt for either a harbor cruise or dolphin swim on this small-group tour from Christchurch. Start with a scenic drive through the magnificent Banks Peninsula where you’re treated to summit views of Akaroa Harbour, the Canterbury Plains and the distant Southern Alps. Sample locally made cheeses at a cheese factory, explore Akoroa and enjoy a cafe lunch before a nature cruise or dolphin swim alongside Hector's dolphins. Numbers are limited to eight people for a personalized experience.
  • Full-day tour exploring the french harborside village of Akaroa
  • Enjoy cheese tasting at Barry's Bay Cheese Factory
  • Scenic harbor and nature cruise including the option to swim with the Hectors dolphins (option to be selected at time of booking)
  • Enjoy a cafe lunch
  • Delicious picnic morning and afternoon tea
  • Plenty of photo opportunities
  • Full escorted with informative commentary
  • Traveling in a small group, maximum eight passengers allowing a unique and intimate experience
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
Swim with the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins or opt for a harbor cruise on this full-day tour from Christchurch to the picturesque village of Akaroa, the only French settlement established in New Zealand.

Depart your hotel by minivan and travel south along a scenic route over the Banks Peninsula, an ancient landscape of volcanic origin. When you reach the summit, breathe in the views of tucked-away bays and Akaroa Harbour along with the farmlands of the Canterbury Plains and the snow-capped Southern Alps in the distance. 

After approx. 90 minutes your driver-guide descends into the Akaroa crater, which contains the harbor and picturesque village. Here, start with a tasting of locally made cheeses at Barrys Bay Cheese, established in the 19th century. Meander the quaint French and British settlement teeming with colonial architecture, art galleries, craft shops, wine bars and al fresco cafes where you’ll make a stop for lunch.

In the afternoon, you have your choice of a nature cruise on Akaroa Harbour or a dolphin swim with the world's smallest oceanic dolphin, before making the return trip to Christchurch with drop-off at your hotel.

Nature Cruise:Board the Canterbury Cat and cruise through the clear waters of the harbor in search of birdlife and marine mammals and in their natural habitat, including Hector's dolphins.

Dolphin Swim:Board a specially designed boat that allows you to enter the private domain of Hector's dolphins — found only in New Zealand, usually around the South Island. Watch the playful creatures up close and then enter the water for a once-in-a-lifetime dolphin swim.


Viator Traveler's Reviews

6 Reviews
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1 Star
, Mar 2018

Akaroa is a very beautiful, charming visit. Situated on the banks of an old volcano which has since filled with turquoise colored water. The cruise is very beautiful and gives you great views of the amazing cliffs and dolphins. We also had lunch there overlooking the water. Wonderful day...

, Mar 2017

Good trip w/congenial small group in a van. Gorgeous scenery on the Banks Peninsula! My cafe lunch was good and sufficient portions for another meal. My only suggestion is that mid-morning tea break w/good brownies would be better taken earlier and not a half hour before lunch. Driver/Guide Peter, friendly and helpful, probably wanted a table to use such as the one outside at the Cheese place Not a real tasting event there just small samples of their products offered at the inside counter, and he was running late due to morning traffic in the city, but there must be someplace else that would work for an earlier stop. I'd vote for roadside looking down upon Lyttleton Harbour, where we didn't get to stop because Akaroa Harbour is even more beautiful. Two beautiful harbours are not too much to stop, see, and sip. Not many porpoises t'other day because the captain didn't want to take the boat out too far too many pax earlier in the day had been seasick. We did see several though. This cruise was much better value than the one in Dunedin off the Otago Peninsula days earlier. That one was v. short, and we saw more albatrosses from the Hide on the headlands.

, Oct 2015

Very good scenic tour and the guide was great. The Eco Marine tour is not for everyone because the boat goes extremely close to the rocks and can be unnerving but it was a good tour.

, Dec 2014

Excellent tour with lots of interesting places to visit and see. Tour guide was excellent. Well worth seeing!! I appreciate the small groups with lots of interaction with tour guide and other participants.

, Jan 2011
Great trip. John, my guide was very friendly and seemed to know everything about the flora and fauna that we came across on the trip. it was very well planned and gives you a chance to get out of the city and see more of the countryside. the sights on the cruise were incredible.
, Jul 2010
Fantastic! Loved everything about the tour, except perhaps the sea sickness. A really enjoyable and memorable day! Would recommend to anyone.

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Product code: 3290AK

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