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Travel from Akaroa Harbour on a 6.5-hour 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. 


  • Banks Peninsula and Christchurch shore excursion from Akaroa Harbour
  • Admire the breathtaking scenery of Akaroa Harbour, Lake Ellesmere and the Southern Alps
  • Take a walk through Christchurch Botanical Gardens
  • See the devastating effects of Christchurch's 2011 earthquake and the old CBD
  • Visit the coastal towns of Sumner and Lyttleton
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Christchurch Botanical Gardens

When your ship pulls into Akaroa Harbour, you’re picked up at the port for your shore excursion. Get settled comfortably aboard the coach for the approx. 1.5-hour drive to Christchurch, traveling a scenic route along the Akaroa Highway through the Banks Peninsula. On the journey through the Canterbury Plains — a farmland region east of the Southern Alps — hear narration about the highlights you pass, including Little River, Lake Forsyth and Lake Ellesmere.

On arrival at your destination, hop off the coach at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens for a stroll with your guide, and learn about one of New Zealand’s most impressive collections of native and exotic plants. 

Your city tour continues with a drive around the old CBD to observe recovery efforts since the damaging 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Your guide provides information on each landmark before stopping for lunch (own expense) in the beach suburb of Sumner. You’ll see the coastal town of Lyttleton and view Christchurch from the hills above during the leisurely return to the  Akaroa cruise port in the afternoon.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:
We will ensure your timely return to the Akaroa cruise port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

We loved Akaroa and the surrounding countryside - so peaceful. Despite a fairly lengthy journey to Christchurch we enjoyed our visit there but it was very sobering to see just how much damage had been caused by the earthquake. So many buildings with scaffolding but it was also interesting to visit the shipping containers which have been converted into shops and eateries

trvlmore United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Our driver and guide was pleasant, thorough and very informative. It was sad to see Christchurch after the earthquake and how much is still to be done to recover.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Excellent tour.

John H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016


Ronald T H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

An excellent tour although Christchurch is still suffering from the earthquake of 2011 and many of the buildings have not yet been re-built.

Marcia T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

This trip was fantastic! Even with rough seas, our pilot was able to navigate to the Hole in the Rock and gave us a fantastic view and trip.

Geoff W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

An exceptionally good tour. Our driver/guide, Rodney, was brilliant. He had lots of local knowledge, and experience.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Got to see a lot and Christchurch was amazing

Rosemarie K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

It was great. Driver very informative.

John R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

An interesting tour covering firstly Akaroa, and then a quite long drive around the Banks Peninsula to Christchurch. A pleasing walk through the picturesque Botanic Gardens then back on the coach for a drive highlighting much of the earthquake destruction, and subsequent rebuilding of Christchurch. After a lunch stop at the remarkable reStart complex food and retail outlets all constructed from shipping containers we returned to Akaroa via a different route . A great tour for those with limited time as demanded by the cruise ship schedule to spend in the various areas covered. Good value and very informative.

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