Christchurch (Lyttelton), New Zealand

Travel down the tree-lined Avon Rive, tour English-style gardens and drive past a Gothic cathedral. No, it's not England - it's Christchurch, New Zealand's most English city. The colonists who settled Christchurch transformed the treeless landscape by planting European trees and setting aside vast tracts as parkland. Today, parks dot the city, giving Christchurch an old-world ambience that belies its sophisticated style.

Settled under the auspices of the Church of England in the mid-1800s, Christchurch is a planned city that flourished with New Zealand's agriculture and sheep industry. At the heart of the city lies Christchurch Cathedral, a Gothic cathedral built of local stone. The port of Lyttelton serves as your gateway to Christchurch.

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Points of Interest

  • Canterbury Museum
  • Arts Centre/Christchurch Art Gallery
  • Christchurch Cathedral
  • Botanic Gardens
  • International Antarctic Centre
  • Christchurch Tramway
  • Akaroa & The Banks Peninsula
  • Tranz Alpine Railway

More about Christchurch (Lyttelton), New Zealand Points of Interest

  • Canterbury Museum

    The museum opened in 1870 and is world-renowned for its natural and human history collections. Don't miss the outstanding Maori exhibits, Victorian Christchurch Street, and vast Antarctic collection.

  • Arts Centre/Christchurch Art Gallery

    This exciting venue hosts to a huge range of New Zealand-made art and crafts, shopping, education and entertainment. It's also one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the country.

  • Christchurch Cathedral

    This neogothic Cathedral is the imposing midtown landmark. Climb the North tower's 133 steps for a bird's-eye view of the entire city. The Cathedral Square is considered the city's lively center.

  • Botanic Gardens

    Founded in 1863 with the planting of an English Oak tree to commemorate the marriage of Queen Victoria's son, the lush Gardens feature one of the finest collections of plants found in New Zealand.

  • International Antarctic Centre

    Experience what it's like in the Antarctic. This interactive center lets you see, touch and feel what it takes to survive the "South Pole." See penguins, climb into an igloo, and ride the hagglund.

  • Christchurch Tramway

    These vintage trams offer a unique way to travel about and see the city. The tram tour travels a loop throughout the town, making 11 stops along the way at many of the major attractions.

  • Akaroa & The Banks Peninsula

    Banks Peninsula was formed by volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. Originally a French whaling port, the historic town of Akaroa offers Victorian cottages, great dining and "The Giant's House."

  • Tranz Alpine Railway

    A two-hour trip aboard New Zealand's famous train travels the Canterbury Plains to Arthur's Pass National Park in the heart of the Southern Alps

23 EXCURSIONS

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Christchurch On Your Own: Hop on Hop off tour

2 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 9 0
  • Canterbury Museum

Perfect for independent travelers who enjoy seeing the sights on their own, the Soaring Kiwi Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour conveniently begins and ends at port and showcases all the top attractions and landmarks around Christchurch central city. Among the many highlights are the Canterbury Museum, Cardboard Cathedral, and Cathedral Square.

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Moderate Activity

From

$44.95

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Easy Christchurch by Double Decker Bus

3.5 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 2 0 5

All aboard! A classic, bright red, London double-decker bus is the perfect way to see the highlights of vibrant Christchurch. Take in all its historic highlights and admire the rebuilding throughout the city since the devastating 2011 earthquake. Take in such sights as Canterbury Museum, Cathedral Square, Hagley Park, and the Earthquake Memorial.

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Moderate Activity

From

$59.95

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Lyttelton Discovery Cruise

2.5 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 2 4 0

A chartered catamaran gently takes you along the beautiful shoreline of Lyttelton. Keep your camera at the ready, as wildlife is abundant, including the smallest of the species, the Hector's dolphin, as well as coastal birdlife. Your skipper will share the history and geology of the region, and refreshments are served on board.

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Moderate Activity

From

$74.95

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Hanmer Springs Resort Town on your own

7.5 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 8 5

The alpine resort village of Hanmer Springs welcomes visitors to partake in its renowned thermal pools, relaxing rock pools and bubbling spa, children's area, and thrilling waterslide experiences. Explore independently, shop for souvenirs and lunch on your own in this pretty enclave. Conclude with a short drive through Christchurch.

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Moderate Activity

From

$109.95

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Town & Country - Canterbury Sheep Farm Experience

4 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 2 0 0

Delight in both city and countryside highlights on this relaxed and scenic adventure that explores the pastoral landscapes of Manderley Farm in Canterbury, a working sheep ranch where you'll meet the owners and watch a sheep dog demonstration before concluding with a drive along the shores of Lake Ellesmere into Christchurch.

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Moderate Activity

From

$109.95

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Waimakariri Jet Boat Experience

2.5 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 5 0 0

Thrills and chills await on this exciting jet boat experience that takes in the spectacular scenery of the Waimakariri River Gorge and the beautiful and rugged snow-capped Southern Alps. Fast and furious speed plus a few hair-raising spins make this exhilarating, 30-minute adventure a wet and wild good time.

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Moderate Activity

From

$129.95

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Local Connections: Waipara Wine Tasting

6 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 3 0 0

The lush Waipara wine region, just an hour outside of Christchurch, is home to over 75 vineyards and lays claim to being one of New Zealand's fastest-growing wine producers. Visit several wineries, learn how the region's Mediterranean climate contributes to a range of wine styles, and enjoy tastings and a platter-style lunch.

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Moderate Activity

From

$139.95

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Adventure Park Zip Lining

4 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 2 0

Soar through the treetops and take in stellar views on this exhilarating day spent at Christchurch Adventure Park, boasting New Zealand's highest and longest zip-line course. On this dual-lined track, double the fun as you race alongside your friends.
The chairlift that starts the day affords incredible aerial sightseeing over Christchurch.

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Strenuous Activity

From

$139.95

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Antarctic Ice & Airforce Wings

5 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 2 2 0
  • International Antarctic Centre

Take a trip to the South Pole at Christchurch's International Antarctic Centre. Ride the Hagglund snow cat, see live penguins and experience interactive displays. Next, fly through history at the Air Force Museum for a detailed look at the Kiwis' aviation timeline through dozens of aircraft, including the world's only Vickers Vildebeest biplane.

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$144.95

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City Tram Ride and Gondola

4.25 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 2 1 0
  • Canterbury Museum

All aboard the Christchurch heritage tram, which takes you in style through the city core, an ideal way to see the sights and landmarks of this vibrant city. Then, it's up and away on Christchurch's aerial gondola, which reaches the summit of the Port Hills for sweeping panoramic vistas.

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Moderate Activity

From

$144.95

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Willowbank Wildlife and Kotane Maori Experience

4 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 2 1 5

Embark on a journey into the heart of New Zealand's wildlife wonders and traditional Maori cultural heritage at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Here, all ages find an immersive experience that infuses native history, indigenous flora and fauna, and a Ko Tane Maori cultural performance within a fun and exciting themed attraction.

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Moderate Activity

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$149.95

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Christchurch Restaurant Tram & Botanic Gardens

4 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 2 5
  • Canterbury Museum

See the best of Christchurch while riding two different but equally fun modes of transportation. The heritage Restaurant Tram offers a scenic view of the city while you enjoy a tea service in comfort and style. Then, hop aboard the "Caterpillar," an open-air tram, for a tour of the incredible Botanic Gardens.

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Moderate Activity

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$149.95

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Pioneers House and Homestead Experience

6.5 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 3 0

Explore the Kiwi countryside and step back in time to a world of Victorian splendor when you visit the Riccarton House and experience the lives of the pioneering Deans family. Then, discover life on a real, working, sheep and cattle farm, Homebush, categorized as a New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

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Moderate Activity

From

$189.95

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Antarctic Ice & Airforce Wings - Behind the scenes experience

5 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 2 2 5
  • International Antarctic Centre

Fly through history at the Air Force Museum with an exclusive, behind the scenes look at the Kiwis' aviation timeline through dozens of aircraft, including the world's only Vickers Vildebeest biplane. Then, explore the South Pole at the International Antarctic Center. Ride the Hagglund snow cat, see penguins and experience interactive displays.

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Moderate Activity

From

$189.95

Average Guest Rating

Akaroa Day Trip and Paua Bay Farm

8 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 1 0
  • Akaroa & The Banks Peninsula

Take in the stunning views on your way to Paua Bay Farm for a taste of the rural lifestyle. Watch sheepdogs at work, witness a sheep shearing demonstration, and experience the simple life of a traditional New Zealand country farm. Enjoy lunch on your own and independent exploration in the village of Akaroa.

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Moderate Activity

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$199.95

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Journey to Middle Earth - Lord of the Rings

8 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 0 5

Welcome to Middle Earth. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand, making the most of the vast and remote landscapes. A local guide and film buff will escort you to several of the locations and provide insightful commentary on Christchurch, Canterbury and J. R. R. Tolkien's great works.

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Moderate Activity

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$244.95

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Highcountry Explorer 4WD & Jetboat

7.5 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 4 6 0

A rough and rugged exploration of New Zealand's hill country of the Southern Alps heads off the beaten path. Enjoy the great outdoors on a 4X4 tour vehicle that's made for back roads and off-roading. Then, jump aboard a high-speed jet boat for a thrilling cruise into the spectacular Waimakariri River Gorge.

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Moderate Activity

From

$359.95

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Southern Alps Experience

8 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 0 0
  • Tranz Alpine Railway

Your full-day adventure begins with a motor coach journey across the scenic Canterbury Plains. Soak up the sights as your driver/guide shares expert narration on the passing scenery. Stop at beautiful Homebush Stables in Darfield for morning tea before arriving at the highest pass in the Southern Alps. At Arthur's Pass you'll board the Southern Alps Express and watch in awe as the rail belt descends through an alpine paradise. Soak up the amazing views and savour a picnic-style box lunch. As the train travels down through the misty mountains, your route crosses a series of steel girder bridges over deep gorges and crosses through a series of short tunnels. Arriving at the railway junction of Rolleston you will reboard a motorcoach for the return drive back to your ship.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal; Includes snack

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$359.95

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Local Connections: Erewhon High-country Station

8.5 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 1 5

Journey into the Canterbury high country to visit picturesque Erewhon Station, a 35,000-acre sheep and beef farm set against the Southern Alps. Much of the work on the property utilizes Clydesdale horses, and you'll enjoy a tour and a ride in a horse-drawn wagon. Tuck into a picnic lunch in the mountains.

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Moderate Activity

From

AUD$399.95

Average Guest Rating