Combine historic architecture and perfectly manicured parks with all the buzz of a contemporary metropolis and you have Christchurch – the South Island’s biggest city. The best way to see Christchurch’s unique heritage and vibrant persona is to take a tram ride through the tree-lined streets or go punting down the Avon River. Those wanting a slightly different perspective can take in the outstanding views of Lyttleton Harbour, Banks Peninsula and the Canterbury Plains from the Gondola or even take a hot air balloon ride across the city sky. When in Christchurch be sure to visit the immaculate Botanic Gardens as well as the International Antarctic Centre, which provides a great Antarctic adventure for people of any age. Those fascinated by the animal kingdom should visit the one of the wildlife parks, you’ll see all sorts of animals in peaceful and attractive surrounds. Seeking culinary indulgence? Then head north to Waipara Wine Valley where you’ll find an abundance of wineries and accompanying restaurants – you can even do a wine tour by horse and coach. For even more relaxation visit Hamner Springs to soak in the hot pools or wander through the serene forest trails.

INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation for 3 nights in double occupancy
  • Return airport transfers
  • Visits as per itinerary

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DAY 1CHRISTCHURCH


Once you arrive into Christchurch and transfer to your hotel, you’ll be picked up for your afternoon city orientation tour. The tour commences in the central city of Christchurch and covers the area which was completely devastated by the Christchurch earthquakes in February 2011. The guide will explain both the history of the city and the effects of the earthquake, you will see for yourself both the destructive powers of nature and the rebuild taking place. On leaving the inner city, the tour travels to Mona Vale a historic homestead and gardens. We then travel to the Sign of the Takahe, an historic building with a lookout providing spectacular views over the city, Canterbury Plains and to the Southern Alps. The tour then travels via the Port Hills and Lyttleton Harbour by way of the Sign of the Kiwi and Governors Bay to the Port of Lyttleton. The tour proceeds through the Lyttleton harbour tunnel to the seaside suburb of Sumner and cave rock before returning to the central city where the tour will conclude.
Accommodation: Auckland for 3 nights
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DAY 2 CHRISTCHURCH


Visit the beautiful unspoilt old French whaling depot of Akaroa. A charming small township nestled in an inner harbour bay of Akaroa Harbour on Banks Peninsula. The township contains a host of historic buildings, craft and gift shops together with a multitude of idyllic photo opportunities. Lunch is available at the naturally picturesque setting of Akaroa Village at the popular Bully Hayes. (Lunch is an optional extra) Once in Akaroa enjoy the opportunity to swim with the rear and endangered Hector Dolphins on the Canterbury Cat Two. Prior to your swim you will be equipped with wetsuit, mask, snorkel and flippers. On locating a pod of Hector Dolphins you will enter the water to swim with one of the rarest dolphins in the world, this species of dolphins being found only in the waters around the southern half of the South Island of New Zealand. Whilst on board the Canterbury Cat Two you will sight not only dolphins but also a range of sea birds, and quite often the Little Blue Penguin and seals. On your return journey to Christchurch a stop will be made at the Barry’s Bay Cheese factory, where you will get to sample some fine New Zealand cheese.
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DAY 3 CHRISTCHURCH


Today is at leisure for you to explore the Garden City of Christchurch.

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