Tours & Day Trips from Christchurch
Make the most of your visit to Christchurch with an organised tour of the city's highlights or a trip further afield. There's plenty to keep you busy in New Zealand's 2nd biggest city and the gateway to the South Island. We've put together a list of some of the best. Stay with us at Westside Motor Lodge and enjoy a comfortable, well located base while you explore.
Christchurch Rebuild Tour
This 90 minute tour is an essential while you're visiting Christchurch, offering a unique guide to the city following the earthquakes. Visit Christchurch's pre-earthquake buildings, see the imaginative, exciting transitional projects including the Re:START Mall, Greening the Rubble, Gap Filler and Street Art, and find out about the plans for the city's future.
Visit a mixture of Christchurch's most beautiful public and private gardens. The award winning private gardens offer a stunning mix of colourful perennials, roses, water features and woodlands. At the Botanic Gardens, ride around on the electric Caterpillar shuttle, getting on and off whenever you like. Add a cruise on the Avon River and be guided along by your skilled punter, traditionally dressed in straw hat and blazer, past boat sheds, trees and riverside paths.
One of the best ways to see the city's highlights is by joining a leisurely guided bike tour. Cycle most of the way through parks and on cycle paths while your knowledgeable guide shares local stories and insights.
For the ultimate view of Christchurch and the South Island landscape, Garden City Helicopters offers a range of scenic flights. Take a 20 minute cruise high above the city or enjoy a heli-flight to one of Canterbury's award winning wineries and drop in for lunch and a tasting.
If you are heading from Christchurch to Tauranga and interested in a scenic helicopter flight to Coromandel or even White Island, get in touch with Aerius Helicopters.
Antarctic Centre and Wildlife Reserve
Visit the International Antarctic Centre and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve on a guided half day tour. See little blue penguins and go for a ride on the Hagglund all-terrain snow mobile. At the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve you'll have time to see kiwis, eels, keas, deer, possums and many other fascinating birds and animals.
Alpine Train Trip
Enjoy a relaxing train journey to the snow-capped Southern Alps on the Tranz Alpine. The train slowly climbs through spectacular gorges and river valleys to the alpine village of Arthurs Pass. You'll have plenty of time to browse the displays at the National Park Visitors Centre, meet the local mountain parrots and explore the walkways before you return to Christchurch.
Travel to Kaikoura for a very special overnight tour to watch whales, swim with the dusky dolphins and visit a fur seal colony. It's a nature-lovers’ paradise, one of the best marine experiences you can have, and a unique opportunity to learn about ancient indigenous customs on a Maori cultural tour. And be sure to try the local seafood - it'll be some of the freshest you'll ever taste.
Akaroa and Banks Peninsula is one of Christchurch's most popular visitor destinations. Enjoy the stunning scenic drive before arriving in the charming historical seaside village of Akaroa with its special French connection. Take a harbour cruise, swim with the dolphins, go jet boating or sailing. Wander through boutique stores and galleries, and visit the Barrys Bay Cheese Factory.
Christcgurch is the ideal gateway to the spectacular Southern Alps. Drive through the magical alpine environment including the turquoise lakes of Pukaki and Tekapo and New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mt Cook. Choose a walk, scenic flight, a glacier trip from Mt Cook Village, or visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
The picturesque alpine village of Hanmer Springs has developed around their natural thermal pools. It's a great place for an adventurous day trip from Christchurch combined with a rewarding hot soak. Take in wine tasting in the Waipara Valley on the way, choose between bungy jumping, jet boating, mountain biking and bush walking before enjoying a soothing soak or spa in the pools.
If you are planning on heading to Christchurch and looking for cheap rental cars, consider Rent a Dent as they have an excellent fleet of hire cars at competitive prices.