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Banks Peninsula

Banks Peninsula: Our most recommended tours and activities

Akaroa: 4WD Safari and Guided Sea-Kayaking Experience

1. Akaroa: 4WD Safari and Guided Sea-Kayaking Experience

Enjoy a memorable sea-kayaking experience from Akaroa with two departure options. No experience is necessary because the trips are run in settled safe conditions by an experienced and knowledgeable guide.  Depart from Akaroa for a scenic drive in a 4WD minivan over the crater rim of the Akaroa volcano to Pohatu Flea Bay. Learn about the region from your local guide and, during the afternoon trip, stop for photo opportunities along the way. Then, it is time to gear up and climb into the double kayaks. Your safety is the top priority and the experience can be mind-blowing with the right sea conditions. Explore the outer coast of Pohatu Marine Reserve and marvel at its spectacular towering cliffs, rock stacks, reefs, and deep sea caves. Flea Bay Island and the impressive island arch can be reached in settled sea conditions. Marvel at the diverse wildlife and marine species such as penguins, seals, various seabirds, and possibly the world’s smallest dolphin.

Christchurch: Guided Crater Rim Walk in Banks Peninsula

2. Christchurch: Guided Crater Rim Walk in Banks Peninsula

Enjoy a full-day guided walk on Banks Peninsula, an amazing outdoor playground for everybody visiting Christchurch. No more than a 30-minute ride from Christchurch city, enjoy an exhilarating walk around the Crater Rim Track surrounding the caldera of the ancient volcano. Marvel at the amazing views of the rugged Pacific coastline stretching across Pegasus Bay to the often snow-covered Southern Alps as well as the picturesque Lyttelton harbor and wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean. The walk provides the opportunity to see and experience New Zealand at its very best. You can choose between a shared walking tour or a private guided walking tour. Begin your journey with pickup from your accommodation from your guide. On the drive to the site of the walk, listen to your guide's entertaining tales of the history of Christchurch and learn about the people who live here. Hot drinks will be provided at a local café as you prepare your hiking equipment with your guide, and receive a lunch box and refreshments before the walk commences. On the walk, immerse yourself in the stunning natural surroundings of New Zealand and feel the refreshing wind in your hair. There are plenty of photo opportunities along the way, and the chance to hear more about the history of the area during your walk. Take a pause from the walk to enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch at a picturesque location, here the tour often stops at a little bay which can only be reached by foot or by boat. Marvel at the abundant local bird and marine life in the area while you enjoy your meal. After lunch, join your guide on the walk back to your transportation for a relaxing drive back to your accommodation in Christchurch.

Christchurch: Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Wild Penguin Eco-Tour

3. Christchurch: Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Wild Penguin Eco-Tour

Enjoy a full day adventure taking in the breath-taking scenery of the rugged Banks Peninsula coastline and farmlands. Stopover at scenic lookouts and visit quaint Little River Gallery as well as the award-winning Barrys Bay Cheese factory at Duvauchelles.  The highlight of the day is encountering wild Penguins at Flea Bay, Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. Discover the penguin colony in their natural habitat at remote Pohatu (the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand). Your tour includes a catered lunch, refreshments, and expert guided tour of the penguin colony by a local family of conservationists. Learn about the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna, and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program. Be greeted by the farm's friendly pet sheep and see White-Flippered penguins as the people of Pohatu monitor nesting sites.  If visiting between mid-November and mid-February, you may even be lucky enough to see rehabilitation efforts such as supplemental feedings and swim therapy. Pohatu have been conserving the Little Penguins for over 30 years and have 4 conservation awards for their efforts in penguin conservation, protection, and monitoring. Spending time with Pohatu even helps the preservation of these beautiful birds for future generations. 

Christchurch: 20-Minutes City Helicopter Flight

4. Christchurch: 20-Minutes City Helicopter Flight

Discover the city of Christchurch from above on a scenic helicopter flight. The city is known for its English heritage and fondly referred to as the Garden City due to its abundance of parks and trees. Observe the lush banks of the serpentine Avon River and the beautiful botanical gardens, which are a delight to see from above. Your expert pilots will inform and entertain you with all the latest facts and points of interest such as the Cathedral, new landmarks including the library, and the vision for the future of this thriving city. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Banks Peninsula which is formed from three now dormant volcanoes, where you will also see the busy Port of Lyttelton. On the return leg enjoy a bird’s eye view of the estuary and coastline before you return via the seaside suburbs of Sumner and Redcliffs.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Banks Peninsula

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What people are saying about Banks Peninsula

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 46 reviews

We highly recommend this tour if you come into port at Lyttleton or are in the Christchurch area. Nicole did a great job of communicating what we could expect well in advance of the tour and flexing our pick up time based on the weather forecast. That’s customer service!! She packed a lovely picnic lunch and water bottles, provided walking sticks and guided us at the pace we were comfortable with, stopping as frequently as we wanted to take photos. She is very knowledgeable about the history of the area. Wonderful way to spend time in port!

We had to skip the kayaking and take the scenic penguin tour due to wind conditions. However this was communicated well in advance and the balance was refunded. Kevin was an excellent guide. We heard a lot of interesting facts about the region and highly enjoyed the scenery and the penguin experience.

Such an amazing experience! My guide had so much knowledge on the history of the area and it’s wildlife and we saw so many seals, birds and penguins. Also very cool to see a company that’s so dedicated to protecting native species. Highly recommend!

Fantastic, comfortable option to see the city with awesome pilot pointing out the best parts. Beautiful helicopter.

Ended up going on the 4WD and going to the penguin colony. So interesting and educational yet fun.