Christchurch
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Christchurch Day Trips

Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

1. Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

Experience dramatic glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful alpine walks on a small-group day trip from Christchurch. After pick-up from your hotel, journey to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, located a 4 hours' drive through spectacular and breathtaking landscapes. Visit the historic town of Geraldine. Then discover the heart of Mackenzie Country, the captivatingly turquoise Lake Tekapo, the iconic Church of Good Shepherd, and the well-recognized statue of Sheepdog. Travel through Lake Pukaki and admire stunning views of Mt. Cook from a distance. Enjoy a short scenic hike in the National Park to view the 23.5kms long Tasman Glacier which is the longest glacier in New Zealand. On your return journey, visit the Alpine Lavender Farm and capture some beautiful moments in the pristine environment.

Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

2. Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

Experience the South Island's remarkable natural landscapes by taking a journey on a train from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass, which is considered one of the world's greatest train journeys for the scenery it passes. Enjoy breathtaking views of Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, ice-fed Waimakariri River, lush beech forests, and stunning landscapes. Explore walking tracks in Arthur's Pass National Park with spectacular mountain views & pristine waterfalls. Capture mirror images at Lake Pearson & wander through the majestic limestone boulders at Castle Hill. A perfect day trip for nature lovers, hikers, and adventure seekers.

Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo

3. Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo

Climb aboard the Christchurch Gondola cable car and enjoy spectacular 360-degree views across the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps as you glide across the slopes of Mount Cavendish in the Port Hills. See as far as the city and harbor as you ride up to the summit 445 meters above sea level. Make use of the facilities at the top, such as the Time Tunnel ride, a dramatic reconstruction of the history of the region. Revive your spirits at the Red Rock Café before or after going for a walk or bike ride along the many nature trails. Take a unique sightseeing tour of the inner city aboard an antique tram as the driver provides a live and entertaining commentary. A full circuit takes 50 minutes and includes 17 stops, where you can hop on and off as often as you wish. Visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Cathedral Junction, Canterbury Museum, and much more.  

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.

Christchurch: Guided Castle Hill Tour

5. Christchurch: Guided Castle Hill Tour

Leaving Christchurch via the "Great Alpine Highway", you'll cross the flat farmland of the Canterbury Plains towards the mountains. Halfway across the plains you will discover the small rural town of Darfield, where you will enjoy a short stop which will allow you to sample some of the local delicacies from the famous Darfield Bakery. Your next stop is Springfield, just 20 minutes down the road. Complete with its giant doughnut statue it's well worth a photo, and your guide will explain just how the town ended up with this giant doughnut. From Springfield the road winds its way up over Porters Pass at 900 meters, before continuing past Lake Lyndon and arriving at Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti. This area is an amazing labyrinth of giant limestone boulders that sit in the Craigieburn Basin, surrounded by mountains. The area is rich with cultural and recreational significance and has a Tōpuni status of a "symbolic cloak of protection”. It is also known internationally as a world-class climbing, bouldering, photography, and film-making destination. Your guide will show you around and explain the geography and cultural significance of the area, before sitting you down for a picnic lunch. Following lunch you will have free time to explore the boulder fields in your own time, before meeting back at the car park at 2:00PM. From there, your return journey back to Christchurch takes approximately 1.5-2 hours.

Christchurch: Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Wild Penguin Eco-Tour

6. 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. 

Mt Cook, Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre Day Trip

7. Mt Cook, Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre Day Trip

Set off from Christchurch on a small-group day trip for jaw-dropping scenery and an amazing alpine experience in incredible surroundings. Travel in the comfort of a modern minibus, soaking in the breathtaking scenery of the Southern Alps. Discover sites such as the Ben Ohau Range, Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, and even multiple sites from "Middle-Earth". Savor a delicious lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre's 3D theatre, museum, and Digital Dome Planetarium. Educational and entertaining, you will explore the history of the Mount Cook region through spectacular 2D and 3D experiences. Learn about one of the world’s greatest explorers, pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary.  Enjoy the close proximity and spectacular views of New Zealand’s highest peak in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, located in Te Wāhipounamu UNESCO World Heritage area. For the more adventurous, you can undertake an included side trip to the Tasman Glacier. Alternatively, relax at Mt Cook Village where you can spend more time at the Alpine Centre, the Hermitage’s Retail Centre, or at the Department of Conservation’s Visitor Centre before being picked up later for the return journey to Christchurch.

Christchurch: Sea Kayaking Excursion

8. Christchurch: Sea Kayaking Excursion

Your guide will collect you from your accommodation or at the designated pickup point. Make your way to Lyttleton Harbor as you drive over the Port Hills via Dyers Pass. Enjoy stunning views of the mountains and coast. Your sea kayak journey begins and ends at Charteris Bay just three minutes from Christchurch’s city center. Your guide will teach you some basic paddle strokes and how to steer your boat before heading off. Paddling towards the head of the harbor, explore the many small bays and rocky cliffs along the way. Find secret sandy beaches while hearing stories about the area from your local guide. Leaving the coast, head out to Quail Island, the largest of the three islands in the harbor and learn about its rich local history. Paddle past a ship’s graveyard, with it's the three partially sunken steamships. Lunch is provided on Quail Island or one of the many small beaches in the local area. On Quail Island, you'll have some free time to explore the island or relax by the beach. If time allows, you will be able to circumnavigate the island and visit the sea cliffs and caves at the Northen far end of the island before heading back to Charteris Bay.

From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

9. From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

Embark on a helicopter flight from Christchurch that follows the spectacular rugged coastline until you head inland to Akaroa harbour. The locals will tell you that no trip to the Christchurch area can be complete without a visit to Akaroa, the jewel in Banks Peninsula’s crown. On the way, discover the lush forests and grasslands that run down the hillsides to the azure water of the endless bays, fed by the Pacific Ocean itself. Upon arrival at Akaroa explore its excellent shops, cafés, and restaurants. Early French settlers gave Akaroa its heritage and distinct French feel that is reflected in the names of the streets and local bays.

Scenic Tour & Lord of the Rings from Christchurch

10. Scenic Tour & Lord of the Rings from Christchurch

After a pick-up from your hotel, set off to a working sheep station in New Zealand's high-country. Along the way to your destination, take in the truly breath-taking scenery of the Southern Alps such as Lake Clearwater, Mt Potts, and Mt Hutt, and even former filming sites from the Lord of the Rings. Pass Middle Earth’s Edoras, the mythical capital city of the Rohan people. As an option, be transported back in time while enjoying a nostalgic and comfortable wagon ride. Sit on the sprung wagon with rubber tires and lounge-type seats as you are pulled by a team of Clydesdale horses. Journey into the spectacular New Zealand back-country highlands. Enjoy braided rivers, green pastures, forests, deer, horses, sheep, hidden tracks, and absolutely remarkable mountain scenery - there's something different and amazing behind every turn. Your tour is fully inclusive with pick-up provided from selected Christchurch city hotels, a special lunch, morning and afternoon tea, a wagon ride, luxury coach travel including onboard WIFI, and a lively, entertaining and highly knowledgeable tour guide who can relate all the history, myths and legends.

Frequently asked questions about Christchurch Day Trips

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What people are saying about Christchurch

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 80 reviews

Great trip!! Anuj is a very knowledgeable guide and he took great care of all of us. This was the highlight of our trip to Christchurch. Would definitely recommend.

The views were breathtaking and our tour guided Anuj was very knowledgeable and accomodating. Highly recommended.

Great trip and wonderful guide. Would like to recommend to anyone traveling to Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo.

Amazing view, nice guide. Really knowledgeable about the trip

Amazing day trip, the guide is very friendly and informative.