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Christchurch Outdoor sports

Our most recommended Christchurch Outdoor sports

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 before returning to Christchurch.

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: Guided Castle Hill Tour

3. 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.

Akaroa: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

4. Akaroa: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

Experience the best of Akaroa's marine reserve on a 3-hour guided kayak safari in a small intimate group with your own local nature guide. Venture into an eco-paradise and have the chance for endangered wildlife encounters along the way. Stop at a remote beach for refreshments, a swim, or just to explore. No experience is necessary for this adventure. It’s easy and fun and suitable for anyone 12 years of age and older! The early morning trip can make for spectacular conditions and encounters. We are always the first operators on the water and usually have the whole harbour to ourselves with other tour boats only starting as we are finishing our tour. What you’ll actually see on the safari depends on a number of factors, but often guests report seeing cormorants diving, gannets feeding, and NZ fur seals and White flippered penguins playing. We get regular encounters with the protected and endangered Hector Dolphins which can only be found in NZ. Your tour will begin with a comprehensive safety briefing, your guide will then lead you through the turquoise waters and provide brief stops on the water to share information about interesting events, and facts about the wildlife, flora and fauna.

Christchurch: Guided Crater Rim Walk in Banks Peninsula

5. 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: Packhorse Hut Guided Walk and Scenic Drive

6. Christchurch: Packhorse Hut Guided Walk and Scenic Drive

Departing Christchurch City, this tour follows the story of Harry Al and his grand vision to create a splendid walking tour from Christchurch to Akaroa in the early 1900s. Although Harry died before the track could be completed, the section from Christchurch to Packhorse Hut captures the stunning scenery and dramatic landscape of Banks Peninsula and Lyttleton Harbour. After being collected from town, your tour travels up through the affluent suburbs of Cashmere. A short stop at "the Sign of the Tahakhe" is an excellent place to snap a picture overlooking Christchurch, before you drive up to the second stop at the Sign of the Kiwi. Following the Sign of the Kiwi its a short drive along Summit Road to the Sign of the Bellbird, where your guide will provide morning tea. After morning tea your tour continues along the summit for another 15 minites before reaching Gebbies Pass. An 11-kilometer hike will then comprise your return journey, during which you will stop at Packhorse Hut for lunch. After completing the walk the return journey follows the coastal road around Lyttleton Harbour, passing through the small settlement of Gavernors Bay before heading up over the port hills and back to Christchurch.

Christchurch: Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Wild Penguin Eco-Tour

7. 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: Helicopter Winery Tour and Tastings

8. Christchurch: Helicopter Winery Tour and Tastings

Make a grand entrance by helicopter, landing between the vines to indulge your senses at the three unique wineries of North Canterbury. Your wineries may include George Road Wines, Greystone Vineyard, Black Estate, Waipara Hills Winery, Waipara Springs, Bone Line, and Pegasus Bay. Enjoy tasting their distinctive flavors and award-winning blends. George Road Wines produce Syrah, Pinot Gris, and Rosé wines.  Greystone is a certified organic-owned and operated vineyard. You will taste their special releases, aged wines, and other treats only available at our cellar door.  Black State is a flavorsome experience consisting of 3 North Canterbury organic wineries and restaurant that delivers delicious organic and spray-free cuisine.  Waipara Hills Winery has a fine reputation for crafting rich aromatics with vibrant, complex flavors. Experience the best wines of the region on a 4-hour tour. 

Christchurch: 20-Minutes City Helicopter Flight

9. 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.

From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

10. 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.

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Frequently asked questions about Christchurch

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Christchurch?

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Darfield

Other Sightseeing Options in Christchurch

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What people are saying about Christchurch

Really fun day trip by Ajay to Arthur’s pass. The drive was scenic, as was the train ride. Some roads were windy, which made me glad I wasnt driving! Best to take a small coach. Our guide was relaxed and pleasant but also very informative about the history of the area and interesting facts. We stopped at a spot for a fairly easy hike to a waterfall, enjoyed a village lunch, and a few other scenic spots including Castle Hill, all whilst being back in Christchurch in time for dinner. Really great day - and a nice relaxing activity to do while in Christchurch.

The tour was amazing and it ended up being a beautiful day out! The only thing, is the roads are extremely windy. If you get motionsickness at all, would recommend you take something before you travels! I also wish at some of the stops there would be a little bit more time to enjoy, but overall amazing tour! Would definitely go again.

I had not yet visited aoraki mount cooke national park because of the bad weather. A few days later it was still a beautiful day. So we still saw Mount Cooke. This from Christchurch is a long one with several stops, but with good weather well worth it.

The tour guide/driver was a fountain of knowledge. He was so passionate about the area and looked after us all very well. I would recommend this tour, the places were well chosen

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