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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
This Akaroa shore excursion takes you sightseeing in Christchurch via a scenic drive through the Banks Peninsula. See the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and other city highlights before a visit to the International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch's top attraction. Feel arctic winds at the Snow and Ice Experience and observe New Zealand wildlife at the Penguin Encounter. Finish with an all-terrain adventure on a thrilling ride by amphibious Hagglund vehicle.
Spend your shore excursion in Akaroa on a 2-hour nature cruise around Akaroa Harbour. Your professional skipper points out abundant wildlife that may include Hector’s dolphins — the world’s rarest and smallest dolphins — New Zealand fur seals, blue penguins and yellow-eyed penguins. You’ll motor past volcanic cliffs and remote sea caves by luxury catamaran en route to Seal Bay and a salmon farm in Lucas Bay.
Download a vibrantly-narrated mp3 audio guide combined with a map detailing the area of your tour. Nestled on the East Coast of the South Island, the quiet seaside town of Akaroa is best known for its volcanic hills and the dolphins that are found in the bay. On this self-guided audio tour, you will enjoy the tranquil setting and the stunning natural views along the harbour. You will also see the old lighthouse and learn about its interesting French history at the Akaroa Museum. Visit the town wharf, whale try pots, war memorial, corner of Lavaud and Balguerie, St Patrick's Catholic Church, the Old French cemetery, the giant's house, French forecourt and Rue Jolie. Known as the Paris of New Zealand this tour will delight and enthral all at your own pace.
Taking safety measures
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Swim with dolphins at Akaroa Harbour, where Hector’s dolphins—found only in New Zealand—visit the waters of the Banks Peninsula. Cruising the sheltered harbor by jet-powered catamaran so you can swim up close, learn from the highly trained crew how to interact safely with the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins. Just 12 swimmers are permitted per vessel, ensuring an intimate experience in a small group. Wetsuits and masks are provided, along with a hot shower and drink on board.
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