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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Sheep Farm Tour

Akaroa, New Zealand
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Sheep Farm Tour

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Free cancellation
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Safety measures
icon6 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


While your cruise ship is docked in Akaroa port, take a guided shore excursion to Christchurch and nearby Canterbury via the scenic bays and coves of the Banks Peninsula. Explore the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and other highlights during a city sightseeing tour, then see sheep dogs and a sheep-shearing demonstration as you get a feel for rural life on an authentic New Zealand sheep farm. Afternoon tea and round-trip port transport are included.
  • Walk through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens
  • See central Christchurch and the rebuilding process after the earthquake
  • Visit a sheep farm to see sheep dogs at work and watch a sheep-shearing demonstration
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship
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Port pickup and drop-off
Sheep shearing demonstration
Afternoon tea
Local guide
Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship
Food and drinks, unless specified
Akaroa Dolphins , 65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand

From the Main Wharf in Akaroa, head down to the end where you will see the Akaroa I-Site and a small park on the right-hand side. Next to the Canon statue, a representative will be waiting for you. Please arrive by 10.15am for a 10.30am departure.

10:30 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
Start your shore excursion with convenient pickup at the Akaroa cruise port, where your knowledgeable guide departs for the nearby city of Christchurch. You’ll follow a scenic route along the Banks Peninsula, a volcanic region situated on the east coast of the South Island. 

On arrival in ‘The Garden City,’ soak up the highlights of New Zealand's second-largest city during a guided tour. Walk through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens; see the Museum and Art Centre, Avon River and the Bridge of Remembrance; and learn about recovery efforts after the 2011 earthquake destroyed much of the city center.

Then set out into the Canterbury Plains, traveling just 30 minutes from Christchurch into the heart of sheep-farming country. You’ll visit a working sheep farm, set in a bucolic locale. Admire the sheep dogs rounding up the flock, then pet the sheep and watch a sheep-shearing demonstration — you can even try your hand at it, if you wish. 

Enjoy afternoon tea before your tour ends at the cruise port to meet your ship.
Pass By:  
Akaroa Village Inn
First you will be collected at the park at the end of Akaroa Wharf (opposite the Akaroa Village Inn) at 10.30am and driven through the village of Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula with stunning views of rolling hills, lakes and coastlines before arriving in Christchurch.
Stop At:  
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
After boarding our coaches from the Akaroa Port, we'll take you through to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens & Christchurch Museum via the scenic Banks Peninsula. Explore on your own for 30 minutes.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Cathedral Square
Depart the Botanical Gardens for a brief Christchurch City tour highlighting city landmarks and the rebuild of city centre after the 2011 Earthquake.
Stop At:  
Coombe Farm
Head back through the rolling hills of the Banks Peninsula to visit a working sheep farm. Enjoy the experience of watching sheep dogs work, rounding up the flock and penning them for you to touch, examine and photograph. A shearing demonstration has been arranged for you and afternoon tea will be provided.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Banks Peninsula
Travel back to Akaroa via the Banks Peninsula to board your cruise ship.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • At time of booking, Cruise ship passengers must provide the following information: ship name, docking time, disembarkation time and re-boarding time
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Please note that activity times and schedules can be slightly amended depending on your cruise ships timetable.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Collapsible wheelchairs with removable wheels can be accommodated providing the passenger is accompanied by someone who can assist them board and disembark
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 100 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Leisure Tours
You can cancel up to 7 days in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • Any changes made less than 6 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • For a 50% refund, you must cancel 3–6 full days before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 7 full days before the experience’s start time.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

Traveler Photos


45 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 45 reviews
Variety of experiences and knowledge
, Apr 2020
Scott was an extremely well read, informed guide who could speak on most any topic. Very low key communicator...pushed no agendas, conveyed info with enthusiasm and interest. Very patient and humble. Sights seen, things learned about --culture, governance, natural resources, history-- and people met... All very enjoyable. One regret: we were unable to stay longer at museum or Botanic Gardens in Christchurch. We wonder if lunch could be done near gardens/museum instead of near river. That way folks could choose their own time spent for each. Plus, there seemed to be more good food places available in Canterbury area.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2020
Thank you for taking the time to submit your review. I am pleased to learn that you had such an enjoyable day, unfortunately as Akaroa is a tender port there are time restraints which dictate how long we can spend in Christchurch. I do hope you have the opportunity to visit this unique region again.
Sheep Farm Fun
, Mar 2020
We had a great day. Christchurch is still struggling but construction is slowly getting there. Akaroa is a quaint town. The sheep farm was fun and informative and the tea in the garden was very nice. Traffic due to road construction slowed us up a bit but no fault of tour guide. I do wish I had gone to the GiantsHouse. A tour of that and the sheep farm would have been perfect.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thank you for the great review, Lynn! I'm really happy you enjoyed yourself on your Christchurch City and Sheep Farm Tour from Akaroa. Christchurch had been slow to bounce back from the earthquakes of 2011 and 2012, but it is slowly returning to its former glory which is a great thing to see. I'm glad you also had a nice time at the sheep farm as well. With regards to your comments about the Giant's House, unfortunately we are limited by the cruise ships schedule at port and there is unfortunately not enough time to fit in a Christchurch City, a Sheep Farm Tour and a tour of the Giant's House before the last tender. I wish there was though! Thanks again and I hope you get to return to Akaroa and Christchurch again soon.
An amazing day
, Feb 2020
What a great excursion Janet our bus driver was excellent very knowledgeable didn’t rush the photo stops at all. Christchurch very interesting , the highlight for us was the trip to the sheep farm the owners were so welcoming . Sheep sheering very interesting . Lovely afternoon tea laid on in the owners garden. Book this trip you won’t be disappointed at all.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thanks for the great review, Wendy! I'm really pleased you had a great day with us in Christchurch and at the Sheep Farm. I'm also happy that you enjoyed both your driver/guide, Janet, and the lovely couple that run the farm in Takamatua. I'll be sure to pass on your kind words to them. The sheep farm is often the highlight for many people that do this shore excursion and there is nothing quite like enjoying some afternoon tea at their beautiful property. Thanks for the recommendation and I hope you visit Akaroa and Christchurch again soon!
Not worth it
, Feb 2020
This tour was way too ambitious for the time allotted. The owner knows that the tenders from the trip can be delayed and that there is a long term road construction project under way on the very long windy road from the port to Christchurch that causes a significant delay coming and going yet does not give the buyer a heads-up that your tour in Christchurch will be VERY rushed. No time for lunch and just one bathroom break in 6 hours. It's suggested that you grab a takeout on the bathroom break but there is no place to buy anything! Very very disappointing. We stopped for the break beside the botanical gardens and there was no time to spend any time visiting. We rushed through town and stopped for photo opportunities at the two large churches severely damaged in the earthquake 9 years ago. Just a quick demonstration of the dog herding a few sheep at the farm and the owner sheered one sheep. This was a long day and not worth it.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
We understand all reviews are subjective and everyone has different tastes and opinions , so please read the other reviews to fully appreciate just how good this product actually is. In fact there is a five star review for the same excursion on the same day just posted.
Good tour of Christchurch
, Feb 2020
Super tour of Christchurch and the surrounding area. Driver gave great commentary and provided good insight into the background and history of the area. Hugh at the sheep farm did a great job of letting us know what life on a sheep farm is like. Tom, the dog was interesting to watch as he worked the herd. Sheep shearing demo was excellent.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Thanks for the awesome review! I'm really pleased you had a great day with us in Christchurch and at the Sheep Farm, and thanks for providing such positive feedback on your driver/guide and Hugh at the sheep farm. I'll be sure to pass on your kind words to them. Thanks again and I hope you visit Akaroa and Christchurch again soon!
Met expectations Met advertised goals
, Jan 2020
Comfortable van Best part was WETA workshop for me A little tough walking uphill back for me as I have metal parts and bad knees
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thank you very much for the nice review. I'm glad you had a nice time and hope you will join us again soon!
, Jan 2020
I feel the time is Christchurch was not long enough. The time you went to the bathroom you only had 15 minutes to see the city and get something to eat.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thank you for taking the time to submit your review. Unfortunately the time in Christchurch is dictated by the time the cruise ship is berthed in Akaroa, and when you travel on a Princess Line Vessel this time is much shorter with the tendering process starting later and finishing earlier than with some of the other cruise lines. In all cases and without exception on this excursion, following the sightseeing tour of the city you will have 45 minutes to 1 hour to explore the city on foot, get some lunch and use bathrooms. As there is so much to see and do the time just feels shorter than it actually is.
Misleading Tour - A Total Rip-off
, Jan 2020
This is the tour my husband and I were most looking forward to during our trip to New Zealand and we left feeling underwhelmed, mislead, and cheated out of our money. We booked this tour assuming the sheep farm would be the principal attraction, since it's highlighted as being the main event in photos and prose. Our tour tickets (given out upon arrival to the excursion) even said "Sheep Farm Tour" to distinguish us from the other Canterbury Leisure Tours groups. This tour was 7+ hours. We spent nearly 45 minutes at a sheep farm and another 15 just standing outside waiting for our bus driver to return. 10:25-3:40 was spent sitting on a mini-bus. We drove all the way out to Christchurch and back for a "city tour" (a commentary which consisted of pointing out administrative buildings, food courts, and retail spaces.) We had over an hour of free time for us to buy our own lunches. For some reason we traveled with people from a totally different Canterbury Leisure Tours group, who then split off from us at a different point during the day. We had to miss the only scenic photo stop in the whole driving tour on account of "running late" from lunch. The worst part was that the sheep farm was only 5 minutes from our original departure point, meaning we wasted over 5 hours driving and doing a city tour we imagined would be simple commentary en route to the sheep farm. The sheep farm (Coombe Farm) was lovely, and the owners and their family are delightful. We wish we could've had more time with them. Instead, we got an incredibly rushed shearing demo where we were packed so tightly we couldn't even get photos without muscling past people. There was no opportunity to partake in the shearing, despite being advertised otherwise. We would've so much rather independently visited Coombe Farm than to have paid nearly $200 to sit on a bus and waste our only day in Akaroa.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thank you for taking the time to submit your feedback. The tour you booked and advertised was "Banks Peninsula and Christchurch Sightseeing with Sheep Farm" and the excursion provided was exactly as described online in the excursion description. Due to the logistics of the day the Sheep farm only accounts for 60 to 75 minutes of the total excursion time. The farms we use are working she farms and the location of the farm is dependent on the availability on the day of travel. If you were not interested in visiting Christchurch and expereincing the wonderful scenery of Banks Peninsula you should have booked our Local Akaroa Sheep Fram Tour which is 2.5 hours in total duration.
Beautiful country side
, Jan 2020
My wife and Zi liked the small van experience. Our tour quide did a great job of filling us in all the local aspects of the tour. Enjoyed seeing Christchurch, gardens, and lovely lunch. The highlight was the visit to the sheep shearing ranch. The gardens were so beautiful and the tea Was a welcomed treat. So glade we added this extra stop.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thanks for the great review of your Christchurch City and Sheep Farm Tour from Akaroa. I'm pleased you and your wife had such a nice time at each location and got to learn so much about this area of New Zealand. The sheep farm is also a highlight for many people as it includes sheepdog work, sheep shearing, and a lovely afternoon tea. All in all, this tour gives a great insight into both Christchurch and rural New Zealand. Thanks again and I hope you get New Zealand again soon.
Sheep shearing is a must
, Mar 2019
We recommend this tour, we are glad we did this instead of getting the tour in our cruise ship.. thanks Janet for a wonferful expérience.. akaroa is a nice little town. Christchurch, not so much, since they are still recovering from the earthquake, but when we went to the museum, it’s super nice, and free,, we enjoyed the Antarctic display.. this is a very organized tour, I read the other reviews but this tour seemed to exceed my expectations.. esp the sheep shearing experience.. we loved the sheep dog Tom.. thanks to the family of hugh and Catherine for your hospitality in your home( sheep farm) they prepared us tea and scones and their home is very lovely.. the scones are delicious.. sheep shearing experience is something I have not done in my life so this is one of the highlights of our New Zealand tour

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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Sheep Farm Tour
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Sheep Farm Tour


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Free Cancellation


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