Admire the natural beauty of Christchurch by gliding down the Avon River in a "punt" boat, followed by a tour of the city's botanical gardens and a wine tasting at Melton Estate.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a leisurely drive across the dramatic, volcanically formed Banks Peninsula. Much of the landscape has remained unchanged for centuries and as pristine as it was when Captain James Cook named the peninsula in 1769.
Upon reaching Christchurch, you'll board an open, flat-bottomed boat known as a "punt" and begin gliding along the Avon River. Sit back and relax as the punter, standing on the stern like a gondolier, propels your boat by pushing a long pole against the riverbed. Shallow and tranquil, the river is also wonderfully narrow, providing you with a bird's-eye view of the glorious scenery that has earned Christchurch the nickname "Garden City."
Next, you'll get a different perspective of the flora in New Zealand's second-largest city by riding through the Christchurch Botanical Gardens in a lime-green, open-sided shuttle called the Caterpillar. Founded in 1863 with the planting of a single English Oak tree, the gardens have grown to include nearly 75 acres of native species, rare plants, and exotic succulents.
Then, it's on to Melton Estate, a boutique winery that produces numerous award-winning wines that include elegant Sauvignon Blancs, complex Pinot Noirs, and fruity Rieslings. You'll have the opportunity to sample several of the vintages while enjoying lunch. Afterwards, you'll re-board your coach and drive back to the pier in Akaroa.
Please note: This tour includes a limited amount of walking; however, guests must be able to enter and exit the punt which sits low in the water, from alongside the river. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.