Tours and Tickets

Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim) provided by Canterbury Trails - Day Tours

Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim)

Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim)
5
Book in advance
from $443.74 per adult
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
What you can expect during your visit
Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitised
Gear/equipment sanitised between use
About
Know before you go
  • Duration: 9h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
Know before you go
  • Duration: 9h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
What to expect
Swim with the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins or opt for a harbor cruise on this full-day tour from Christchurch to the picturesque village of Akaroa, the only French settlement established in New Zealand. Depart your hotel by minivan and travel south along a scenic route over the Banks Peninsula, an ancient landscape of volcanic origin. When you reach the summit, breathe in the views of tucked-away bays and Akaroa Harbour along with the farmlands of the Canterbury Plains and the snow-capped Southern Alps in the distance.  After approx. 90 minutes your driver-guide descends into the Akaroa crater, which contains the harbor and picturesque village. Here, start with a tasting of locally made cheeses at Barrys Bay Cheese, established in the 19th century. Meander the quaint French and British settlement teeming with colonial architecture, art galleries, craft shops, wine bars and al fresco cafes where you’ll make a stop for lunch. In the afternoon, you have your choice of a nature cruise on Akaroa Harbour or a dolphin swim with the world's smallest oceanic dolphin, before making the return trip to Christchurch with drop-off at your hotel. Nature Cruise:Board the Canterbury Cat and cruise through the clear waters of the harbor in search of birdlife and marine mammals and in their natural habitat, including Hector's dolphins. Dolphin Swim:Board a specially designed boat that allows you to enter the private domain of Hector's dolphins — found only in New Zealand, usually around the South Island. Watch the playful creatures up close and then enter the water for a once-in-a-lifetime dolphin swim.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 3290AK
Call +1 855 275 5071
Important information
Inclusions
Cheese factory visit • Cafe lunch • Transport by air-conditioned minivan • Local guide • Light refreshments • Hotel pickup and drop off from all centrally located Christchurch hotels • An Eco-marine harbor cruise - if option selected • An Eco-marine adventure swimming with the Hector's Dolphins - if option selected
Exclusions
Gratuities
Duration
9h
Departure details
Traveller pickup is offered.
We can pick from any Hotel, B&B, home-stay within central Christchurch on request
Airports:
Christchurch Intl Airport, Christchurch New Zealand
Hotel pickup is offered. View the hotel list on our checkout page to see if yours is included among the pickup points.
Inclusions
Cheese factory visit • Cafe lunch • Transport by air-conditioned minivan • Local guide • Light refreshments • Hotel pickup and drop off from all centrally located Christchurch hotels • An Eco-marine harbor cruise - if option selected • An Eco-marine adventure swimming with the Hector's Dolphins - if option selected
Exclusions
Gratuities
Departure details
Traveller pickup is offered.
We can pick from any Hotel, B&B, home-stay within central Christchurch on request
Airports:
Christchurch Intl Airport, Christchurch New Zealand
Hotel pickup is offered. View the hotel list on our checkout page to see if yours is included among the pickup points.
Duration
9h
Additional information
A percentage of the tour price is used for the conservation of New Zealand's wildlife, environment and it's endangered species
Tour operator picks up from all accommodation: hotel, lodge, Bed & Breakfast in Christchurch. The tour operator will confirm the tour and leave a message at the Christchurch accommodation 24 hours prior to the tour date.
A maximum of 10 people per booking
Not wheelchair accessible
Stroller accessible
Service animals allowed
Near public transportation
Infant seats available
Most travellers can participate
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers
Itinerary
  • You'll get picked up
    See Important Information for details
  • 1
    Akaroa
    Stop: 5 hours
    See details
  • 2
    Barrys Bay Cheese
    Stop: 20 minutes
    See details
+
Popular mentions

5.0
24 reviews
Excellent
22
Very good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

KenVicLee
Huntington Beach, CA1,979 contributions
Fantastic Full Day Tour Of Akaroa
Mar 2020
A shout out to Hugo, our tour guide, who we discovered had stayed the night in Christchurch to make certain he picked us up promptly at 8:15 am. Our tour took us out across the Canterbury Plains with its sheep, cattle and deer farms then up into the hills that overlooked the Banks Peninsula.

Our first destination was Manderley Farm in Little River. Here we had a sheep dog demonstration as well as a sheep shearing. Watching the sheep dogs run off into the hills to herd the sheep down to the shearing barn was amazing. Our host, Mary, then provided us with coffee, tea, fruit punch and homemade cookies.

From there it was a drive around French Bay to the little town of Akaroa, Hugo's hometown. We had lunch at Bully Hayes and then time to shop for some of the famous wool products that are available in town.

After lunch Hugo asked us if we wanted to work some of those calories off. We said of course so she took us to little known traihead that meanders up a hill looking back at French Bay and Akaroa. Along the way we spotted some metal sculptures of a crocodile, some giraffes and at the end, a rhinoceros made out of automobile parts. A fun little jaunt.

It was a delightful day with a native New Zealander. We can't thank Hugo, and Canterbury Trails, enough.
Written 29 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
IreneH2162
What a lovely review of your day with our guide Hugo. Akaroa and its surrounds is a very special place to visit and it is great to hear you enjoyed your time there. I will pass your kind words onto Hugo
Written 30 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jan-Erik B
Stockholm, Sweden5 contributions
Very nice tour
Our guide Dave had a lot of knowledge and humour and made sure the tour was one of the high points of our journey in NZ. The tour had a great mix of art, cheese, the very nice town Akaroa and a harbour cruise where we saw penguins, dolphins and seals.
Written 4 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
IreneH2162
Thank you for your review and your summary of the day spent with Dave in Akaroa. we are glad you enjoyed it and that is was a highlight of your time here.
Written 6 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Susan
1 contribution
Excellent Day Out
Mar 2020
This was an excellent day out. Akaroa is beautiful and we spent a couple of hours on a boat seeing lots of nature! We had a delicious lunch at a harbour side cafe and during our minibus journeys to and from Christchurch we saw amazing scenery. Highly recommended!
Written 1 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
IreneH2162
Thank you for you review. Akaroa is one of our favourite days out, it has it all. Nature, scenery and great food.
Written 2 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vhk
Worcester, UK1 contribution
Lovely final day in NZ
Mar 2020 • Couples
Stuart picked us up promptly from our hotel, was a charming and informative companion throughout. We saw Hector's dolphins, mini penguins and seals plus Albie the dog on our cruise with Akora Dolphin. Lovely lunch in Akora before tour of Akora itself and on to Lyttleton Harbour an Art gallery at Little River and coffee and brownies on outskirts of Christchurch. Moving visit to empty chairs memorial to victims of Christchurch Earthquakes and view of transitional cardboard cathedral. All in all lovely day. Sad to leave NZ.
Written 8 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
IreneH2162
Thank you for your lovely review. So pleased to hear that you enjoyed your day exploring Akaroa and Christchurch with Stuart.
Written 8 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kathy
1 contribution
Excellent trip to Akaroa and surrounds via private tour.
Nov 2019
Our tour guide, Mandy, was exceptional, easy, fun, interesting, packed with great information and highly flexible. She even took us shopping and looked like she enjoyed it. I would highly recommend this group.
Written 25 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your lovely review. So pleased to hear you had a lovely day out with Mandy - she loves shopping! We will pass your kind comments on to her.
Written 4 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Colliedog58
Hartley, UK395 contributions
Amazing Day!
Jan 2020
Our travel agent had booked us a trip to Akaroa from the U.K. We were picked up from our hotel, on time, by Dave. As the day progressed we realised just how lucky we had been to have Dave as our guide. He literally "left no stone unturned" in so much as he showed us absolutely everything there was to see. He is such a friendly, knowledgeable chap and has such enthusiasm for the landscape.
I am sure that all the guides in this company display the same qualities so would highly recommend booking with this company.
Written 16 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your lovely review. Glad that you had a great time exploring beautiful Akaroa with Dave.
Written 24 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

macotak
Tucson, Arizona72 contributions
Great Personal Day Tour to see Hector's Dolphins
Feb 2020
Stuart took us on a personal day tour of Akaroa Bay that included an excellent 2 hr boat ride to see the dolphins and seals and coastline outside the bay.That ride was great fun (and heard from many locals that said the swim experience was over-rated). We were lucky that there were no cruise ships at Akaroa so the pace of the wonderful little town was quiet and laid-back. Don't expect that if a ship (or two) is in. We then had a very nice lunch at one of the cafes and afterwards walked through town to see many of the historical buildings.Stuart then took us on the back-way to Christchurch via Littleton Harbor and many beautiful views. Finally he took us to the RNZAF museum since I'm an old Navy flyer and it was amazing! Stuart was the best guide we could have imagined and made our last day (sadly) in NZ perfect.
Written 3 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
IreneH2162
Thank you for your lovely review. So pleased to hear you had a wonderful time in Akaroa and at the Air Force Museum with Stuart. Akaroa is such a lovely spot and pleased to hear that you saw the dolphins and seals. Glad we could make your final day a special one.
Written 10 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

chood4
Columbia, SC19 contributions
Overall Terrific but with a caveat
Hugo was a terrific and very personable guide. He made the day. The dolphin excursion on Black Cat was interesting but the check in process was very poorly run. That’s why I subtract one star. People working at the reception area were rude. The guys on the boat were great however. Be prepared to not see any dolphins as apparently that can happen quite often. We were lucky in that regard. Akaroa is a very quaint and lovely place to spend the day. Ask for Hugo when you book!!
Written 1 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
IreneH2162
Hi there, thank you for your review, so pleased to hear you saw some dolphins and that you enjoyed your time with Hugo. We will pass your comments regarding check-in on to Black Cat.
Written 2 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Barbara Payne
2 contributions
Akaroa and Banks Peninsula
Jan 2020 • Couples
We had a fabulous time with Dave Sandford on our tour to Akaroa to see the Hector’s dolphins. We thought the dolphins were the whole trip and they were wonderful but Dave showed us so much more and was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about everything; we had a super time. He tailored the trip to our interests, chose a great lunch spot, and threw in some extra side jaunts that were great. And he’s fun to be with! We highly recommend Dave and Canterbury Trails.
Written 11 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
IreneH2162
Thank you for your lovely review. So pleased to hear that you enjoyed your day in Akaroa with Dave, and that you got to meet the wonderful Hectors Dolphins too.
Written 12 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Katie
2 contributions
Fiona was fantastic!
Jan 2020 • Family
We are a family of 4 with 2 teens (13yo and 15 yo), and our travel agent booked this tour with dolphin swimming. I was hesitant about the long day with teens but Fiona was a wonderful guide, as nice and kind as could be and so well-informed! She definitely made the trip for us. The kids also enjoyed the eco-friendly swimming adventure and I would highly recommend that as well. All in all, worth the money.
Written 4 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your kind review. So pleased to hear that you had an enjoyable day out with Fiona. Glad that you also enjoyed the swimming with the dolphins.
Written 4 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 24
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Canterbury Trails - Day Tours
464dianaw
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Christchurch Revealed
This was a Christchurch City and environs Day Tour including Morning tea and Lunch. We were driven in a most comfor
Cheezel
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Fabulous way to travel
This was a fabulous way to travel from Greymouth to Christchurch after a road trip around the top area of New Zeala
Excited-for-trip
Excited-for-trip
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Gorgeous Day
Our tour guide Mandy went above and beyond to make our tour amazing. We encountered a crazy snow storm, that was un
Travel34855117471
Travel34855117471
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We drove through Tranz Alpine wasn't running.
Absolutely stunning postcard views of the Southern Alps driving towards and from Sheffeild. What a view to wake up
Konaidoo
Konaidoo
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Arthur’s Pass Guided Day Trip
Dave our guide was very knowledgeable, friendly and patient throughout the trip. We had a perfect start weather wis
Oldtraveller1948
Oldtraveller1948
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Interesting and Informative tour of Arthur's Pass
The Arthur's Pass National Park and Train Tour was exceptional as was our guide Dave. The train trip went through
P1705PBjohnl
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Fabulous train to and walking tour of Arthur's Pass
This all-day combined train and land experience through and around Arthur's Pass was exceptional. Our small group
MaliseOBanion
MaliseOBanion
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The best day!
Had a spectacular day with a spectacular guide! Tia picked us up at our hotel, settled us on the train, and promise
ssP1814JH
ssP1814JH
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The Great Way to Visit Arthur’s Pass
The train trip was wonderful, transitioning to amazing mountain scenery. Dave, our guide, was even better. He was
kjbgsb
kjbgsb
00
A Full Day
Started out with prompt 7:20 am pick up and back around 5:30 pm but a very interesting and varied day. Enjoyed the
lynn1rhoads
lynn1rhoads
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Outstanding! Arthurs Pass Tranzalpine Day Trip
Fantastic day with Dave! He promptly picked us up at the hotel and provided a great narrative of Christchurch on t
Z44WIsherrym
Z44WIsherrym
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Once in a lifetime
This was a fabulous day trip and the perfect way to see a spectacular part of the South Island without driving. Th
GillnCol
GillnCol
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TranzAlpine adventure!
Excellent day! We loved the train journey and then Peter helped us all make the most of the day, despite the wet we
Bodywave
Bodywave
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Amazing day!
Our wonderful guide Mandy absolutely made our day! She was so attentive, knowledgeable, caring and fun.
Supersarahb22
Supersarahb22
00
Fiona is a fantastic guide!
I would highly recommend this trip. Fiona did a marvelous job explaining the history and transporting the group.
Frequently Asked Questions about Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim)


Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim) price starts from $447.81. Discover and book Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim) on Tripadvisor

Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim) cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim) on Tripadvisor

Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim) is hosted by Canterbury Trails - Day Tours. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Canterbury Trails - Day Tours on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Small Group Tour (Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim) on Tripadvisor