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Canterbury Trails - Day Tours

Christchurch, New Zealand
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About Canterbury Trails - Day Tours
Canterbury Trails focuses on small group guided tours of the South Island. We offer day tours from Christchuch to Akaroa NZ, Arthur's Pass with TranzAlpine train and Kaikoura Whale Watching. In addition we offer a 9 day Wilderness South Expedition Tour starting in Christchurch and finishing in Queenstown as well as a number of shorter guided trips in the Canterbury Region. We also specialise in putting together tailor made and bespoke tours working with our guests to ensure their interests and 'must see' places are included. See our web site for details.
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Tours and Tickets by Canterbury Trails - Day Tours

Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Tour from Christchurch

Enjoy a full day in the gorgeous landscapes outside of Christchurch. This tour features the scenic TranzAlpine train and a guided tour of Arthur’s Pass National Park. See the Canterbury Plains, Waimakariri Gorge, and the Southern Alps, then explore by minivan from Arthur’s Pass, stopping for rain forest walks and a closer look at Cave Stream, Castle Hill, and Waimak Gorge. This small-group tour includes lunch and two teas.
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9 hours
from US$437.27

2-Day Christchurch to Queenstown Tour via West Coast

This a very popular 2 day and 1 night trip from Christchurch to Queenstown ( or in reverse ) via the South Island's rugged West Coast. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and deliver you to the World renowned Tranz Alpine train, which bisects the Canterbury farming plains, foothills and mountains, before reaching the alpine village of Arthur's Pass. Your guide will meet you, show you some of the area before travelling onto the West Coast. You'll hear the history of Maori, greenstone, gold, visit historic towns like Hokitika and travel on south through stunning rain forests to the glacier country. Staying in Franz Josef the night gives you the opportunity of a helicopter glacier landing ( not included in the tour price ) as well a stunning photo opportunities. From here the journey continues south along the coast before eventually swinging inland over the dramatic Gates of Haast, finally heading past Lakes Wanaka and Hawea  and over the Crown Range road to Queenstown.
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1 day 8 hours
from US$1,720.90

Kaikoura Day Tour with Whale Watching

Travel to Kaikoura from Christchurch on a small-group full-day tour that includes a whale-watching cruise. Look for whales, dolphins, and other wildlife during the whale-watching cruise, and get great views of the Kaikoura Range and Pacific Ocean. You’ll also stop for a cafe lunch, visit a Waipara winery (if time allows), and go to viewpoints where you can spot New Zealand fur seals.
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10 to 11 hours
from US$438.05

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

Wander the charming village of Akaroa, and opt for either a harbor cruise or dolphin swim on this small-group tour from Christchurch. Start with a scenic drive through the magnificent Banks Peninsula where you’re treated to summit views of Akaroa Harbour, the Canterbury Plains and the distant Southern Alps. Sample locally made cheeses at a cheese factory, explore Akoroa and enjoy a cafe lunch before a nature cruise or dolphin swim alongside Hector's dolphins. Numbers are limited to eight people for a personalized experience.
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9 hours
from US$325.41

Christchurch to Queenstown One-Way Tour (or in reverse)

Avoid the stress of navigating and planning with a one-way tour and transfer from Christchurch to Queenstown, or vice versa. In addition to stopping at ideal locations for photo opportunities throughout the trip, your guide offers stories and commentary about historic landmarks and landscapes along the way. Lunch and tea stops are included for your convenience.
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8 to 9 hours
from US$972.89
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Cheezel wrote a review Feb 2021
Whitford, Auckland463 contributions154 helpful votes
This was a fabulous way to travel from Greymouth to Christchurch after a road trip around the top area of New Zealand. The staff were great from check - in to leaving the train at Christchurch. Good food and refreshments were offered. The scenery is varied and the commentary informative during the journey. I would love to do this again in winter as it would be spectacular. A great way to see some of the South Island, comfortable and good information. Will do this again and highly recommend.
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Date of experience: February 2021
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Response from IreneH2162, Owner at Canterbury Trails - Day Tours
Responded 8 Feb 2021
Thank you
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Excited-for-trip wrote a review Oct 2020
New Zealand2 contributions
Our tour guide Mandy went above and beyond to make our tour amazing. We encountered a crazy snow storm, that was unseasonable, on the way up the mountain while on the train. Mandy was waiting for us at the pass ... and safely escorted us to the comfy van and took every precaution to not only get us down the mountain safely but to make my entire family happy. Roads were closing as we were making our way down the mountain and she drove like a champ. While we didn’t get to do the tour the way we had planned (due to the crazy weather) she planned out a gorgeous day in Christchurch. We had an amazing time exploring the city. She made sure each member of the family experienced something special. The van was tidy and comfortable. The service was beyond amazing and it was the highlight of our trip to the South Island.
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Response from IreneH2162, Owner at Canterbury Trails - Day Tours
Responded 8 Oct 2020
Thank you for your wonderful review of your day out with Canterbury Trails and our guide Mandy. It truly was a day to remember with the weather that day and we are happy Mandy was able to not only able keep you safe and comfortable but to adjust the day to suit everyone.
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Travel34855117471 wrote a review Aug 2020
3 contributions
Absolutely stunning postcard views of the Southern Alps driving towards and from Sheffeild. What a view to wake up to, I could move there just for the view. Was not impressed with Arthur's pass, not much there and little was open. The kea should be much bigger feature and selling point for the area. Understandingly we have just gone back into COVID 19 level 2 but some life needs to go into Arthur's Pass. By the way did I say the views were absolutely stunning
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Kogie wrote a review Jul 2020
Auckland Central, New Zealand4 contributions1 helpful vote
Dave our guide was very knowledgeable, friendly and patient throughout the trip. We had a perfect start weather wise with a very comfortable drive & stunning views driving up to Castle Hill, delicious lunch @ the quaint Bealy Hotel , scenic walks at Arthur’s Pass. We returned to Christchurch by TranzAlpine Rail , where Dave picked us up and returned to our hotel Hassle free. Highly recommended- fantastic service all round. Thanks Dave!
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Response from IreneH2162, Owner at Canterbury Trails - Day Tours
Responded 13 Jul 2020
Thank you for your great review and your recommendations. Im glad you were not disappointed that we reversed the order of the day and that you were still able to enjoy the TranzAlpine train at the end of the day. Thank you once again
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KenVicLee wrote a review Apr 2020
Huntington Beach, California1981 contributions572 helpful votes
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.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from IreneH2162, Owner at Canterbury Trails - Day Tours
Responded 30 Apr 2020
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
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