Guided tours of Christchurch and Akaroa with our experienced staff at Tour South give visitors the very best possible overview and informed commentary of the history and scenic attractions of this breathtakingly beautiful part of the South Island.
Akaroa is the oldest Colonial Town in the South Island and is still touched by the French influence of many of the early settlers. The beautiful tranquil harbour and township are nestled in the crater of a long extinct volcano.
Our journey out of the Township, climbing up to the summit road affords some spectacular scenery, and we have scheduled many stops during the tour, where strategically located lookout points offer some truly amazing panoramic vistas and wonderful photo opportunities.
After driving through the pleasant country town of Little River and passing two significant Lakes – Forsyth & Ellesmere – we climb again onto the Summit road above Lyttelton, where we have commanding views of the harbour and Township to our right, and the patch work quilt appearance of the Canterbury Plains as a dramatically different vista opens up on our left.
An easy five minute walk from the car park, takes us to a lookout which affords a comprehensive view of Christchurch City centre,and a panoramic views of the Canterbury Plains, the majestic Southern Alps and the vast Pacific Ocean.
As we drive down from the port hills into the City centre the evidence of the earthquakes is clearly visible, but so too are the signs of recovery as this once beautiful City repairs and rebuilds. Fortunately a significant number of the cities Heritage buildings have survived and remain as a visible link to our Colonial past.In spite of the destuctive force of two major Earthquakes and a significant number of severe after shocks, Christchurch remains a City of great charm and beauty.
Considered by many visitors to be the best in the World, these delightful Gardens cover an area of twenty one hectares (seventy three acres) contained mainly within the loop of the gently flowing Avon River, and the beauty and tranquility of this special place provides a virtual oasis for many, right in the very heart of Christchurch City.
Founded in 1853, and commemorated with the planting of an English Oak, the Gardens have grown to now feature one of the finest collections of exotic and native plants in New Zealand.
At the conclusion of our drive around the Central Business District, we stop for lunch at the Re-start Mall, a unique pop-up Mall created from steel shipping containers, which created a quick an inexpensive way of restarting the commercial heart of the City after the devestation of the Earthquakes.
At the start of our return journey we will drive through this development, in an area south of the City, which fared very well in the earthquakes. Because of the proven stability of the land in this area it has become a "sort after" location with building sections being fast tracked to cope with an extreme shortage of land for replacement housing.
On our journey back to Akaroa we take the Tourist Drive along the Summit Road. The views down into some of the East Coast Bays and into Akaroa Harbour itself are stunning, and at every turn in the road new vistas open up to leave the visitor with wonderful memories and great photos of a special and unique part of New Zealand.
Clearly viewing some of these sights is weather dependent and as necessary we will substitute other attractions when conditions dictate.