Christchurch and Surrounds

Christchurch is the transportation hub and unofficial capital of the South Island. It’s a walkable city with a European feel complete with a central Cathedral Square stocked with performance artists working up the crowds. There’s fine dining, fine walks along the beach at the edge of town and a quirky museum dedicated to life in Antarctica. (Most scientific missions to the continent leave from here.) There are also foodie day tours exploring local vineyards and farmlands.

Christchurch is the head of the TranzAlpine railway. Often rated as one of best train journeys in the world, it takes you 4.5 hours along a breathtaking array of scenery up through Arthur’s Pass and down to the rugged west coast.

A few miles from town is the provincial French-influenced seaside town of Akaroa. There you can swim with dolphins, boat with dolphins or hike along the hills overlooking the bay.

North along the coast is Kaikoura, site of a deep ocean trench very close to shore. Massive pods of dolphins (sometimes numbering in the hundreds) and often sperm and humpback whales travel very close to shore. Swim with dolphins, spot whales, or ride in a helicopter to see both. Back on land, you can walk to a waterfall where dozens of baby seals play in the cascade.

Top Activities in Christchurch, New Zealand

Swim with wild dolphins in Akaroa Harbour or Kaikoura
Experience food & wine in a variety of restaurants and foodie tours
Take the TranzAlpine train from city to mountains to rainforest to shore in half a day

Sample Vacations

10 days

New Zealand Signature Vacation Package

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31 days

South Pacific Vacation Packages: Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti

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17 days

New Zealand Highlights Package

See the highlights of New Zealand with this wilderness and adventure package. Discover unique thrills in New Zealand!

19 days

Best of New Zealand Golf Tours: Created By Golfers

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15 days

New Zealand Fiji Honeymoon

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11 days

South Island New Zealand Vacation: Wildlife, Adventure and Luxury Lodges

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11 days

Indulgent Escape: New Zealand Luxury Vacation

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14 days

Luxury Guided Tour: New Zealand

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15 days

New Zealand Honeymoon Package: Feast of the Senses

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16 days

Honeymoon Adventure: New Zealand and Cook Islands

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10 days

New Zealand and Cook Islands Romantic Getaway

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New Zealand Fiji Package: New Zealand and Fijian Ancient Cultures

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7 days

New Zealand Family Vacation: Scenery and Wildlife

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New Zealand Highlights Tour: South Island

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17 days

New Zealand Beach Resorts Vacation

Stay at beautiful New Zealand beach resorts in the Bay of Islands and Waiheke Island, where you can enjoy spa treatments, wine tasting, and ocean views. Drive through the most scenic areas of New Zealand and stop for plenty of adventures along the way.

12 days

New Zealand Honeymoon Package: Outdoor Adventure

This New Zealand Honeymoon Package is packed with adventure. From blackwater rafting in underground caves to hiking on a glacier, these outdoor adventures are ones you’ll never forget!