Canterbury, New Zealand
Boats & Yachts

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Our most recommended Canterbury, New Zealand Boats & Yachts

Kaikoura: Whale Watching Cruise

1. Kaikoura: Whale Watching Cruise

Take a whale watching cruise off the Kaikoura coast, and see giant sperm whales in their natural environment. Enjoy up-close encounters with a range of other wildlife, including fur seals, pods of dolphins, and the endangered wandering albatross. Your experienced crew will provide scientific information and indigenous knowledge about these amazing creatures throughout the tour. Set sail in a modern catamaran, equipped with engines that minimize underwater noise and nonpolluting toilets. Large outdoor decks offer great viewing and photo opportunities, and the air-conditioned interiors are fitted with comfortable seating and plasma screens displaying award-winning marine wildlife animations. Passenger numbers are kept well below the vessel carrying capacity to ensure a more personal experience.

Kaikoura: Dolphin Encounter Cruise

2. Kaikoura: Dolphin Encounter Cruise

Cruise along the scenic Kaikoura coast as you watch for dolphins. During the cruise, you'll be able to swim with the dolphins in their natural habitat or watch their antics from the comfort of the boat. Kaikoura is one of the best places in the world to encounter the Dusky Dolphins in their natural environment. The Dusky Dolphins are some of the most interactive and acrobatic species of dolphins, making them thrilling to watch and interact with. 

Hanmer Springs Jet Boat Adventure Tour

3. Hanmer Springs Jet Boat Adventure Tour

Marvel at the Alpine landscapes of Hanmer Springs, and experience the adrenaline thrills of a jet boat adventure. Located approximately 90 minutes from Christchurch, the mountain town is a Mecca for fans of adventure activities, such as quad bikes, bungy jumps, white water rafting, and much more. Make your way to the jet boat base for a safety briefing. Then, travel the narrow gorges, braided shallows, and white water rapids by jet boat. Your time on the water will last at least 30 minutes, but allow one hour for the whole experience (including thorough safety briefing). Soak up the spectacular scenery as you travel the entire length of Waiau Gorge. Hold on tight as you experience the famous Hamilton jet spin!

Kaikoura: 2.5-hour Albatross Encounter and Wildlife Cruise

4. Kaikoura: 2.5-hour Albatross Encounter and Wildlife Cruise

Enjoy this once in a lifetime bird watching experience just 15 minutes of the coast of Kaikoura. Within just a small area, meet one of the greatest varieties of seabirds and pelagic bird life you'll find anywhere in the world. Up to 12 species of albatross alone can be viewed at various times of the year. Equip yourself with your bird identification list, your expert local guide and driver will take you on a journey from the Port out into the open ocean. Enjoy the opportunity to watch the birds come in close to the boat for a unique feeding experience. Throughout the tour, your guide will take you to various different spots to ensure you see as many species as possible. As you make your way back to Kaikoura, come in close to the shore and marvel at the picturesque New Zealand coastline. If you’re lucky, you will have an opportunity to see beautiful fur seals basking in the sunshine.

Christchurch Gondola and Punt on the Avon River

5. Christchurch Gondola and Punt on the Avon River

See Christchurch from different perspectives with a combined punt along the Avon River aboard a classic flat-bottomed boat, and a ticket for the Christchurch Gondola cable car.  Travel with a guide dressed in Edwardian costume, who will provide a live commentary as they punt you along the river. Depart from the Worcester Street Bridge landing site and discover how the city is fast-growing and rebuilding after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Blankets are provided on cold days, so don't let the weather put you off. Take a ride on the Christchurch Gondola cable car, and see the beautiful Alpine scenery surrounding Christchurch city center and its suburbs. Explore the history of the region in the unique Time Tunnel experience, and pause for reflection at the Red Rock Café. Marvel at the Southern Alps to the west, and the Kaikoura Mountains to the north. To the south lie the beautiful harbor of Christchurch, and to the east is the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy 360-degree views of the plains, mountains, city and harbor from the glass-enclosed cabin. Purchase souvenirs in the "Shop at the Top" once you reach the summit, or go to the Red Rock Café for some refreshments. If you are feeling more energetic, take one of the many walking trails, such as the hike to Crater Rim, formed by the volcanic activity that created Port Hills. Travel back in time at the unique Time Tunnel experience, and learn about the development of the region.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

6. Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

Soak up panoramic views of the Southern Alps and glaciers reflecting on the mirror-like waters of Lake Mapourika on this 2-hour scenic cruise. The lake was created by the Franz Josef Glacier as it retreated 14,000 years ago and now sits calm and reflective between the Southern Alps and the sea. Meet your experienced skipper and small group at the office in Franz Josef and take a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Board the boat, then sit back and relax onboard the Hanna-k in the comfortable enclosed cabin or on the covered back deck. Your skipper will take you through to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary on the far shorelines of the lake and will help you spot New Zealand's native birds. Enjoy informative commentary and fascinating stories as you cruise past untouched Jurassic rainforest and 900-year-old Kahikatea trees. Sip on a cup of complimentary tea or coffee as you unwind in beautiful Glacier Country, a picture perfect way to escape the crowds and enjoy the West Coast’s scenery.

Hanmer Springs Jetboat & Quad Bike Combo

7. Hanmer Springs Jetboat & Quad Bike Combo

Take in the magnificent scenery, then hold on while you experience the famous Hamilton jet spin. This beautiful alpine river features narrow gorges, braided shallows and white water rapids. Travel over 30 kilometres of exciting jetboating and spectacular scenery. Your journey on the water lasts at least 30 minutes and you should allow 1 hour for the whole experience including the safety briefing. The focus above all else is safety, customer service, and value for money. Fun and thrills in the beautiful natural environment of Hanmer Springs. Put yourself in control of a four-wheel quad bike. Challenge the terrain, with river crossings, mud, dust, dirt and excitement. This guided Quad Bike tour will show you some of the real back country New Zealand as you pass through farmland, sheep trails, rivers, sand and bush. You can choose to ride your own bike or ride tandem with another person (subject to age restrictions). Your guide will give you the freedom to challenge yourself within the safety boundaries. Perfect for families, groups or individuals. Two hours of adventure in the beautiful natural mountain environment of Hanmer Springs. 

Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

8. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

9. Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

Begin your adventure at the meeting point in Franz Josef to join your small group and transfer out to Lake Mapourika with your guide. Cruise across the lake in the comfort of the boat and enjoy a stunning vista of Southern Alps and glaciers. On a clear day enjoy views as far as Mount Cook.   Sit back as you arrive into the calm estuary of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Your local knowledgeable skipper will provide you with exclusive access and will guide you through a private rainforest trail.   Follow your skipper through the Jurassic rainforest track and get local insight on the region. Spot native birds as you find your way to the scenic lookout, the perfect spot for a cup or tea or coffee made on the spot.

Hanmer Springs: Jet Boat, Quad Bike and Bungee Jump Combo

10. Hanmer Springs: Jet Boat, Quad Bike and Bungee Jump Combo

Enjoy a beautiful day in Hanmer Springs exploring the Waiau River Gorge by jet boat, Quad Bike and bungee jump! Travel the entire length of the magnificent Waiau River Gorge, and take in the scenery along the way. Hold on tight as you experience the famous Hamilton jet spin. The beautiful alpine river features narrow gorges, braided shallows and white water rapids. You will traverse over 30 kilometers through spectacular scenery on a jet boat ride of at least 30 minutes. Allow 1 hour for the entire experience, including a safety briefing as your guide's focus is above all else safety, along with customer service and value for money. Jump from the 135-year-old Waiau Ferry Bridge at the Hanmer Springs bungee jump. Experience a range of emotions, from sheer terror to pure elation, in the seconds it takes you to plummet 35 meters towards the river. Perfect for those who don’t want to try a high bungee jump, including first timers, the older and the young, the experience includes pick-up by jet boat at the bottom after your jump to take you safely back to shore. Put yourself in control of a 4-wheel Quad Bike and challenge yourself to a mountain terrain of river crossings, mud, dust, dirt and excitement. Discover the real backcountry of New Zealand on a 2-hour tour through farmland, sheep trails, rivers, sand and bush. Choose to ride your own bike or ride tandem with another person (subject to age restrictions), and get the freedom to test yourself within the safety boundaries on an adventure that is perfect for families, groups or individuals. 

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What people are saying about Canterbury, New Zealand

It was a wonderful tour with the dolphins.A special thanks to Instructor Emma on the boat helped me not only enjoy the swimming but also with some beautiful videos. I can't thank her enough. It's not easy to swim with the waves and beautiful, friendly dolphins. I think they know how to make everybody comfortable. I am definitely coming back :) Thank you very much

Outstanding! On a perfect day we enjoyed the cruise and beauty of Lake Mapourika while learning of its history and natural surroundings. Magnificent views of the mountains and glaciers were mirrored in the serene waters. Jake was interesting and informative. Just do it! A photo album of wonderful memories.

Very good, and an awesome experience. The only area for improvement was the long safety video, which was mostly relevant to the swimmers.

Couldn't have asked for a better day perfect weather lots of dolphins ,friendly staff very good experience

This was well worth it. Got a lot of good information and such a thrill seeing a whale so close