Canterbury, New Zealand
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Canterbury, New Zealand Meet the Locals

Mount Cook: Ski Plane and Helicopter Alpine Combo Flight

1. Mount Cook: Ski Plane and Helicopter Alpine Combo Flight

Fly in a skiplane and a helicopter on the same day for an unforgettable experience of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Enjoy a scenic adventure that includes a glacier snow landing. From take-off to landing, you will enjoy spectacular views! Fly up the Tasman Valley over the breathtaking blue glacier lake. See the Hochstetter Icefall and the cloud-piercing Aoraki/Mount Cook before landing on the upper snowfields of the Tasman Glacier.  Take time to enjoy this unique alpine environment before swapping aircraft and returning to Mount Cook Airport.  These mountains are covered in snow and ice all year round, and the aircraft fully shuts down on landing. You'll also see Tasman Terminal Lake, Grand Plateau, Plateau Hut, as well as the full length of the Tasman Glacier.

Kaikoura: 30-Minute Whale Watching Flight

2. Kaikoura: 30-Minute Whale Watching Flight

Receive an informative briefing of the Sperm Whales and other wildlife of Kaikoura, ready for your 30-minute flight experience. Learn about its unique geology, and what you can expect to see during the flight. Spend a special half hour viewing these majestic creatures from a unique vantage point.  Head directly out over the Kaikoura Whale Sanctuary to start looking for Kaikoura's wildlife. This whale watching flight showcases the year-round whales and dolphins, as well as the stunning coastline and peninsula. Focusing on the mighty Sperm Whale, this is a once-in-a-lifetime flight to view these animals, as well as other whale and dolphin species that migrate through Kaikoura's waters.  All aircraft are high-winged, which allows each person their own window seat and optimal, unobstructed viewing and photography opportunities. Your tour finishes back at the terminal where there is a gift shop and refreshments available.

Akaroa: Pohatu Penguins Scenic Nature 2-Hour or 4-Hour Tour

3. Akaroa: Pohatu Penguins Scenic Nature 2-Hour or 4-Hour Tour

Join a 4WD eco-tourism safari to the spectacular award-winning Wild Side Conservation area. Depart Akaroa for a scenic drive in a 4WD minivan over the crater rim of the Akaroa volcano to Pohatu Flea Bay. Along the way, learn the region's history from your local guide. Stop for photo opportunities with views of Akaroa harbor and the Pacific Ocean. Arrive at a local family's farm where you can meet friendly pet sheep and hand-feed them for a real kiwi experience. In season, monitor nesting sites with your guide and learn about the conservation work done for the largest colony of little penguins on mainland New Zealand. At certain times of the year, you may even see some of the rehabilitation efforts such as supplemental feeding. The extended 4-hour tour includes visits to the spectacular cliff-tops of Akaroa Heads Lighthouse Reserve. You will have more time to enjoy the area with homemade muffins and cakes, and more time to see the native wildlife and to explore Flea Bay. This activity directly funds the conservation work that takes place at Pohatu Bay to protect the penguins.

Kaikoura: 1-Hour Whale Watching Helicopter Tour

4. Kaikoura: 1-Hour Whale Watching Helicopter Tour

Spot sperm whales, dusky dolphins, and fur seals from above before making a summit landing among the towering peaks of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges on this 1-hour helicopter tour. The adventure begins with a short safety briefing from the pilot, as well as additional information about the year-round population of sperm whales and the unique underwater Kaikoura Canyon. Next, jump in the helicopter and head out over the Whale Sanctuary and Hikurangi Marine Reserve for a chance to view the pod of sperm whales. Taking on a bird's-eye-view maximizes time viewing the wildlife while not disrupting their natural behavior. Continue along the magnificent coastline of the Kaikoura Peninsula keeping an eye out for playful dusky dolphins and New Zealand fur seals. The last stop of the day will be the towering peaks of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges for an incredible alpine landing. Get out and walk around on rugged pristine land with breathtaking vistas of the mountains, peninsula, and ocean.

Scenic Tour & Lord of the Rings from Christchurch

5. Scenic Tour & Lord of the Rings from Christchurch

After a pick-up from your hotel, set off to a working sheep station in New Zealand's high-country. Along the way to your destination, take in the truly breath-taking scenery of the Southern Alps such as Lake Clearwater, Mt Potts, and Mt Hutt, and even former filming sites from the Lord of the Rings. Pass Middle Earth’s Edoras, the mythical capital city of the Rohan people. As an option, be transported back in time while enjoying a nostalgic and comfortable wagon ride. Sit on the sprung wagon with rubber tires and lounge-type seats as you are pulled by a team of Clydesdale horses. Journey into the spectacular New Zealand back-country highlands. Enjoy braided rivers, green pastures, forests, deer, horses, sheep, hidden tracks, and absolutely remarkable mountain scenery - there's something different and amazing behind every turn. Your tour is fully inclusive with pick-up provided from selected Christchurch city hotels, a special lunch, morning and afternoon tea, a wagon ride, luxury coach travel including onboard WIFI, and a lively, entertaining and highly knowledgeable tour guide who can relate all the history, myths and legends.

Kaikoura: 1 Hour 20 Minute Adventure Helicopter Tour

6. Kaikoura: 1 Hour 20 Minute Adventure Helicopter Tour

Begin your adventure are Kaikoura Airport where you will receive a short safety briefing from your pilot, as well as additional information about the year-round population of sperm whales and the unique underwater Kaikoura Canyon. As you head out over the Pacific Ocean you are surrounded on all sides by the gorgeous scenery of Kaikoura, with the coastal mountains as a backdrop. Slowly orbit the whales so you can see the whole animal from head to tail, minimising your impact on the animal while maximising your time and viewing. Soar back along the coastline keeping an eye out for any other animals that may be around, including the resident population of dusky dolphins and New Zealand fur seals, as well as any other whale species that may be migrating through including blue, humpback, fin, and killer whales. After completing your wildlife viewing, head for the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges. Fly along the coastline to see the impact from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that changed the entire landscape of the coastal mountains and see the new Papatea Fault where it scars the land and runs out to sea. Fly inland along the Clarence River Valley and back up through the mountain range for a landing at the turquoise waters of the newly created Hapuku Dam Lake, which was created during the November 2016 earthquake. Enjoy the scenery as you fly back through the mountain range to land.

From Christchurch: Walking Tour on Banks Peninsula

7. From Christchurch: Walking Tour on Banks Peninsula

Plan the perfect itinerary with your guide by selecting from a few great options with varying distances. Walk from 1-3 hours depending on how far you want to travel. Experience stunning Canterbury views and on this hike with experienced local guides. Journey for 30 minutes from Christchurch in a comfortable van and relax as you take in the scenic views on your way to Sumner/Lyttelton. Listen as your guide reveals the history of Christchurch. Sip on hot drinks at a local café before setting off along the coastal track. Take time to relax on the beach, swim, crab hunt, and climb hills. Savor a gourmet lunch at a picturesque location along the way. Return to Christchurch with fantastic photos and memories of a special day out.

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What people are saying about Canterbury, New Zealand

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3 reviews

It was a fantastic tour with the pilot - sorry forgot his name. He is very good at flying and very friendly. We saw the huge whale, which is approximately the same length with the 23m boat, and heaps of dusk dolphins, and the pilot knew the whale so well and counted-down the exact time when it dived into deep water with iconic tail. The pilot also flew us to see the Kaikoura Earth-Quake fault-line, landslide and even the barrier lake. Really enjoy it. Thanks.

We were told no whales were to be seen and offered a full refund if required. We decided to fly anyway. Our pilot Mike found an orca for us but no other whales so he gave us an amazing flight over the snow capped mountains, it was amazing we had so much fun

fantastic great guide with lots of knowledge about the whole trip. would highly recommend

very friendly and professional team giving us an incredible sightseeing experience

We really enjoyed trip found it informative and interesting