Up to 7 days
Please note that the timings for the Waipara Wine Tour as stated below are indicative only for cruise ships berth by 8 am or earlier. For all other cruise ships with a later arrival time in Lyttelton the excursion times will be adjusted to meet the cruise ships schedule.
Experience one of the most popular activities in Christchurch on your shore excursion adventure from Lyttelton Harbour. Join us on an enchanting journey that seamlessly blends the natural beauty of the Canterbury plains, the unique history of Christchurch City, and the art of winemaking in the NZ famous Waipara Wine Region all into one. This Christchurch shore excursion is a not to be missed experience!
The adventure begins with a warm meet and greet in the charming Lyttelton township. Enjoy a picturesque route by road the traced the inner bays of Lyttelton Harbour, meandering through Governors Bay, and ascending the majestic Dyers Pass to the Sign of the Kiwi and the Sign of the Takahe. Behold breathtaking panoramas of the harbor and the Christchurch cityscape, Pegasus Bay, the vast Canterbury Plains, and the snow-kissed Southern Alps. Continue on down the mountain to the beautiful Mona Vale, a stately home framed by exquisite gardens. Embark on a serene exploration, tracing the Avon River’s gentle contours, surrounded by the stunning foliage which gives Christchurch the name “The Garden City”. Rejoin your tour bus and embark on a tour of the central city of Christchurch. In the wake of the devastating 2011 earthquakes, discover the tragedy that took place here over a decade ago and the inspiring revival that has sculpted this now thriving metropolis. The driver/guide will be sure to point out this cities many landmarks as well as the surviving architecture and new builds of downtown Christchurch.
Just before midday, you will depart for the Waipara Wine Region just north of Christchurch. Traverse a tapestry of over 40 vineyards and wineries, where the Waipara Valley’s unique climate and fertile soils conspire to produce truly exceptional wines. Delight your senses with a delectable platter lunch and tastings at Waipara Springs winery and restaurant. The tour continues with visits to two to three (time permitting) more wineries in this region. Savour the incredible flavours as you sample between 16 and 22 distinct wines from each tasting room as you make your way from one winery to the next. Find your new favourite white or red wine and maybe even pick up a bottle or two to bring back home or enjoy on the cruise ship.
By mid-afternoon, make your way back to the port of Lyttelton where a shuttle will take you back to your cruise and your tour concludes.
08.45: Meet and greet in Lyttelton township where you will join your shuttle to begin your tour.
09.00: Depart Lyttelton and travel via the inner bays of Lyttelton Harbour to Governors Bay where you will ascend the hills via Dyers Pass to the Sign of the Kiwi. Dyers Pass climbs up the old volcanic crater wall to the summit. The Sign of the Kiwi affords wonderful views of both the Harbour and the city of Christchurch.
09.30: The tour arrives at the Sign of the Takahe, a Scottish-style castle which offers a viewing platform that provides magnificent views over the city of Christchurch, Pegasus Bay, the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps which are snowcapped for up to 9 months of the year. Access to the viewing platform is only a gentle 5 minute walk from the castle.
09.50: Depart the Sign of the Takahe for Mona Vale, a stately home and magnificent gardens in Christchurch city.
10.10: Arrive at the front gate house of Mona Vale and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the grounds, following the Avon River which acts as one of the properties boundaries. Enjoy the beautiful flora of this stunning property which attracts visitors from far and wide. The coach will then travel around to the rear gate house where your tour guide will meet you once you have had the opportunity to explore the beautiful gardens.
10.30: Depart Mona Vale and travel into the central city of Christchurch which was completely devastated by the Christchurch earthquakes in February 2011. Your guide will explain both the history of the city and the lasting effects of the earthquake. See for yourself both the destructive power of the infamous earthquakes that struck this city and the rebuild which has and is taking place. You will have the opportunity to see memorials, surviving architecture and new buildings that have replaced the old skyline of Christchurch.
11.15: Depart the city for the Waipara Wine Region located approximately a 45 minutes drive north of Christchurch City. The Waipara Valley is well known for its warm dry climate and rich alluvial soils, ideal for some truly excellent wine production. Over 40 vineyards and wineries pepper the landscape, with Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc being the most prevalent grapes of this region. The first stop is Waipara Springs Winery & Restaurant where both a tasting and lunch (individual platter) has been arranged for your enjoyment. Following lunch you will visit 2, or if time permits, 3 other wineries where hosted tastings have been arranged. During the course of the wine tour today you will taste between 16 and 22 wines (depending on the time available) of different varieties. Discover a new favourite wine and perhaps even pick up a bottle or two to take with you.
15.30: The tour departs the Waipara Wine Region for Lyttelton Harbour.
16.30: The tour returns you to Lyttelton township where your awaiting shuttle will transfer you back to your cruise ship.
Tour Duration: 7.5 hours
Please note that minimum numbers are required for this tour to proceed. Times will be adjusted to meet the cruise ships schedule.