Taking a shore excursion while docked at Lyttelton Port can be really amazing. You can enjoy different locations & sceneries near Christchurch, New Zealand by having a day tour while at Lyttleton Port. This little port town offers many memorable day trips that will leave you spellbound. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or adventure seeker, there’s something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through some of the day trips you can book while docked at the Lyttleton Port and how to turn your day into an unforgettable one.

Top 5 Day tours you can have at Lyttleton port before your Cruise Ship departs

#1:- Discover the Banks Peninsula on an Akaroa day tour

One of the most chosen day trips from Lyttleton Port is the Akaroa day tour. The Banks Peninsula is home to breathtaking bays, ancient volcanic formations, and the gateway to quaint townships like Akaroa, which resembles the old French settlement. En route, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the coastline and the surrounding hills. You can also have a great view of the southern Alps on a clear day. There are quite a few things you will definitely enjoy on your way to Akaroa. The town itself proudly showcases its French heritage, and you can see it in the architecture, street names, and some of the local cuisine. Never miss the Akaroa fish & chips and Barrys Bay traditional cheese while you are at Akaroa.

If you are keen to do some activities, there is the option to visit Shamarra Alpacas farm, Akaroa Nature Cruise, Akaroa Guided Kayaking Safaris etc. Check out our Akaroa tours if you are planning one.

#2:- Waipara Wine Tour

The Waipara wine region is home to a collection of world-class wineries, each offering a unique and diverse range of wines. The region is particularly known for producing outstanding Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, and pinot gris. If you are a wine enthusiast and want to taste some of the fine cuisines of New Zealand, try this wine tour. On some of the wineries, they do offer on-site restaurants and cafes and you’ll also get the opportunity to sample a variety of wines and learn about the winemaking process. Some of the wineries offer “cellar door” experiences, where you can taste wines directly from the barrels, gaining insight into the wine-making process.

Never miss the opportunity to visit the best wineries in the Waipara region while your ship dock at Lyttleton. You can do this as a half-day tour or make it a full-day tour by including the city highlights.

#3:- Lyttleton to Arthurs Pass day tour

Arthurs Pass is located in the Southern Alps and is well-heard of for its breathtaking scenery. It is also a gateway to the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. One of the best experiences all the way to Arthurs Pass is the scenic drive. The journey itself is incredibly scenic, passing through the Canterbury plains and then gradually crossing the Southern Alps. You’ll get a chance to see the tiny towns, farmlands, and greenish vegetation along the way.

Just passing the Southern Alps, you will reach Castle Hill, a unique rock formation and a favorite spot for climbers and photographers. Depending on the weather and Cruise departure time, you can arrange a visit to the Castle Hills.

The views are extremely stunning once you reach the village. There are several things to do at Arthurs Pass. Hiking to the Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall is the best among them. However, since you are on a Cruise Ship, you won’t get the time to get closer to the waterfall. You can enjoy the long stunning view the waterfall offers.

Watching the cheeky Kia birds are another attraction of this location. Keas are highly social birds and often gather in groups. Most commonly visible in the Otira Viaduct Lookout area of Arthurs Pass. They are known for their playful interactions with humans. Beware, these birds can even your cars windscreen wipers or unattended backpacks.

#4:- City Sight Seeing and Jet Boating Tour

Want to try something adventurous in Christchurch? Try Jet boating at Waimakiriri River. Jet boating is an adventurous water-based activity that allows you to navigate through as little as a few inches of water without the risk of stuck by any obstacles such as rocks. This unique feature makes jet boats reach very high speeds and perform 360-degree spins and sharp turns. At Waimakiriri River, on a jet boat ride, you can also enjoy the untouched wilderness of the Canterbury region on either side of the river.

If you’re considering a Waimakariri River jet boating tour, make sure you dress appropriately for the weather. The climate in the South Island is totally unpredictable and if you start freezing, the experience won’t be nice as expected. Also, keep a pair of extra shoes and a dress as you might get wet during the boat ride.

The boat riding won’t last more than 2 hours in total. So you can plan your day by other activities. We recommend doing a Christchurch city sightseeing tour. By combining both these activities, you can make your day tour more memorable while at Lyttleton Port.

#5:- Christchurch Sightseeing and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

For those who want a relaxed day tour while at Lyttleton Port, try the city tour with Willowbank wildlife reserve. By visiting Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, you will get to know more about the biodiversity of New Zealand and encounter various wildlife.

The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve was established in 1974 by the Willis family with a vision to protect and showcase New Zealand’s indigenous wildlife. The reserve itself is distributed over 50 acres and is home to a different variety of animals, many of which are rare and endangered. One major attraction of the reserve is the Kiwi birds which are very rarely seen out in the wild.

Once you enjoy a few hours in the Willow Bank, you can try the city sights or the Antarctic center. You will have plenty of time to get back to your cruise before departure.


If you are in a location for a few hours, it is really hard to choose what day activity you need to engage in. Here are the top preferred activities in Christchurch chosen by cruise travelers in the past few cruise seasons. If you are interested in any of the above-mentioned activities, you can book straight from our website below.