TrueNZ Guides to New Zealand accommodation and outdoors adventure tours Canterbury ecotours and nature encounters. Eco Tours and outdoor nature experiences in New Zealand
Canterbury Natural Encounters & Eco Tours

Akaroa Dolphin and Bird Watching CruisesGeo-ToursHalls Bush Nature Reserve and Wairiri River BuffaloIan McLeod's Walkaway ToursTussock & Beech EcotoursVisitor Centre, International Antarctic Centre

 North Loburn
 Hanmer Springs
 Glenthorne Station
 Tai Tapu
 Mount Lyford
 Mt. Hutt
 Lake Coleridge
 Banks Peninsula
 Lake Ellesmere
 Lake Clearwater
 Lake Tekapo
 Mount Cook
 Lake Pukaki
 Lake Benmore
 Coutts Island
 Peel Forest

Akaroa Dolphin and Bird Watching Cruises

Akaroa Dolphin and Bird Watching CruisesDescription: Welcome to Akaroa, one of the world`s most beautiful places. Let us take you on a journey of discovery through millions of years of fascinating history and natural heritage. Your hosts Pip and Hugh Waghorn and crew look forward to hosting you for the cruise of a lifetime around Akaroa Harbour.

Our stylishly appointed twin-hulled vessel, Akaroa Dolphin, offers small numbers of guests a more intimate cruise experience. You`ll visit spectacular sea caves, volcanic formations, high cliffs and bird nesting sites and you’ll see rare Hector dolphins, seals, penguins and a myriad of sea birds, conditions permitting.

Comprehensive commentary on geology, history, ecology and Maori heritage. Complimentary wine, refreshments and fresh home-baking is served.

Departures Daily - from Akaroa Wharf: 10.15am, 12.45pm, 3.15pm. Evening Cruises and Charters by arrangement (fully licensed).

Location: 80 km East of Christchurch.
Season: All year.

Contact person(s): Hugh & Pip Waghorn
Address: 65 Beach Road, Akaroa.
Phone: +64 3 3047 866
Freephone: 0800 99 01 02
Fax: +64 3 3047 866

Comments: Qualmark Status, Endorsed Visitor Transport


Geo-ToursDescription: We run two great South Island Tours which highlight the key natural and scenic locations in the South Island. Each tour is of four days and they run every alternate Monday to Thursday.

The Southern Explorer includes Arthur's Pass, the West Coast including the famous Pancake Rocks and Franz Josef glacier, Wanaka, Queenstown and Mount Cook.

The Northern Discovery includes Hanmer Springs, the Lewis Pass, Abel Tasman, Nelson and the whale watching area of Kaikoura.

The trips are fully guided and inclusive, including transport, accommodation, snacks and drinks. Joint cook our own dinners can easily be arranged.

Location: Each trip starts and finishes in Christchurch

Tours which highlight the key natural and scenic locations in the South Island
Contact person(s): Eric Stegehuis
Address: 53 Allin Drive, Waikuku Beach, North Canterbury
Phone: 03 312 2906
Mobile Phone: 027 524 3686
Freephone: 0800 243 686

Comments: Day and half day trips also available, including farm visit, jet boating, wine tasting, Akaroa. Also Weekend trips to Mt Cook, West Coast and Hanmer / Kaikoura

Halls Bush Nature Reserve and Wairiri River Buffalo

Halls Bush Nature ReservDescription: A fantastic first stop on the Scenic Southern highway en-route to Mt Cook and Queenstown or close to the route to Arthur`s Pass. This beautiful farm in the Alpine Foothills is a fantastic stop-over.

This guided forest walk is Canterbury`s closest remaining natural forest and wet-land to Christchurch and gives you a feeling of pre-European and pre-Polynesian times. The farm also has a wetland reserve where native bird and insect life are abundant. The farm is host to the South Island`s only Riverine Water Buffalo herd which are being bred for milking. The farm is organically farmed and is also viewed on the tour. Farm baked morning or afternoon tea is included as well as Canterbury`s famous Hummingbird coffee. Allow 2 1/2 hours with morning or afternoon tea. A chalet is also available for those wanting to stay over night on the farm.

Either fully catered or self catering options are available.

Location: [map here] 55 minutes South of Christchurch International airport.
Season: All year

Contact person(s): Lucy and Christo Keijzer
Address: 140 Davies Rd, Canterbury
Phone: 021 051 7100
Mobile Phone: 021 051 7100

Comments: Please text or email in advance.

Ian McLeod's Walkaway Tours

Ian McLeod's Walkaway ToursDescription: Walkaway Tours conducts, destination based, Eco/Sightseeing day tours to Akaroa, Arthurs Pass, and Hanmer Springs. We also have heritage half day tours of central Christchurch.

We operate from Christchurch and the tours involve walking, sight-seeing, eco and nature experiences in the tussock grasslands and native forests of the Southern Alps and the volcanic coastal valleys of Banks Peninsula. These are small group tours with strong focus on the environment and human history.

Options available include The TranzAlpine Train as a return from Arthurs Pass to Christchurch and Akaroa Harbour cruise to see dolphins and other sea life. The day will generally include 3 to 4 hours walking.

On our tours we travel to and from our destinations on the ''byways'' as well as the ''highways'' so that clients see and experience sights and scenes that are not part of the usual tours. We get out into the bush and explore the landscape and the wonderful natural world available to us. We tell about the human occupation and the effects that has had on the country. We provide a door to door service and include tea, coffee, and a picnic lunch.

Location: Pick up from Christchurch
Season: All Year

A day to reflect and savour
Contact person(s): Ian McLeod
Address: 11 Whitmore Street
Phone: +64 3 365 6672
Mobile Phone: 025 2289 498
Fax: +64 3 365 9140

Comments: A day to reflect and savour

Tussock & Beech Ecotours

The lost world of ErewhonDescription: Tussock & Beech Ecotours conduct one, two and three day nature tours into the bush, mountains, lakes and wetlands of the Mid Canterbury foothills of the Southern Alps.

Accommodation, all meals and transport are provided (including pick-up and delivery to and from Christchurch). A maximum group size of six people. Guide has a strong onservation ethic and a thorough knowledge of the natural history of the area. Participants will learn about the ecology of a variety of ecosystems including mountain beech forest, tussock grasslands, sub alpine and wetlands.

Accommodation is provided in a beautifully restored historic cottage (NZ Historic Places Trust Reg. No. 5121) A modern lodge is also available. The food is prepared by the hostess using quality New Zealand ingredients and recipes.

The nature tours include the Mt Somers Walkway, Lake Heron Wildlife Refuge and Nature Reserve and other high country lakes, the braided upper reaches of the Ashburton River, the Sharplin Falls Scenic Reserve, the lost world of Erewhon and the ancient volcanic mountain Mt Somers. In December-January a day can also be spent photographing alpine flowers on Mt Hutt.

Location: 70 minutes drive southwest of Christchurch
Season: All year

Alpine Grasshopper (Cigaus australis), common in the mountains
Contact person(s): Warren Jowett
Address: Staveley, RD 1, Ashburton 8300.
Phone: +64 3 303 0880
Fax: +64 3 303 0980

Comments: 4 day Mt Somers Walkway package available, including self-guiding booklet. Price on request.

Visitor Centre, International Antarctic Centre

Visitor Centre, International Antarctic CentreDescription: The Visitor Centre International Antarctic Centre is a "must see" for visitors to Christchurch, The Gateway to Antarctica. A short walk from the International Airport the Visitor Centre provides a unique, fun and entertaining "Antarctic Experience" in an all weather environment.

Inside our Antarctic Attraction, play in real "Snow and Ice", see the Antarctic Aquarium, try on Antarctic Clothing and much much more! Outside take a "behind the scenes" tour of the Antarctic Campus in the Antarctic Hägglund vehicle. A 45 minute ride which allows passengers to visit the US Antarctic Programme`s Clothing Warehouse and Antarctic Departure Terminal. Experience the amazing all terrain abilities of the Hägglund on the Adventure Course, travel over hills and "swim" through water!

The New Zealand Penguin Encounter is New Zealand`s first combined indoor/outdoor penguin viewing area with capacity to hold up to 26 rescued Little Blue penguins in a Banks Peninsula natural themed environment that can be accessed on two levels.

The International Antarctic Centre, two-time winner of the NZ Tourism Award for Best Attraction also has fabulous shopping in The Antarctic Shop and delicious meals and snacks in the Café and Bar.

Location: [map here] 5 minute walk from Christchurch International Airport, 15 minutes from Central City of Christchurch.
Season: All year, open 7 days from 9am

Contact person(s): Alison Lamont
Address: 38 Orchard Road, Christchurch Airport
Postal Address: PO Box 14 088, Christchurch
Phone: +64 3 358 9896
Freephone: 0508 736 4846
Fax: +64 3 353 7799

TrueNZ Information Centre for Canterbury

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