Christchurch
Ecotourism

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Our most recommended Christchurch Ecotourism

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve Day Entry Ticket

1. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve Day Entry Ticket

Get up close and personal with New Zealand native wildlife at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. The wildlife park and nature reserve is located 5 minutes drive from Christchurch Airport and 20 minutes drive from Christchurch CBD. Set in a natural environment with a great variety of wildlife species, Willowbank is suitable for all ages. Learn about New Zealand's endangered wildlife and Willowbank's continuing involvement in conservation. Walk through the massive kea enclosure to meet the worlds only alpine parrot, check out the world's only living dinosaur (tuatara), one of the rarest birds in the world (takahe) and a rare bush parrot (kaka). Be sure to visit the specially constructed viewing facility where you are guaranteed to see kiwi with no glass to hinder your view! Relax at the onsite cafe and bar, before, during or after exploring the reserve. Take a break overlooking the deer paddock. During winter, enjoy the ambience of the roaring open fire! 

Akaroa: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

2. Akaroa: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

Experience the best of nature on a 3-hour guided kayak safari from Akaroa town. Venture into an eco-paradise and view wildlife along the way. Stop at a remote beach for refreshments, a swim, or just to explore. After a briefing session at 07:30 the tour heads out on a gentle paddling excursion. After about an hour, you’ll stop for a break at the beach. No experience is necessary for this adventure. It’s easy and fun and suitable for anyone 12 years of age and older! The early morning trip can make for spectacular sightings. The guides say that these are the best trips of the day, as there’s no one around, and it’s just you and nature and your silent kayak. What you’ll actually see on the safari depends on a number of factors, but often guests report seeing cormorants diving, gannets feeding, and fur seals and flippered penguins playing. There have even been sightings of the rare, small Hector’s dolphin. Included in the tour at no additional cost are photos that your guide will take, refreshments, a personal picnic blanket, a remote beach stop for a swim or relaxation, and brief stops on the water to hear about interesting events, and facts about the wildlife and points of interest.

Christchurch: Guided Castle Hill Tour

3. Christchurch: Guided Castle Hill Tour

Leaving Christchurch via the "Great Alpine Highway", you'll cross the flat farmland of the Canterbury Plains towards the mountains. Halfway across the plains you will discover the small rural town of Darfield, where you will enjoy a short stop which will allow you to sample some of the local delicacies from the famous Darfield Bakery. Your next stop is Springfield, just 20 minutes down the road. Complete with its giant doughnut statue it's well worth a photo, and your guide will explain just how the town ended up with this giant doughnut. From Springfield the road winds its way up over Porters Pass at 900 meters, before continuing past Lake Lyndon and arriving at Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti. This area is an amazing labyrinth of giant limestone boulders that sit in the Craigieburn Basin, surrounded by mountains. The area is rich with cultural and recreational significance and has a Tōpuni status of a "symbolic cloak of protection”. It is also known internationally as a world-class climbing, bouldering, photography, and film-making destination. Your guide will show you around and explain the geography and cultural significance of the area, before sitting you down for a picnic lunch. Following lunch you will have free time to explore the boulder fields in your own time, before meeting back at the car park at 2:00PM. From there, your return journey back to Christchurch takes approximately 1.5-2 hours.

Christchurch: Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Wild Penguin Eco-Tour

4. Christchurch: Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Wild Penguin Eco-Tour

Enjoy a full day adventure taking in the breath-taking scenery of the rugged Banks Peninsula coastline and farmlands. Stopover at scenic lookouts and visit quaint Little River Gallery as well as the award-winning Barrys Bay Cheese factory at Duvauchelles.  The highlight of the day is encountering wild Penguins at Flea Bay, Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. Discover the penguin colony in their natural habitat at remote Pohatu (the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand). Your tour includes a catered lunch, refreshments, and expert guided tour of the penguin colony by a local family of conservationists. Learn about the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna, and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program. Be greeted by the farm's friendly pet sheep and see White-Flippered penguins as the people of Pohatu monitor nesting sites.  If visiting between mid-November and mid-February, you may even be lucky enough to see rehabilitation efforts such as supplemental feedings and swim therapy. Pohatu have been conserving the Little Penguins for over 30 years and have 4 conservation awards for their efforts in penguin conservation, protection, and monitoring. Spending time with Pohatu even helps the preservation of these beautiful birds for future generations. 

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.

From Christchurch: Walking Tour on Banks Peninsula

6. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Christchurch Ecotourism

What are other things to do than Ecotourism that are worth visiting in Christchurch?

The other unmissable things to do in Christchurch are:

Which Christchurch Ecotourism are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

These Christchurch Ecotourism are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:

Other Sightseeing Options in Christchurch

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What people are saying about Christchurch

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 3 reviews

Loved our visit so much - a great place to spend a couple of hours with friendly and approachable animals. Loved feeding the eels. Thank you Willowbank.

Gary and Nicole are the perfect hosts on this trip. We visited some amazing places which you wouldn't normally see. Thoroughly recommended.

Totally loved it …interactive lots of animals we hadn’t seen before like kea… we had an awesome time and would definitely recommend.

Great day for kayaking, weather was perfect. Joey was a very knowledgeable guide and funny.

We had a great experience kayaking with Jake, super knowledgeable guy and a great host!