Day trip

Christchurch: Guided Castle Hill Tour

Activity provider: Adventure By Nature

Christchurch: Guided Castle Hill Tour

Activity provider: Adventure By Nature

From US$ 251.65 per person

Discover Canterbury’s most impressive natural wonder, Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti, from Christchurch. Your local guide will take you along the "Great Alpine Highway" to the giant limestone boulders.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 8 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Pickup optional
Your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby, please be ready and waiting at your scheduled pickup time. Your guide will be wearing a uniform and pick you up in a branded car or minivan.
Private or small groups available


  • Explore the giant limestone boulders of the Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti scenic reserve
  • Capture the stunning photos in the heart of New Zealand's mountains
  • Learn about the history and culture importance of Kura Tawhiti/Castle Hill
  • Visit the famous Springfield Donut
  • Choose from either a shared or private guided experience
Full description
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.
  • Hotel pickups and drop-off
  • Lunch, tea, and coffee
  • Morning tea is not included in this tour, but you will stop at a cafe in Darfield where it is possible to be purchased

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Meeting point

Your guide will be driving a branded white car or van and wearing a branded uniform. Your pickup time at the Canterbury Museum is 8:30AM.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen

Not allowed

  • Drones

Know before you go

  • Morning tea is not included in the tour, but can be purchased during the stop at a cafe in Darfield
Customer reviews

Overall rating

5 /5

based on 6 reviews

Review summary

  • Service

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Although there were just 2 of us on this trip, it was great fun. Sarah P, the guide, was excellent, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the area and bouldering and tailored the trip to our needs. Lunch and drinks were provided by Sarah and we sat in amongst the boulders in the shade to enjoy it. This trip was one of the best I have been on. Highly recommend it. Thank you Sarah, you were awesome.

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January 5, 2023

Set out on a tour with Nat. he has excellent knowledge of geology and bouldering. Frittata at springfield pastry is a must get, super delicious. Nat is also good at looking out for good photo spots. Lunch is provided for and supplemented by tea which Nat made on the spot (reason why he brought a big pack)! Having lunch while watching castle rock was an amazing experience. Thanks Nat for being such a great guide!

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October 1, 2022

very good

December 22, 2021

Product ID: 347646