[Plan] New Zealand- A day trip out of Christchurch to Akaroa

A day trip to Akaroa, it is less than a 2-hour drive from Christchurch. Akaroa is a little town that is beautiful and with a great view. I put down some transportation information for references and interesting activities that we did, like taking a cruise out to meet the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins, walking along the Akaroa Wharf and to the waterfall at Misty peaks reserve.

Information about Akaroa

Akaroa is located approximately 1.5 hours’ drive away from Christchurch, it is a beautiful harbour-side town with charming colonial architecture remanent of the French and British settlers who founded the area.

How to get to Akaroa?



Shuttle bus


Book a Private day tour

Relaxing Journey or canterbury trails**Recommended**



There is no commercial taxi company that operates in Akaroa.


Private tour (Planned itinerary)

225NZD~380NZD (Per Person)

**The price has increased to 390NZD in 2019**

Shuttle bus


Adult: 56NZD

Child (under 18 years): 41NZD


Adult: 35NZD

Child (under 18 years): 30NZD

Total Trip Duration:

Approximately 9.5 hours


We booked our day trip from relaxing journey, which is a tour operator in New Zealand after comparing the price around and the tour which we felt suitable for us. We wanted to be in a small tour group, thus, we decided to pay a little more. There are other options too like self-drive of taking the shuttle bus depending on your preferences.

Where did we visit?

Banks Peninsular high scenic drive with spectacular views, Cherry blossom can be seen along our way to Akaroa and our guide stopped at the roadside to let us take some photos.

Photo took in Mid-September:

Had a brief stop at the Little River for a short toilet break and coffee.

The great view of the Onawe Peninsula that separates Duvauchelle bay from Barry’s Bay.

Barrys Bay Traditional Cheese factory visit

We visited the cheese factory but it was not operating that day. Instead, we had some cheese sample at the shop and bought some home because it was delicious.

Akaroa Wharf

Had a short break time at Akaroa Wharf before our lunch.


1-2 hours (Include Lunchtime)

Great weather that day

We had our lunch at Bully Hayes, which was included in our tour package.


What did we order?



Battered chartered island Blue Cod

Akaroa Salmon

Akaroa Dolphins Cruise

After our lunch, we walked over to Akaroa Harbour Cruise to see one of the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins, Hector’s Dolphin. During the cruise ride, we were given drinks and some homemade cookies which were good.

For more information: Akaroa dolphins

You can purchase the Individual tour from

Official Website



2 hours

One of the 2 dolphin-spotting dogs, buster on his job hearing for the dolphin echo.

Saw a bob of seals sunbathing under the sun on our way back to the coast, they are quite difficult to spot as they blend well with the rocks.

The seal shown in the image is circled in red is one of the few that were caught by my camera.

We are lucky enough to spot 3 little hectors dolphin swimming by our side.

View along the way

Misty Peaks Reserve

Our guide brought us on an additional short trip to the Newton’s Waterfall at Misty Peaks Reserve Track.


30-45 mins


We were pick up at our hotel lobby, by Hugo, our guide for the day, he was friendly and informative. We thought there will be others joining us, but it is just the 2 of us for the day, so it is like our private tour.

Our lunch at the Barry’s was delicious, would recommend getting the salmon and not forgetting the bread pan. Thereafter, we went on the cruise ride to see Hector’s dolphin and the dolphin-spotting dogs are cute. One of the passengers dropped a camera cover into the sea during our ride, the guide was quick to respond and scope it up.

The last stop was the most memorable, as we were able to have a short walk over to the little waterfall that was inside the reserve only the locals know how to walk there, if we’re alone I think we might get lost even though it is just a 20 minutes walk there.


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