Explore like never before with ‘Adventure by Nature’, a family-owned adventure travel company whose tours are all about exploring beautiful natural environments and engaging in them in a way that is all-consuming, sometimes challenging, and very rewarding. It’s about experiencing amazing activities in stunning natural environments. Day tours departing Christchurch include: Guided walks to Godley Head & Packhorse hut, Sea Kayaking on Lyttelton harbor, Rock climbing, Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti & Cave stream. Come along with us and be part of an authentic adventure of your very own.
On this stunning journey to Packhorse Hut, we visit all 4 of the historic “rest houses” that were once part of a grand walking experience over the Port Hills. The hut is situated on a saddle above Lyttelton Harbour with unforgettable views of the Harbour and Banks Penninsula.
This easy day walk starts by driving up the Port Hills following the historical track up Dyer’s Pass before heading south following the summit road to Gebbies Pass. Our walk starts and finishes at Gebbie’s pass, is approximately 11km (6.8 Mi) and takes most groups 3-4 hrs return.
Packhorse Hut Tour Highlights
Getting there – A Scenic Drive
Driving east from Christchurch City, we pass through local suburbs and industrial areas before heading through New Zealand’s 2nd longest road tunnel to Lyttelton. Also known as “the gateway to Christchurch,” this charming and historic port township is the South Islands’ most active port. You will have time to have a look around this quirky little town before we drive up the newly restored Gebbies Pass road. A scenic lookout at the top of the pass gives impressive views of Lyttelton Harbour and the coastal suburb of Sumner, where we stop for morning tea. A short drive from Sumner is a beach called Taylors Mistake, one of Christchurch’s hidden gems. Our walk starts from Taylors Mistake.
Walking Tour – Godley Head / Awaroa
From Taylors Mistake beach, we head east on a well-established track that hugs the coast, dropping into Boulder Bay and onto Godley head. Scattered with WW2 remnants, including bunkers, gun emplacements, and old military buildings, it’s a fascinating and very scenic place for a few photos and a picnic lunch.
Afternoon – Godley Head / Awaroa Walking Tour continued…
After lunch, you will have some free time to explore the local area and visit some of the old buildings and WW2 defences. Leaving Godley Head, your guide will take you to some new spots, including the very scenic observation battery no. 2. The room was built into the cliff that overlooks Lyttleton Harbour, so its an excellent place for photos. Leaving the Godley Head ww2 relics behind, we continue west along the track that overlooks Lyttelton Harbour. Ist a relatively quick descent back down to the beach at Taylors Mistake and our awaiting vehicle
On the drive back into Christchurch city, we take an alternative route passing through the coastal suburbs of Sumner village & Redcliffe. Your guide will drop you back at your accommodation or the Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Ave, Christchurch.
A day sea kayaking on Lyttelton Harbour is the best way to explore Quail Island, one of Christchurch’s best-kept secrets. Volcanic activity 45 million years ago formed Banks Peninsula, and the two largest eruptions formed Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours. The result of this activity has left us with some of the most spectacular and dynamic harbors in New Zealand. Quail Island is the largest of three small islands in Lyttelton Harbour and rich in history. On this day trip, we explore Lyttelton Harbour and Quail Island.
Morning -Sea Kayaking
Your guide will collect you from your accommodation or our pick-up point outside the Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Ave, Christchurch, by 9 am. On our way to Lyttleton Harbour, we pass through New Zealand’s second-longest road tunnel (1970 mts) and the iconic Port town of Lyttelton. Our sea kayaking journey begins at Cass or Charteris Bays just 30-40 minutes from Christchurch’s City center.
Your guide will teach you some basic paddle strokes and how to steer your boat, and then we’re off. We paddle towards the head of the harbor, exploring the many small bays and rocky cliffs along the way. Find secret sandy beaches the locals adore. Leaving the coast, we head out towards Quail Island, the largest of the three islands in the harbor. Quail Island is rich in local history; the Island was farmed, used as a leper colony, and also for Antarctic expedition training. Now the Island is a recreational reserve. We paddle past a ship’s graveyard, exploring the three partially sunken steamships at the North-Western tip of the Island to reach Home Bay, our lunch spot.
Afternoon – Sea Kayaking
We land our sea kayaks onto the beach at Home Bay for lunch, looking back at Charteris Bay and Mt Bradley. On the Island, you have the opportunity to explore or relax by the beach. Our return paddle takes us under the towering cliffs at the eastern end of the island before crossing back to shore and returning to Chartiras Bay. Your guide will drop you back to your accommodation or at the drop point at Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Ave, in the city center.
Sea Kayaking Tour highlights
You will be picked up from your accommodation or from our meeting point outside the Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Ave, Christchurch. We start our adventure by travelling west towards the mountains across the flat farmland of the Canterbury Plains. We make a stop after 45mins at the Darfield Bakery or Sheffield Pie shop to collect our lunch. (Lunch is provided). After a short break, we continue our journey to Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti.
Morning – Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti
Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti is an amazing labyrinth of giant limestone boulders that sit in the Craigieburn Basin, an area surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. The area is rich with cultural and recreational significance and has been granted Topuni status “A symbolic cloak of protection”. Known internationally as world-class climbing, bouldering, and film making destination; it’s well worth a visit. Your guide will show you around if you like you can have a go at bouldering and test your climbing skills, or use your time here to explore the endless maze of boulders. We stop here for lunch at Castle Hill. (Lunch provided)
Afternoon – Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti
You will have free time to explore the endless maze of boulders at Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti after lunch until 2:30 PM. You will be dropped back to your accommodation or back at the Canterbury Musem at the end of the day.
Castle Hill & Cave Stream Tour Highlights
You will be picked up from your accommodation or from our meeting point outside the Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Ave, Christchurch. We start our adventure by traveling west towards the mountains across the flat farmland of the Canterbury Plains. We make a stop after 45mins at the “The famous Sheffield Pie Shop” (Lunch is provided but you might like to sample a classic Kiwi pie) before continuing our journey to Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti.
Morning – Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti
Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti is an amazing labyrinth of giant limestone boulders that sit in the Craigieburn Basin, an area surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. The area is rich with cultural and recreational significance and has been granted Topuni status “A symbolic cloak of protection”. Known internationally as world-class climbing, bouldering, and film making destination; it’s well worth a visit. Your guide will show you around if you like you can have a go at bouldering and test your climbing skills, or use your time here to explore the endless maze of boulders. We stop here for lunch at Castle Hill.
Afternoon – Cave Stream
We will meet back at the carpark at 1:00 pm and make our way to Cave Stream, just 10 mins drive from Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti. It will take us approximately 45mins to make our way through the 594 meters of limestone cave. Our route follows the crystal-clear water up-stream, through the winding chambers and small waterfalls. The final section has a 3-meter fixed ladder to climb past the largest waterfall as we exit the cave.
Not interested in caving? Not to worry, the stunning landscape used for filming The Chronicles of Narnia” surround us here. You’re welcome to explore the paths and trails in the area or sit and relax with some afternoon tea in this very peaceful landscape. We follow the “Great Alpine Highway” back to Christchurch casting our eyes over the massive Torlesse Range and iconic “Gap”.
Your guide will drop you back at your accommodation in Christchurch, at the airport or in the city center.
Castle Hill & Cave Stream Tour Highlights
Spend a day rock climbing on the Port Hills at one of Christchurch’s most spectacular climbing areas. If you’re completely new to climbing and just want to give it a go or, a seasoned climber looking for some local tips this is the trip for you.
The 30 min drive up to the climbing area will take you through some of Christchurch’s most affluent suburbs, affording uninterrupted views from the Pacific Ocean to the Southern Alps in the west. Our climbing areas are scattered across the summit of an enormous extinct volcano that formed Banks Penninsula and Lyttelton Harbour. With over 2000 established climbing routes, Christchurch is one of the largest and most popular climbing areas in New Zealand.
Once you have been fitted with a harness and helmet it’s only a short 5 min walk to the Crag (climbing area). Your guide will set up the ropes and give you a safety briefing and belay lesson before you start your first climb. Once you’re feeling confident with the climbing systems your guide will review the abilities of the group and continue to set up some climbs that will be challenging, achievable and safe for the group. We will have lunch up at the crag overlooking either Christchurch City or Lyttelton Harbour.
After lunch, we have a go at abseiling (controlled lower) where you will have the opportunity to lower yourself off one of the Crags. If you’re keen for some more climbing, abseiling or just relaxing your guide will be happy to find the perfect spot to finish the day.At the end of the day, you will be dropped back to your accommodation or at the drop point at Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Ave, in the city center.
Rock Climbing Tour Highlights