The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Canterbury, New Zealand

Kids in Canterbury, New Zealand

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Glenstrae Farm 4-Wheeler Adventures

Kaikoura

Adventure activities

Alastair and Anita have spiced up the Kaikoura coast with a good dash of adrenaline. All safety gear, full instruction, tremendous location and, of course, your own set of wheels are provided. You just have to put it all together, hang on tight and keep your eyes open. The trip is eco-conscious too and you will learn about the dramatic coastline, rugged reef, beaches and seal colony – all of which you get to see (eyes open remember…). The 8-wheel Argo Tour (a bit like a mini, open-top tank) is also available and is suitable for kids.

  • Prices: Guided ATV tour $110 per adult (departs 8:30am and 1pm). Argo tour $60 per adult, $25 per child (departs 9:30 am and 1:30pm).
  • Contact: Glenstrae Farm, SH1, Kaikoura
  • Tel: 03-319-7021 or freephone 0800-004-009 (within New Zealand)
  • Fax: 03-319-7023
  • Email: info@4wheeladventures.co.nz
  • Web: www.4wheeladventures.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Giant’s House and Sculpture Garden

Akaroa

Arts & crafts

Linton was christened ‘the giant’s house’ when a small child, gazing up at the imposing home from the valley below, declared it must belong to a giant because it was so big. Today, surprises abound in its glorious garden. Artist Josie's elegant, abstract sculptures are a seriously playful, whimsical and flamboyant celebration of life. Welded steel sculptures and extraordinary mosaics on steps and a sculptural wall sit comfortably amongst colourful terraces of roses, vegetables, citrus fruits and flowers. This is a unique and an all-round creative feast of an experience!

The Giant’s House and Sculpture Garden
  • Prices: Come between 2pm - 4pm for a tour. Refer to www.thegiantshouse.co.nz for current prices.
  • Contact: 68 Rue Balguerie, Akaroa
  • Tel: 03-304-7501
  • Email: info@linton.co.nz
  • Web: www.linton.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Akaroa Fox Sail

Akaroa

Boat trips

Sailing on this classic 85-year-old, 50ft ketch is a really special way to experience the beauty and wildlife of Akaroa Harbour, one of two drowned volcanoes that form the Banks Peninsula and home to dolphins, seals and penguins. Sailing these protected waters is hugely popular with locals and you can see what the fuss is about on the Fox II, where you’re most welcome to join the crew in a hands-on, eco-friendly sailing experience. Alternatively, let others do the thinking and sit back, relax and enjoy the sun, sea and hills.

Akaroa Fox Sail
  • Prices: $65 per adult, $30 for school-age children, children under 5 go free. Private charters by arrangement. Leaving from Daly’s Wharf in Akaroa 10:30am and 1:30pm from mid-Dec - May. You can book on board or at the Akaroa Information Centre.
  • Contact: Akaroa Information Centre, 41 Muter Street, Akaroa
  • Tel: 03-304-7024; 0800 FOX SAIL (369 7245)
  • Cel: 027-4144-879
  • Email: info@akaroafoxsail.co.nz
  • Web: www.akaroafoxsail.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Akaroa Farm Tours

Akaroa

Farms

Spend the afternoon meeting Murray, the sixth generation of Johnses at Paua Bay, and more sheep than you can shake your welly (boot) at. This is the place to experience real rural NZ life and to get to know the creatures that are such a big part of it. You’ll watch Murray work the sheepdogs who’ll work the sheep who’ll then be worked upon by the sheep-shearers. Afterwards there’s tea and scones in the beautiful homestead garden delightfully topping off this personal, interactive and refreshingly authentic tour.

Akaroa Farm Tours
  • Prices: Adults $55 and children $35 for a two and a half hour tour, includes tea and scones.
  • Contact: Paua Bay Hillcountry Farm, 113 Beach Road, Akaroa
  • Tel: 03-304-7170
  • Fax: 03-304-7170
  • Cel: 021-304-315
  • Email: info@akaroafarmtours.com
  • Web: www.akaroafarmtours.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Christchurch

Nature & wildlife

You’re guaranteed to see a kiwi here (I'm talking about the bird of course) - no small promise in these parts. Open till 10pm each night there are several other oddities that you might find too; wekas (unusual, famed NZ wood hen), blue ducks (rare), throat tassled kune kune pigs (one-off, origin unknown), tuataras (one of the world's closest living relatives of the dinosaurs), a pond of eels (not that rare but yucky) and most bizarrely of all 'pakehas' (Maori for white men) doing the haka and dancing with poi. The latter is explained by the interactive cultural performances that are put on each evening teaching you about the South Island’s Maori, their customs and their history. Combine all this with an evening buffet for a great night out.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  • Prices: Entry price to reserve children $10.50, adult $21. Ko Tane Maori Cultural Performance and Guided Tour $49 adults, $42.50 concessions, $23.70 under 15, under 5 free. Taste New Zealand evening buffet $59.
  • Contact: 60 Hussey Road, Christchurch
  • Tel: 03-359-6226
  • Fax: 03-359-6212
  • Email: info@willowbank.co.nz
  • Web: www.willowbank.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Akaroa Dolphins

Akaroa

Whale and dolphin trips

Hector's dolphins, blue penguins, fur seals and fascinating sea birds are just a few of the creatures that call Akaroa Harbour home. Pip’s family in Akaroa dates back to 1838 (interestingly they were some of the original French settlers from Normandy) so guests get a really personal insight into the history, geology (the harbour waters fill what is actually a massive volcano crater), ecology and Maori traditions of the region. Small groups allow for more personal cruises on their wonderfully stylish, yet discreet and quiet vessel. Guests also receive a complimentary drink of NZ award-winning wine, beer or organic juice and some delicious, fresh home-baking.

Akaroa Dolphins
  • Prices: $60 per adult, $30 per child (5 - 15yrs), 4 yrs and under $20.
  • Contact: 65 Beach Road, Akaroa, Canterbury
  • Tel: 03-304-7866
  • Email: cruise@akaroadolphins.co.nz
  • Web: www.akaroadolphins.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Dolphin Experience

Akaroa

Whale and dolphin trips

Endemic to the coast of New Zealand, not only are these rounded little chaps the smallest sea-living dolphins in the world, but sadly they also happen to be the rarest of all oceanic species. Threatened by set nets and a low birth rate, there are only 2-2,500 individuals within two distinct populations off the South Island coast and another tiny group of 100 dolphins off North Island shores. Much smaller than other species, Hector dolphin adults grow to a length of 1.2m to 1.4m and their calves are like little sea-faring rugby balls at just 50-60cm at birth. With foreheads that curve down to the mouth’s tip, small rounded dorsal fins and a well-defined colour scheme it is not just their petiteness that makes them distinctive. Their bellies are white, bodies grey, flippers, fins and tails black and they are all marked by a jazzy swoosh of white that extends from the belly along the flanks towards the tail. Hector dolphins are really sociable types and usually swim in groups of 2 – 12. They are particularly friendly towards humans and will often swim to investigate you, your kayak or your boat. Dolphin Experience in Akaroa take small groups out into the sheltered harbour waters for the opportunity of swimming close to the dolphins. This is not the dolphin touching, ‘flipper’ type experience many hope for. Happily, as well as being sweet as pie, Hector dolphins are completely wild and so these tours are carried out strictly on the dolphins' terms.

Dolphin Experience
  • Prices: Swimming: adults $98, children $80. Watching: adults $48, children $25. Children under 5 can't swim but can go out on the boat and watch for free.
  • Contact: 61 Beach Road, Akaroa
  • Tel: 03-304-7726
  • Email: dolphins.akaroa@xtra.co.nz
  • Web: www.dolphinsakaroa.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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