Early Explorers from Queen Charlotte Sound to Akaroa
We take a private cruise out on the Sound to visit Ship Cove in this 251st anniversary year of Cook’s first landfall. Hear the stories of the Polynesian voyagers’ settlement at Wairau Boulder Bank and discover the history of the eastern coastline at Kaikoura and Akaroa.
What Tracy loves about this tour:
“It takes an hour to cruise down stunning Queen Charlotte Sound to the jetty at Ship Cove and it’s always a treat. It’s the perfect way to start our coastline odyssey in the wake of the first visitors and settlers. Each night we stay close to the sea and each day we connect with our early history.”
7 Day / 6 Night Tour departing Auckland visiting Blenheim, Picton, Ship Cove, Queen Charlotte Sound, Kaikoura, Akaroa and Christchurch
Day 2: Picton – Queen Charlotte Sound, Ship Cove – Picton
Today is a special day as we take our own private discovery cruise out onto magnificent Queen Charlotte Sound to beautiful Ship Cove near the entrance to the Sound. We have a picnic lunch at the Cove and plenty of time to explore and soak up the atmosphere at this historic site.
Maori valued Ship Cove's sheltered waters and it’s easy to see why Captain Cook did too, returning four times to drop anchor in this idyllic cove. We cruise back to port in the mid afternoon visiting the inlets and coves along the way.
We meet our guide at historic Fyffe House, a whaler’s cottage built on whale vertebrae, and visit the seal colony nearby. Continuing down the Kaikoura Coast we cross the Canterbury Plains to lunch and enjoy a wine tasting at Waipara Hills vineyard.
In Christchurch we tour the inner city rebuild zone before continuing to Banks Peninsula via Lyttelton and Gebbes Pass. We stay at the Bruce Apartments on the Akaroa waterfront for two nights and dine out this evening.
Day 6: Banks Peninsula sightseeing – Okains Bay Museum – Kawatea Farm
At Okains Bay on the other side of the Peninsula the Maori and Colonial Museum has an amazing, diverse collection of special treasures. We enjoy a special private lunch nearby with Judy and Kerry Thacker at Kawatea Farm which has been in the family for generations..
This afternoon we continue on the trail of the peninsula's history and take in the panoramic views along the Summit Road. We dine out in Akaroa this evening
What you'll love today
The treasures on display at Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum
Hear the local history over lunch with Kerry and Judy Thacker at Kawatea Farm
Day 7: Akaroa – Little River – Christchurch – Fly to Auckland
After breakfast at Bully Hayes, named for an early American “pirate” visitor we stroll the village and waterfront where the whaling trypots are a reminder of the whalers that called into the harbour from the 1830s onwards. At the Akaroa Museum exhibits tell the stories of the Ngai Tahu, whalers and French settlers.
We visit Josie Martin’s Giant’s House, a six-star Garden of International Significance, featuring Josie’s quirky mosaic sculptures, no visit to Akaroa is complete without a visit. On the way to Christchurch airport we stop for lunch at Little River Cafe and Gallery.
What you'll love today
Wandering in Akaroa village and along the harbourside
Visit the sculpture garden at Josie Martin's Giant's House