Akaroa and Giants House day tour
Close to Christchurch and "just over the hill" is the charming settlement of Akaroa, a town that is as French as French could be in New Zealand. Our day trip today visits one of the gems of the town, The Giants House, another unique destination and a place that must be seen. We also call in at Little River on the way and have plenty of time for lunch (at your cost) and to look around the boutique shops before returning to Christchurch.
Departing from a central pickup point in Christchurch, we soon leave the urban sprawl of the city behind as we head out to Banks Peninsula, passing the flat coastal farm land and the shimmering Lake Ellesmere, which at 195 km2 is New Zealand's 5th largest lake. Our first stop today is the small settlement at Little River, once the end of the rail line, it now has some interesting craft shops and of course a cafe, so time here for morning tea if needed.
We then begin the steep climb up to the aptly named Hilltop Tavern (great photo stop) and then down through Barry's and Robinson's bays until we reach Akaroa. Our destination is the quirky house and garden known as The Giants House. This historic house is filled with original contemporary artworks, terraced gardens with sculptures, mosaics, ceramics, creating a sensory and colourful feast...all by local artist Josie Martin. After time here exploring the delights of Josie's work we head to the Akaroa waterfront where you have time for lunch (at your cost) and to look around the many interesting shops and boutiques.