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Christchurch City Tour

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Tour Info

Hop aboard and prepare to take Christchurch head on! With an eclectic mix of new and old, Christchurch is truly a city like no other. Take in the historic sights from the top deck of our double decker bus and Hop On and Hop Off completely at your leisure.

We have two tour routes available, the Central Tour explores the central city sights and the Discover Tour circumnavigates the outer suburbs. You can also purchase a combo ticket to enjoy both tours, ensuring you make the most of your time in Christchurch!

The Central Tour red loop is operated on an open or closed top double decker bus and is a one hour long tour, or you can choose to spend all day hopping on and off at the different stops along the way. On this tour you will see how the earthquakes have completely changed the Christchurch central city landscape and you will see and learn about the exciting rebuild, which is now well underway.

The Discover Tour blue loop is a two hour tour operated on a classic London closed roof double decker bus or small single coach. This tour travels into the ‘red zone’ which is a residential area where more than 6000 homes were demolished after the earthquakes.

Your guide will talk about the many exciting opportunities that are being explored to redevelop this area. The tour then heads out to the beautiful seaside area of Sumner where you will have time to enjoy an ice cream on the beach, before heading to the Port Hills to enjoy breathtaking views over the city, Canterbury plains and out to the Southern Alps.

Prepare to explore a truly stunning city with both an epic and recent history which will leave you feeling completely inspired.

Explore the very best that Christchurch has to offer with one fantastic COMBO PASS! Enjoy both Soaring Kiwi Tours and SAVE! There is no better way to spend a day in Christchurch! Purchase a 48hr Combo Pass and you will also receive FREE Quake Museum Entry!

Tour Highlights

  • Unique vehicles with fantastic views

Discover the true magic of city sightseeing on board our unique, classic and new, double decker buses. With a mix of open and closed top buses, you will ride in comfort and style, enjoying spectacular views from the top deck.

  • Hop-on, hop-off and visit Christchurch’s best attractions

As you circumnavigate the city in our red double decker buses, visiting historic landmarks and all the ‘must see’ attractions, you can hop on and off at your leisure to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

  • KIDS ride FREE!

Up to 2x children (14yrs and under) can travel FREE with accompanied paying adults. Additional children are $10pp.

Central Tour

Tour Duration: 1 Hour 

Winter Departure Times (1 May – 31 Oct): Buses depart every 60 minutes from 10am, last bus departs Stop 1 at 2pm.

Summer Departure Times(1 Nov – 30 Apr): Buses depart every 60 minutes from 10am, last bus departs Stop 1 at 4pm.

Stop 1: Canterbury Museum
Stop location: Rolleston Avenue, outside Canterbury Museum
Experience New Zealand’s rich cultural and natural heritage at the Canterbury Museum. Learn about the past, present and future of Canterbury. View rare Maori artefacts, find out about Christchurch’s link to the Antarctic, and The Christchurch Street will transport you back in time with sights and sounds of pioneering days.

Stop 2: Mona Vale 
Stop location: Fendalton Road, Fendalton
Mona Vale is home to one of Christchurch’s most beautiful garden settings. Mature trees, rose gardens, a water lily pond, meandering river and sloping lawns, provide a stunning backdrop to Mona Vale Homestead. The Homestead and Gate House are both listed buildings with Heritage New Zealand.

Stop 3: Westfield Riccarton Mall 
Stop location: Bus stop on Rotherham St, outside the mall in front of Starbucks.
Westfield Riccarton is the largest shopping mall in the South Island and the third-largest in the country. It features over 190 stores, including Farmers, K-Mart, jewellers, supermarkets, beauty therapists, cafés, fast-food chains, Westfield & ASB banks, a cinema complex and more.

Stop 4: Cardboard Cathedral 
Stop location: Bus stop on Hereford St, diagonally opposite the Cathedral.
The Cardboard Cathedral is the transitional cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch. The original Cathedral was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake, and this temporary building was opened in August 2013, to help service the community. It is the world’s only Cathedral made substantially of cardboard.

Stop 5: Christchurch Catholic Basilica
Drive by only. No stop.
The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, known as the Christchurch Basilica, is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Christchurch. The Cathedral was closed after the 4 September 2010 earthquake having sustained considerable damage. The future of this once magnificent building is unknown.

Stop 6: Margaret Mahy Playground 
Drive by only. No Stop
Named after one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed children’s book authors, this magical wonderland is a child’s paradise. With a 4m wide slide, double flying fox, water cannons, sandpit, climbing web, splash pad, picnic and BBQ area, food and coffee carts - this is the perfect stop for families.

Stop 7: Cathedral Square
Stop location: In front of the Cathedral near the tram stop, toilets and chessboard.
Cathedral Square is the geographical centre and heart of Christchurch. It has long been a community focal point, a place where the community comes together, in good times and bad. The Christchurch Cathedral is located here and was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake. Restoration has been confirmed and will take up to six years to complete.

Stop 8: Earthquake Memorial/The Terrace 
Drive by only. No Stop
This memorial provides a place to reflect on the events that changed Canterbury forever – paying respect to the people who lost their lives and those who were seriously injured. Located along the banks of the Avon River, this is a tranquil and poignant setting for this important monument.

Discover Tour

Tour Duration: 2 Hour 

Winter Departure Times (1 May – 31 Oct): Bus departs at 3pm

Summer Departure Times(1 Nov – 30 Apr): Buses depart 9am, 12pm, 3pm.

Stop 9: Canterbury Museum
Experience New Zealand’s rich cultural and natural heritage at the Canterbury Museum. Learn about the past, present and future of Canterbury. View rare Maori artefacts, find out about Christchurch’s link to the Antarctic, and The Christchurch Street will transport you back in time with sights and sounds of pioneering days. 

Stop 10: Residential "Red Zone"
Drive by only. No Stop
Visit Christchurch’s residential ‘Red Zone’ in the eastern city suburbs. Here you will see the devastating impact of the 2010-2011 earthquakes and learn about the city’s plan to revitalise and regenerate this area.

Stop 11: Summer Village
Sumner is a picturesque seaside village that is well known for its beautiful beach, fantastic food and boutique fashion. We stop in Sumner so you can enjoy a relaxing walk along the beach while indulging in a delicious ice cream or relaxing with a hot drink.

Stop 12: Sign of the Takahe/Port Hills
The Sign of the Takahe is one of four historic rest houses that was originally constructed for those walking the scenic reserves of the Port Hills. Once here you will hop out and take a short walk to a lookout to enjoy incredible views of the city, mountains and ocean.

Quake City
Location: 299 Durham St North, corner Armagh St.
This exhibition tells the story of the Christchurch 2010-2011 earthquakes, charting the aftermath and extraordinary tales of heroism, hope and loss. Learn about the science of earthquakes and the phenomenon of liquefaction. The rebuild section has up to date information about the latest recovery projects and regenerate plan. (See map for location).

Important Info 

Tour Pass & Pricing

You must keep your tour pass safe and replacements cannot be issued. You must show your pass as you board. The tour pass remains the property of Soaring Kiwi Tours. Passes are not transferrable. Prices may be altered at any time. Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST.


Up to 2x children (14yrs and under) can travel FREE per paying adult. Additional children are $10pp.

Tour Routes

Soaring Kiwi Tours reserves the right to amend the tour route, including designated stops, at any time, as circumstances require.

Tour Delays

From time to time, due to issues beyond our control, the tour may be delayed due to unexpected street closures, traffic congestion, street parades/celebrations and road works.

Seating and Safety

Passengers must adhere to the driver’s instructions at all times. You must remain seated whilst the bus is in motion. Seating cannot be guaranteed.

Tour Vehicles

Soaring Kiwi Tours reserves the right to use an alternative vehicle than is advertised, without prior notice, due to unforeseen circumstances, including health and safety or mechanical concerns.

Interactive Map

Use our interactive maps to check out some of the stops on our tour.

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