Akaroa & Canterbury Farm
Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: AKA-004
Here's your opportunity to explore one of New Zealand's most treasured destinations - Akaroa, the first town to be settled in the South Island. French colonists arrived here over 160 years ago and today their Gallic influence remains in the town's architecture and street names.
Departing from the ship, it's a scenic 45-minute ride through the lush Akaroa countryside, with its picturesque bays, panoramic views of rolling hills and sheep grazing in the green fields. New Zealand is known for its sheep industry, as your first destination will show you.
Arriving at Manderley Farm, one of many farms in this area of Canterbury, you'll be greeted by a friendly hello and a spot of morning tea. After your refreshment, experienced farm hands will then lead you to the sheep-shearing shed where you'll get to see a demonstration. Another key member of the sheepherding team is the dog. You'll marvel at the considerable talents of these four-legged herders as they perform a lively display of their abilities for you. See top New Zealand sheep dogs gather a mob of sheep from nearly hills herding them down for their master for your photo opportunity. These champion sheep dogs will take whistle commands from half a mile distance with speed and agility. The Farm's owner will share with you his life experiences farming the hills over the last 30 years.
Leaving Manderley, it's a short drive to Birdlings Flat, a small settlement located at the edge of the Kaitorete Spit - an area renowned for the abundant minerals and gem stones. Visit the Gemstone museum to see how the stones are cut and polished and spend some time browsing the displays of stones, fossils and other interesting items that have washed up ashore. During your visit, the museum owner will explain to you the various stages and states of the stones as they are washed down from the mountains to the plains. Time permitting, you can take a short stroll to the beach with its interesting flat stones and uninterrupted views of the ocean.
At the conclusion of your visit, you'll re-board your coach and travel back to the pier in Akaroa.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of easy to moderate walking/standing. There may be some natural surfaces to negotiate at the farm. Due to accessibility issues at the venues, the tour is not available to wheelchair guests. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual clothing which should include a light jacket; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests are encouraged to bring a bottle of water from the ship. The tour may operate in reverse order.