Arriving into Christchurch at 1am, we were picked up by our complimentary shuttle and taken to the Commodore Hotel, where we were greeted by very helpful staff at the alpine lodge style reception.
Today our travels took us to Akaroa, a 1 hour 20 minute scenic drive from Christchurch over hills and through picturesque valleys. Akaroa is a historic French village nestled in the middle of an extinct volcano. Akaroa harbour offers many attractions, including nature cruises to view the threatened Hector's Dolphin (the worlds smallest dolphin at 1.5m) along with bird life, seals and penguins.
Some of the wildlife & views from the cruise.
If you ever go looking for the Akaroa's historic Lighthouse do not follow Lighthouse Rd. It's a long hilly gravel road that lasts about 10km taking you towards farmland, it does have some good views along the way!
Next stop - Fox Glacier via the scenic Arthur's Pass.