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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour and Giants House Local Tour

star-4.517 Reviews
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Akaroa, New Zealand
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour and Giants House Local Tour

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon3 hours  (approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


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Air-conditioned vehicle
Port pickup and drop-off
Worry-free Shore Excursion Guarantee
Food and drinks
Gratuities (optional)
Akaroa Dolphins , 65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand

From the Main Wharf in Akaroa, head down to the end where you will see the Akaroa I-Site and a small park on the right-hand side. Next to the Canon statue, a representative will be waiting for you. Please arrive by 10.50am for a 11.00am departure.

11:00 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • At time of booking, cruise ship passengers must provide the following information: ship name, docking time, disembarkation time and re-boarding time
  • Please note that activity times and schedules can be slightly amended depending on your cruise ships timetable.
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY Leisure Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

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Traveler Tips

  • "Good trip around key spots in Akaroa, knowledgeable driver, and Giants House is a must for anyone visiting." See review


17 Reviews
1 star

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 17 reviews
Not So Giant
, Apr 2020
The bus trip was nice. I have a bad knee and it was hard to get up the hill to the Giant House. It was interesting Art work.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2020
Thank you for you review and sorry to hear that you had some difficulty get up the driveway to the Giants House. Please you enjoyed the tour of Banks Peninsula.
Worth Doing
, Mar 2020
Good trip around key spots in Akaroa, knowledgeable driver, and Giants House is a must for anyone visiting. Cheese factory visit was a little disappointing as you don’t actually get to tour anything. Merely view limited activities from behind glass panels in the shop. Tricky to take cheese back given the need for refrigeration ! The timing was just about right - especially as Cruise ships tender into this port so you need to allow extra time for the process.
icon Response from Host , Apr 2020
Thanks for the nice review! I'm really glad you found the tour informative and nicely timed for those who are just looking to do a half day excursion during their time in Akaroa. Regarding your comments, the cheese factory is stated in this tours description as a short 15 minute stop and not a full tour of the facility. Many of the cheese that you can purchase at Barry's Bay also do not need immediate refrigeration and passengers often just keep the cheese in a cool, dry place after purchasing such as a bag. Thanks again for the review and I hope you get to return to Akaroa someday soon!
Outstanding tour with Scott!
, Mar 2020
We had an incredible tour. our cruise ship tender experienced problems and we were one hour late meeting Scott, yet he still gave us the full tour. Scott was extremely knowledgeable, personable, and informative about our destinations. We were allowed ample time at each stop for photos and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Our tour vehicle was comfortable for our small group which made this tour much more enjoyable than the buses offered by the cruise ship tours. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit The Giants House! I highly recommend this tour as part of any visit to Akaroa.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thank you very much David for taking the time to write such a positive review of your Akaroa Harbour and Giants House Local Tour. I do remember your ship having some problems with a few of it's tenders, which was the first time our team had seen anything like it. Fortunately, due to a late final tender times we were able to adjust tours accordingly and ensure that everyone who had booked with us were able to enjoy their tours. It's awesome to hear that your driver/guide Scott was knowledgeable, personable and informative on throughout your shore excursion. He is one of our most recent and now most popular drivers and it's nice to see him receive so many positive comments. I'll be sure to pass on your kind words to him when I see him again. Thanks again for the recommendation and I hope you get to return to Akaroa someday soon!
Giants house
, Mar 2020
Loved the Giants house it was so unique With its tiered terraces and fabulous mosaics everywhere From paving to sculptures
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thanks for the 5 star review! I'm really pleased you had a nice time on your local tour and particularly at the beautiful Giant's House. I hope you get to return to Akaroa again soon!
Highly recommended
, Feb 2020
Great interesting tour, but the real shock was the Giants House. Wonderful art and garden interspersed. Witty and colourful. Highly recommend
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Thanks for great review and recommendation, Mary! I'm really pleased to hear that you had such a blast on your Akaroa Harbour and Giants House Local Tour. I hope you get to visit Akaroa again soon!
A great short excursion
, Feb 2020
Scotty was our guide - he was fantastic!!! Modified our tour as the low cloud made the hilltop view obsolete. Took us on a lovely drive along the coastline and gave an absolutely tremendous Maori history lesson!!! The Giants House is awesome and well worth the visit. We had the option of staying for longer and walking back to port - which isn’t far BUT it is steep. You have to walk up a very steep driveway to get to the house and then down that same driveway- even if you only have minor mobility issues - it can be difficult (my knee is still aching 3 days later - but it was worth it)
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Thanks for the awesome review, Belinda. I'm really happy you had such a great time on your Akaroa Harbour and Giants House Local Tour. It's also great to hear that your driver/guide, Scott, provided some interesting information and a great modified tour due to the weather conditions on the day that you travelled. I'll be sure to pass on your kind words to him. We always offer the option of staying longer at the Giant's House and making your way back to port yourself at the end of the tour (as it's only a 15-20 minute walk), but yes - if you have mobility issues it's recommended that you return to port with your driver/guide. Thanks again and I hope you return to Akaroa again soon!
Amazing house
, Dec 2019
Would definitely recommend this trip Akoroa very quaint lovely harbour and promenade. Giants house you will not of seen anything like it prepare to be amazed. Viator thank you again we have booked all our tours with you all drivers have been very informative and helpful as have shore staff 👍👍👍
icon Response from Host , Dec 2019
Thanks for the great review and recommendation for your Akaroa Harbour & Giants House Local Shore Excursion. I'm pleased you had such a nice time! You're quite right, the Giant's House attraction is very unique and we are one of the only companies that offers both a local sights tour with a guided tour from the artist who created the Giant's House - so it's a not-to-be-missed opportunity if your ship comes into Akaroa. And I'm glad you have enjoyed all your tours you have booked so far on Viator as well! Have a great day and I hope you get to visit Akaroa and the South Island again soon!
Really Good, but driver a little bit unorganised
, Dec 2019
Really good excursion, easy to find meeting place, and really enjoyable. Only downside is the driver was quite unorganised, had trouble with the audio system, and air conditioning system - we went from boiling to freezing. And he tried to leave us at the Giant House and make our own way back to the ship - a distance of about 2kms. He was quite knowledgable, but we had the feeling he'd been brought in at the last moment to charter our tour. If they try to tell you to walk back from Giant House on your own, stand your ground - tour states that trip back to ship is included.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2019
Thank you for taking the time to submit your review. I am pleased to learn that you enjoyed your excursion and that you found the driver quite knowledgeable, however, I am sorry that he had some trouble with the sound system and air-conditioning. I understand both issues were sorted quite quickly. This tour has a return transfer from the Giants House to the wharf, however, we do give all customers the option to walk back so they can spend longer at the Giants House should they want to.
Tour was not so great, but Giants House was fantastic
, Nov 2019
This shore excursion was booked with Cantaberry tours via Viator. We did get to see much of the countryside with this tour. John was our tour guide and driver as we were in a 16 passenger van with a total of 9 passengers. We first stopped at a cheese factory for a little tasting and then drove on around the harbor to the summit to the Hilltop Tavern where we had an opportunity to buy some refreshment. However since the hill was fogged in, we couldn’t see anything from that location. We stayed too long at the tavern, so John had to fly back down the hill and around the harbor for our appointment for a tour at the Giant’s House. We were too late for the tour, but the owner did give us information about the house. The gardens and mosaic sculptures were fantastic. It reminded me of Gaudi and in fact, the owner/artist did study in Barcelona. We wanted to spend more time at the Giant’s house, so we elected to walk back to the port. However, it was further than we expected, so we were worn out when we got back on the tender to the ship. We got to see beautiful views of the Banks Peninsula. The tour would had been better if the tour guide had stuck to a schedule. They should state at what time to be back on the van.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2019
Thank you for taking the time to submit your review, it was unfortunate that the weather was inclement and interrupted your views, as the scenery is quite magnificent. The walk for the Giants House back to the wharf, according to google maps is 1.3 kilometers, either down hill or on the flat and on a nice day most customers enjoy the walk through the township.
Tour guide let us down!
, Nov 2019
We had been told by Viator that this was a private tour, however there were 11 people on the tour. I wouldnt call our guide a tour guide at all. He was merely a bus driver called John who acted as though it was a total chore to be there at all. There wasnt enough seating in the mini van so my husband and I were separated for the duration. He drove very fast pulling into a viewpoint of Akaroa harbour. He wouldnt let anyone out of the bus and when one passenger said he couldnt see the ship the driver quickly pulled back out onto the road so no one could take a photo at all. He then wound down throuh suburban streets trying to find somewhere you could see the ship, and when he evenually found a spot he wouldnt let us out of the bus anyway to take a photo. A little dog ran alongside the bus and this became the highlight as we were all concerned the bus driver would actually run over the dog. At this point the air conditioning in the bus failed to work so the driver spent the next 15 minutes as we wound up a very steep hill towards another lookout trying to rectify the extremely hot air that was blowing onto us. We were all eady to expire as he fiddled about with dials as he drove. He eventually opened the window so we could try to recover from the oven like conditions. We stopped at the beautiful lookout and got out there to enjoy some free time to enjoy the view and buy ourselves a drink while the driver tried to work out how to operate the air conditioning. Unfortunately my husband left his hat at the lookout, and whilst the driver did have plenty of time to return there after dropping us all at The Giants Garden he refused to do so. The tour was supposed to be over 3 hours, but the bus driver refused to wait for us to visit the Giants Garden telling us it was obnly 2 minutes to walk back into Akaroa. It was actually almost half a kilometre. At this point he had only been wih us for under 2 hours. It was a hot day and people didnt want to waste precious time walking into town to see Akaroa In the end, after many, many complaints the driver agreed to return to pick people up and drive us into town. He was not happy to do this. The Giants Garden was absoluely exquisite and a must see for anyone visiting Akaroa. I have rarely experienced anywhere so unique It was breathtaking. The only complaint I have is with the driver. He ws not a tour guide and didnt seem to care one way or the other about his passengers..
icon Response from Host , Nov 2019
The contents of your review is noted. This is not and never has been a private tour. The tour cost is NZ$75 per person which includes the $30 guided tour of the Giants House, how on earth could anyone expect a private tour for two people at this price is beyond belief, especially when the same tour through the cruise ship is more than double this price with 40 or more people. There were 11 passengers on the tour in a 17 seater vehicle so I am unable to explain why you thought there was insufficient seating. As to the remainder of your comments with regard to the tour and the driver they are disingenuous at best.

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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour and Giants House Local Tour
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