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Sustainable Activities Across The South Island

Make Your Holiday More Sustainable With These Epic Activities

New Zealand has been a leader in sustainable adventures long before ecotourism became a buzzword in the travel world. Maintaining our famous natural wonders and unique wildlife relies on us travellers doing our part to keep it that way as we holiday around our insanely beautiful country.  

Luckily, The Central South Island brims with sustainable activities to keep the whole travel party happy — and the environment too — from land sailing in Ōtautahi Christchurch to an off-the-grid hot springs resort in the West Coast.  

Hero Christchurch Terrace Avon River

Carbon Neutral Tours Of The Central South Island

A Cheeky Kea Tour is like having a friend show you all the best spots in their hometown, except instead, it’s the entire Central South Island. From adventure to food and wine tours, this is your one-stop-shop to experience all our region has to offer with a certified zero-carbon tour company. Starting from Ōtautahi Christchurch, the destinations are either handpicked by Cheeky Kea or can be customised to your liking.

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Velocity Karts Christchurch

Velocity Karts, Christchurch

Reckon you know everything about sailing and go karting? Think again. At Christchurch’s Velocity Karts, you don’t even need water to sail in a yacht. A unique experience with a zero-carbon footprint, their three-wheeler blokarts allow you to harness the wind on land. Feeling competitive? Prepare to slip, slide and spin as you race around a tight track in an electric driftkart!

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Crater Rim Walks Lyttelton Harbour, two walkers look out over Lyttelton Harbour

Crater Rim Walks, Christchurch

Stretch the legs and walk the path of early Māori and European settler history on an extinct volcano with Crater Rim Walks. Guided by passionate and experienced locals, choose between one of four, one-day or half-day walks, each offering breath-taking scenery of the rugged Pacific coastline, snow-covered alps and the picturesque Lyttelton Harbour. Full-day walkers will also be treated to a locally sourced, gourmet picnic!

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Lady enjoying Maruia Speings Hot Pools surrounded by native bush.
Credit: Stewart Nimmo

Maruia Hot Springs, West Coast

You’ll never want to leave this off-the-grid eco resort, which runs entirely on hydropower. Overlooking the West Coast’s Maruia River and bush-clad mountains, immerse yourself in Maruia Hot Springs’ natural geothermal waters that comes straight from the earth’s core. These aren’t just any pools – the water is infused with natural minerals which detoxify the body. Staying overnight? Expect complimentary day spa offerings and wellness classes.

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The Seventh Generation Tour

The Seventh Generation, Banks Peninsula

Guided by regenerative tourism principles, The Seventh Generation’s sustainable tours paint a picture of Akaroa’s early Māori, French and European settler history. From a marae with links to the Treaty of Waitangi, to community conservation projects, embark on a fascinating journey through rich heritage sites with a local storyteller and ecologist descended from one of Banks Peninsula’s first French settlers.

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Two Penguins cover under rocks

Pohatu Penguins, Banks Peninsula

Visit the largest korarā (Little Penguin) colony on mainland New Zealand, one of the only places they breed. Led by a local Banks Peninsula family for more than 30 years, every walking and sea-kayaking tour with Pohatu Penguins directly supports conservation efforts of the endemic Little Penguin. Gain insight into the life of a penguin at their nesting sites while watching them socialise on the water.

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