Caving & Castle Hill Day Tour
Combined sightseeing and caving day tour from Christchurch. Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti is a labyrinth of giant limestone boulders that sit in the Craigieburn Basin, an area surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. The area is rich with cultural and recreational significance and has been granted Tōpuni status “A symbolic cloak of protection”. Known internationally as world-class climbing, bouldering, and film making destination; it’s well worth a visit. A short drive from Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti conservation area is a stunning 600-meter long limestone cave in the Cave Stream scenic reserve.
- Scenic drive S.H 73 “The Great Alpine Highway.”
- Explore Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti
- Guided caving trip through “Cave Stream.”
- Local guide
- Small-group tour
- Transport with A/C
Caving & Castle Hill Itinerary
Morning- Castle Hill
We start our adventure by travelling west towards the mountains across the flat farmland of the Canterbury Plains. We make a stop after 45mins at the “Darfield Bakery” (We will provide lunch, but you might like to sample a classic Kiwi pie or coffee) before continuing our journey to Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti.
Your guide will show you around if you like you can have a go at bouldering and test your climbing skills, or use your time here to explore the endless maze of boulders. We stop here for lunch at Castle Hill.
We will meet back at the carpark at 1:00 pm and make our way to Cave Stream, just 10 mins drive from Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti. It will take us approximately 45mins to make our way through the 594 meters of the limestone cave. Our route follows the crystal-clear water up-stream, through the winding chambers and small waterfalls. The final section has a 3-meter fixed ladder to climb past the most significant waterfall as we exit the cave.
After some afternoon tea and a hot drink, it’s time to head back to Christchurch. The return journey takes approx 90mins. You can choose to be dropped back at your hotel, at the CanterburyMuseum or to the Christchurch Airport.
Caving & Castle Hill FAQ’S
Where does the tour start & finish
This tour starts and finishes in Christchurch. Your guide will collect you from your accommodation or, from one of our meeting points listed below.
Can I do this day tour as a shore excursion from Lyttleton Port?
Yes, we are happy to collect cruise ship passengers from Lyttelton port.
Is transport included?
Is lunch included?
Yes, we will provide morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea.
I want to visit Castle Hill, but I don’t want to go climbing or caving?
Not a problem, have a look at the Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti day tour it’s the same tour without the caving activity.
Is this trip family-friendly?
Yes, we are happy to cater for family groups on this tour.
What is the minimum age?
Twelve years is the minimum age to complete the caving activity unless booked as a private family tour. Contact our office to arrange an individual/bespoke tours.
How far in advance do I need to book?
We recommended that you complete your booking at least 24hrs in advance to avoid missing out.
Are there minimum numbers for this trip?
The minimum number for this tour is two people.
What is the maximum group size?
The maximum group size for this trip is eleven people.
What should I bring with me?
All you will need for this day tour is your walking/sport shoes, active clothing & your swimming outfit. We will send you a full gear list after your booking is complete.
Where are the meeting spots?
Directly from your hotel- any accommodation within 3.5 km’s of Christchurch city centre – See on google maps
Canterbury Museum meeting location- See on Google maps
Princess Margarate Hospital meeting location (free all day parking) – See on Google maps
Lyttelton Port meeting location (for shore excursions) – See on google maps