Welcome to Banks Peninsula, home of The Hector’s dolphins and eco-tourism pioneers Black Cat Cruises

Category Archives: Lyttelton New Zealand

SEAWEEK LIVE IN LYTTELTON – FREE LIVE STREAMED EVENT FOR KIDS

Hector's dolphin book

Seaweek logo

SEAWEEK FUN….

Every year Black Cat Cruises join in with the national celebration of Seaweek.

Seaweek is an opportunity to celebrate connecting with our seas….and what better way than instilling that connection with our youngest generation from the very start? So read on and discover the link to our free live concert…and our brand new book dedicated to non other than the wee Hector’s Dolphins.

Seaweek performer Hectors dolphins
Music With Michal

ITS ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC…

You may or may not know that last year we worked with local legend Music With Michal – a fantastic performer who writes and sings fun and (very) catchy tunes for little kids. Michal not only performed some Seaweek themed concerts on our boat,  but we also asked her to write a wonderful song dedicated to the Hector’s Dolphins. It was soooo good we even made a wee music video.

 

 

THIS YEAR….

Thanks to Michal and her super talented friend illustrator Andy Knopp the song has been turned into a fantastic children’s book which is now available for pre-order. 

AND

we are hosting a Live from Lyttelton free & streamed concert with Music With Michal. 

 

JOIN THE SEAWEEK LIVE STREAM ON WEDNESDAY MARCH 9TH STARTING AT 9.30AM UNTIL 10AM WITH THIS LINK

https://fb.me/e/4fK6KPLt5

PRE-ORDER YOUR BOOK HERE

Hector's dolphin book
Hector’s Dolphin – Kiwi of The Sea Songbook for Kids written exclusively for Black Cat Cruises by Michal Bush

THE BOOK

This wonderful new book is available on the Black Cat website and priced at $22.

$2 from every book printed goes to the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust. So in turn we are not only offering education but we are able to further support scientific research and protection for New Zealand’s native and endangered dolphin, the Hector’s Dolphin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KIWI OF THE SEA – HECTOR’S DOLPHIN

If you’d like to check out the Hector’s Dolphin song you can watch the video right here… Share this with your friends and family who have a little one  🙂

 

PROTECT HECTOR’S…..

Another great way for little ones to get involved is by becoming a Protect Hector’s member. Membership includes a personalised certificate, Hector’s fact sheet and a plush Hector’s dolphin toy. Memberships are just $30 and available to purchase directly from our website here

Find out more about Seaweek events visit the website www.seaweek.org.nz

To find out more about Music With Michal visit her website www.musicwithmichal.com

Book a cruise to see the Hector’s Dolphin visit here – use code SEAWEEK2022 to receive a 20% discount. Remember under 5’s travel for free, and we have a fantastic dolphin guarantee policy 🙂

Follow on Instagram @nzaeeseaweek @musicwithmichal

Follow Black Cat Cruises on Facebook and Instagram @blackcatcruises

April School Holiday Fun – Quail Island’s Big Beautiful Bird Trail

april school holiday activity for kids

School holiday fun is here on Quail Island!

If you are looking for a school holiday activity in Christchurch then look no further….
Best of all adults cruise at kids prices throughout the April school holidays ($15 return per person).
So what’s it all about?
Well, six native New Zealand birds are hiding around Quail Island.
These Big Beautiful Birds have been painted in watercolour by a local Lyttelton artist. Each piece of art has been blown up and printed on very large boards, so they look amazing and will be hard to miss. You will also be given a map to help you locate all of the birds. Each bird is accompanied by some facts to help teach our younger generation about our native wildlife.
So we invite you to come and explore Quail island and find them all, whilst learning about each bird.
Complete our fun fact sheet and we’ll reward you with surprise treats on your boat ride back to Lyttelton.
A boat ride, fresh air, education, exercise, nature and fun all rolled into one!
The April school holiday starts on Saturday April 17th and goes through to Sunday May 2nd, 2021
Boat departs twice daily from B Jetty in Lyttleton harbour.
Departures:
10.15am and 12.15pm
Return:
12.30pm and 3.30pm
Online booking is recommended which you can do right here

Wine Tasting Cruise with Melton Estate, Lyttelton Harbour

christchurch christmas cruise wine tasting


SATURDAY 21ST NOVEMBER, 4PM – 6PM

Join Black Cat Cruises and Melton Estate for a wonderful pre-Christmas wine tasting cruise on on Lyttleton harbour.

During the cruise Melton Estate will guide you through a complimentary tasting of five spectacular wines. These will include;

  1. Summer Love Sparking 2019
  2. Sauvignon Blanc 2020
  3. Pinot Rose 2020
  4. Pinot Gris 2017
  5. Pinot Noir 2017

We will exclusively sell Melton Estate wine on board the Canterbury Cat for the duration of the cruise and Melton Estate will also provide the opportunity to pre-purchase your Christmas wine.

Delicious platters provided by our local catering partner will also be served as you sip on wine and take in the stunning harbour scenery.

It’s the perfect pre-christmas get together opportunity.

Tickets are limited and we predict they will sell out so don’t be too late to book.

You can book tickets directly here by selecting the date of November 21st.


Due to alcohol being served this event is strictly for over 18’s only. Thank you

  • MELTON ESTATE
  • If you’re unable to join us on the cruise you can always visit Melton Estate and enjoy the taste of local boutique wine, only 15 minutes from Christchurch Airport.  There are 9 different wines to try, including the acclaimed “Summer Love Sparkling”.  Walk amongst the vines or sip wine inside the modern winery restaurant. Combining winery style and sophisticated facilities, Melton Estate is the perfect choice for lunch, wine tastings, weddings and other family celebrations, as well as company conferences and meeting events. Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm Thursday to Sunday, and by arrangement.

Booking Out Quick – Queens Birthday Special

akaroa harbour nature cruise hectors dolphins

Well i think it’s safe to safe we are all looking forward to a three day weekend where we can get out and #exploreyourplace in our beautiful backyard!

So we are pleased to let you know that we will be operating our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise giving you the perfect excuse to take a day trip or long weekend in Akaroa. And for those staying closer to Christchurch we will be operating the Quail Island Ferry from Lyttelton on Saturday, Sunday and Monday #discoversomethingnewnz

25% Discount

We are offering a 25% on our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise over the long weekend when you book online and use the code ‘UNITE’. As we are still operating with restricted numbers to give you extra space and peace of mind we highly recommend booking in advance #supportlocal

Under 5’s Travel Free

A reminder that under 5’s travel for free on our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise and Quail Island ferry all year round regardless #familyfirst

Operating Times

Escape, relax and spend some time discovering a #purenz experience…..

The Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise will be operating at 11am and 1.30pm over these three days. Sat & Sun are fully booked at 1.30pm.

The Quail Island Ferry will depart Lyttelton at 10.20 am & 12.20pm, returning at 12.30pm & 3.30pm

Limited Capacity

We highly recommend booking in advance online as numbers are limited to ensure you have maximum space and peace of mind. Our 1.30pm Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise on the Saturday and Sunday are already fully booked Thank you to all of our customers helping to #backyourbackyard

You can view our booking calendar here. Simply select the product and date you wish you travel to check availability. From all of us at #blackcatcruises we hope to see you out there!

Celebrate Seaweek 2020

Celebrate Seaweek 2020 by cruising stunning Lyttelton Harbour with Black Cat Cruises and the NZ Whale and Dolphin Trust! Each cruise will also host a very special expert guest from the trust, so you can you learn directly from the scientists studying Hector’s dolphins.

What is Seaweek?

Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana is New Zealand’s annual national week celebrating the sea which takes place from Saturday 29 February to Sunday 8 March 2020.

Seaweek Lyttelton Harbour Cruise

Step aboard our spacious catamaran, Canterbury Cat and search for the endangered Hector’s dolphin as you’re taken on a guided cruise around Lyttelton Harbour along with a special scientific guest from the NZ Whale and Dolphin Trust.

The cruise will last for 1.5 hours and all profits will be donated to the NZ Whale and Dolphin Trust.

DATES:

29 February 2020
7 March 2020
8 March 2020

TIME:

1:30PM – 3:00PM

TICKETS:

Adults: $30.00
Children (5-15 years): $20.00
Children under 5: FREE

Conservation Week 2019

Starting tomorrow is Department of Conservation – Conservation Week 2019! This year proudly celebrates 50 years of Conservation Week here in NZ – an amazing feat! The week runs from the 14th of September through to the 22nd of September 2019 in locations all over New Zealand.

Why do we need a Conservation Week?

New Zealand’s wildlife is still in crisis with more than 4,000 of our native animals (including the Hector’s dolphin) and plants threatened or at risk. Conservation Week is a chance to bring everyone together to do something, big or small to create change.

Every year Conservation Week sees thousands of New Zealanders getting involved through doing conservation activities at home or attending one of many events hosted across the country. Creating change can be big or small, when we pull together, we can make a big difference.

Black Cat and Conservation

Black Cat may be well known as a tourism operator, but did you know that we’re also a leader in environmental management?  From reducing energy consumption to donating a portion of every passenger fare to dolphin conservation, Black Cat takes extra measures to ensure the preservation of our environment. We have recently also been nominated for the Conservation Awards at the 2019 NZ Tourism Awards.

Hector’s Dolphin

New Zealand’s first eco-tourism operator

Established in 1985 as Akaroa Harbour Cruises, we can claim to be New Zealand’s first eco-tourism enterprise.  We launched with the intention of showing off Hector’s dolphins as well as the other creatures and scenery of Banks Peninsula.  Naturally, such a reliance on the natural environment encouraged Black Cat to foster a keen interest in maintaining the health and beauty of Akaroa Harbour right from the start.

Actions to protect the environment

Black Cat works hard to protect the environment.  First, we reduce our energy consumption (we aim for an annual reduction of 1% per person) through actions such as:

  • Maintaining our vessels for maximum efficiency
  • Encouraging our staff to walk or bike to work
  • Monitoring fuel usage
  • Using energy saving light bulbs and efficient heating

We also take care to minimise the by-products from the energy we do use.  By recycling and using biodegradable cleaning products, Black Cat is able to reduce the amount of waste resulting from our operation.

Education and advocacy

Black Cat takes pride in giving back to the environment and the community through advocacy, education and sponsorship.  Each year we donate at least $70,000 to programmes that support causes like marine mammal research and education, Quail Island restoration and penguin predator trapping.

In February 2019, we launched the Protect Hector’s campaign to increase public awareness of the threat to Hector’s dolphins and the vital need for their protection. The campaign focussed on encouraging individuals to get involved in the 2019 Threat Management Plan consultation.  We created a landing page within the Black Cat Cruises website where people can fill in their details and a postcard will be sent on their behalf to Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, calling for better protection for Hector’s. Physical postcards were also placed on all Black Cat’s boats in both Lyttelton and Akaroa.

We also have a strong commitment to marine environment education and the plight of the Hector’s dolphin in schools.  In 2017, Black Cat developed a new marine based educational resource for schools and the pilot programme launched Nov 2017. The programme included resource books for teachers and corresponding workbook for the students aimed at Year 3 and 4 students.  

What is Black Cat Cruises doing for Conservation Week?

To celebrate 50 years of Conservation Week, Black Cat Cruises is letting kids cruise for free from the 14th-22nd of September! (T’s and C’s apply).

Come along with your family and discover the natural wonders of Akaroa Habour aboard our award-winning 2-hour Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise.

This fun 2 hour cruise suitable for all ages is packed with stunning highlights including the endemic (only found in NZ) and playful Hector’s dolphin, as well as White-flippered Little Blue penguins, NZ Fur seals and abundant birdlife. You’ll see giant volcanic sea cliffs, view dramatic scenery and hear about Akaroa’s fascinating past. Cruises depart every day, weather permitting.

Akaroa Harbour Nature Kids

Conservation Week Special!

? Kids Cruise Free during Conservation Week (14–22 Sept)
? One child free per paying adult
? Direct bookings only via phone, email or online at the Black Cat website using promocode NATURE
? Kids will also receive a free Hector’s dolphin fun activity book to learn all about the endangered Hector’s dolphin!

TO BOOK:

Online: www.blackcat.co.nz using promo code NATURE
Phone: 0800 436 574
Email: akaroa@blackcat.co.nz

Please quote promo code: NATURE

Finalists in the 2019 NZ Tourism Awards

We are so excited to share that we are finalists in the 2019 New Zealand Tourism Awards – (Department of Conservation Conservation Award).

Finalist’s in the 2019 NZ Tourism Awards

An amazing honour to be alongside the other fantastic finalists in our category – Auckland Whale & Dolphin SafariAuckland Zoo,Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony.

We are very proud of our incredible team and their commitment to protecting the Banks Peninsula marine environment and its inhabitants, especially the endangered Hector’s dolphin. 

This is a great honour that recognises not only the work put in to campaign for better protection of the Hector’s dolphins this year, but also the education and information we pass onto our customers each and every day.

Stay tuned for the results late October 2019! Yahhhooo.

Full press release CLICK HERE

Vote for Black Cat Cruises for the Peoples Choice Award!

As part of being a finalist, there is also a Peoples Choice Award up for grabs and this is YOUR chance to vote for your favourite NZ tourism experience.

We would love it if you chose us! Please click the link below and vote for Black Cat Cruises as your People’s Choice!

Plus, as a bonus for voting you’ll be in for a chance to WIN an Air New Zealand Mystery Break™ including:

✈️ Return airfares to a New Zealand mystery destination
? Two nights twin share accommodation
? Transfer to & from airport to destination

Voting closes 20 September!

Tree Planting on Quail Island

On a stunning, sunny winter’s day in Ōtautahi (Christchurch), Black Cat hosted a group of delegates from the TECNZ (Tourism Export Council) 2019 Conference over on Quail Island for a day of native tree planting.

Conference delegates from TECNZ 19

This group of keen gardeners assisted the Quail Island Restoration Trust by planting 100 trees and had a fantastic day exploring this hidden Christchurch gem, soaking up the warm sun and giving back. Thanks so much to everyone that took part!

Quail Island looking towards Lyttelton

Mother’s Day Lyttelton Harbour Nature Cruise

Celebrate the special lady in your life this Mother’s Day!

Canterbury Cat
Cruise Lyttelton Harbour this Mother’s Day

Enjoy a 1.5-hour scenic cruise on Lyttelton Harbour aboard our spacious catamaran “Canterbury Cat” and make this Mother’s Day one to remember.

Take in the stunning local scenery as you sip on a delicious She Universe hot chocolate and you might even spot a Hector’s dolphin!

DATE & TIME

Choose from two departures available on Sunday May 12. The boat departs at 11:00am returning at 12:30pm.

PRICE

$39 for an adult pass
$19 for a child pass (5 -15 years)
FREE kids under 5 years

TO BOOK

https://blackcatcruises.ibisnz.com/Departures or call +64 3 328 9078

Departs from B-Jetty in Lyttelton.

2019 Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt

Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt

Our annual Easter Egg Hunt hosted on beautiful Quail Island is back once again!

Take the family or gather up some friends this Easter for a fun-filled day on Quail Island. Search the island for coloured tokens and exchange for scrumptious Easter eggs*.  On your journey discover along the way old shipwrecks, cheeky native birds, volcanic cliffs and hidden caves!

The Easter Bunny is getting prepared to leave thousands (yes thousands!) of delicious chocolate eggs with us.

Tickets are limited! Making this the hottest and tastiest Easter activity in town!

Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt

When is it?

The Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt will happen from Friday 19 April through to Monday 22 April 2019.

What time?

There are 3 times you can head out to Quail Island on the Easter Egg Hunt:

10:30am – 1:00pm
11:30am – 2:00pm
12:30pm – 3:00pm

Please note you must depart and return at the times stated on your ticket.

Who can go?

Our Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt is designed for absolutely any age! Quail Island is a wonderful place for families and friends of all ages.

How much is it?

Children under 5 years: Free
Children 5-15 years: $15.00
Adults: $30.00

How can I book?

Firstly, you must book your tickets with us. This can be done by calling 0800 436 574 or jumping online at www.blackcat.co.nz.   We highly recommend booking in advance because we sell out on every day, every year

How does it work?

Come down to B Jetty in Lyttelton at least 15 minutes before your departure time. Our skipper will be there to welcome you on board the Canterbury Cat as you then cruise across Lyttelton Harbour to disembark at the wharf on Quail Island. Our Black Cat Cruises crew (along with the Easter Bunny of course) will have hidden coloured tokens around the island. Every guest on our Easter Egg Hunt is encouraged to collect a maximum of three coloured tokens which we then swap for your chocolate eggs on your ferry ride back.

Don’t forget!

Find the golden egg to win a GIANT CHOCOLATE BUNNY. There will be one golden egg hidden every day over the long weekend.

The Quail Island Ferry now operates all year round.

Exploring Quail Island
Exploring Quail Island