Akaroa New Zealand information. Akaroa accommodation and hotel booking, travel, tours, activities and things to do. Events, maps and news for Akaroa NZ.
South Island map showing Akaroa


The oldest colonial town in the South Island, Akaroa is also uniquely the only French colonial settlement in the country. Set on a stunning waterfront and surrounded by craggy volcanic landforms Akaroa is a relaxed and pleasant holiday town just 82 kilometres from Christchurch City, about a 1½ hour drive.

The sparkling waters of the harbour are home to the world's smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hectors Dolphin while New Zealand Fur Seals, Little Blue Penguins and a myriad of bird life can also be spotted. The wildlife is best experienced by taking a cruise out to the headlands, on the way look out for dolphins swimming alongside the boat, and penguins inhabiting the craggy shores.

As well as wildlife cruises, you can take eco friendly sailing cruises, go swimming with the dolphins, or hire your own boat, paddle boat, or sea kayak to experience the harbour at your own pace. Back on land there are penguin colony tours, horse treks and mountain bike trails.

Akaroa Township Looking over the length of Akaroa Harbour towards the Southern Ocean

For something more relaxing, Akaroa's sandy beaches are just a walk away from most of the town, indulge in a day spa, browse the local artisan craft and fashion stores, or sit down in one of the trendy cafes, gaze at the scenery and watch the charming little town.

Many of Akaroa's older buildings are protected by the Historic Places Trust. You can hire an Audio Tour from the Akaroa Visitor Centre and listen to stories from the past as you explore on foot, or visit the Akaroa Museum to experience Maori history, and both French and British settlement.

Akaroa, which is Maori for 'Long harbour', was the region's first substantial European settlement and a safe haven for early whalers and sealers working in the Southern Ocean beyond the harbour's headlands.

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Featured Banks Peninsula Events

Marcel Lucont's Whine List Find Your Fire Wellness Retreat Mythology Immersion Re-treat Archaeological Exhibition Seascape Photography Workshop
Marcel Lucont's Whine List
Ma Maison, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District, Canterbury
Monday 14 May 2018
Find Your Fire Wellness Retreat
Living Springs Camp and Conference Centre, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District, Canterbury
From Friday 3 August 2018 to Sunday 5 August 2018
Mythology Immersion Re-treat
Living Springs Camp and Conference Centre, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District, Canterbury
From Friday 29 June 2018 to Sunday 1 July 2018
Archaeological Exhibition
Stoddart's Cottage, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District, Canterbury
From Friday 27 April 2018 to Sunday 6 May 2018
Seascape Photography Workshop
Taylors Mistake Beach, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District, Canterbury
Saturday 25 August 2018

Akaroa - Google News

Akaroa News

 21 Apr 2018 

How bridges make our roads more dangerous
Three people where trapped in the back seat of a Holden SUV on Christchurch's Akaroa Rd on Monday afternoon after the car drove off the road and landed in a river. Crashes on or near bridges are a common occurrence – two people were seriously injured ...

and more »
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