See the Harbour:
Join your host of Chez La Mer, for a sailing cruise around an extinct volcanic crater. Experience the majestic scenery and stunning wildlife (including dolphins, penguins and seals) with Fox II Sailing Adventures(0800 FOXSAIL). Try some hands-on sailing or just sit back and let the world glide by.
Swim with the dolphins:
Swim with one of the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins. Contact Dolphin Encounter to make a booking.
Kayak in the Harbour:
See penguins up close with Pohatu Marine Reserve Day Tour
Take a tour of the Banks Peninsula with The Eastern Bays Mail Run or visit a real sheep farm on the Banks Peninsula with Akaroa Farm Tours (03 304 7170).
Banks Peninsula Track – Beginning in Akaroa, the Banks Peninsula Track includes 35 km of spectacular volcanic coastline, native bush, waterfalls and sandy beaches. Renowned for its charming accommodation, the track is designed to provide a special and memorable experience.
Hinewai Reserve – This 980 hectare conservation project occupies much of the Otanerito Valley. Camping is not permitted but there are two cabins available (by reservation). Contact Hugh Wilson (03 304 8501).
Garden of Tane and Cemetery (30 minutes) – Across from the lighthouse you can wander into the Akaroa cemetery, which in turn connects up with the network of tracks in the Garden of Tane. Paths go everywhere and wood-pigeons flap through the deep green solitude.
Happy Hollow (1 ½ hours) – An appealing walk that includes country lanes, pastoral scenes, vistas of the harbour and a short climb.
Onawe Peninsula (1 hour) – This historic pa site looks like a pendant dangling in the smooth waters of Akaroa Harbour. It is an island at high tide and is only connected to the mainland by a thin razor-like ridge, which broadens out in to a wide and rising grass slope to the beaconed summit, 100 m above sea level.
Akaroa Heritage Park (2-3 hours) – The route to the Akaroa Heritage Park is a steady climb for which the walker is rewarded with wonderful views of Akaroa Harbour and the surrounding hills, a sheltered spot to sit and enjoy a picnic and an interesting site to visit.
Woodills Track North (1 ½ – 2 ½ hours) – Woodills Track North offers a scenic, pastoral walk winding high up the Grehan Valley behind Akaroa, past small farms and patches of native bush, with wonderful views over the valley and harbour.
Woodills Track South (1 ½ – 2 ½ hours) – The south section of the Woodills Track offers an excellent winter or summer walk. It combines walking two of Akaroa’s most historic streets, a country track with lovely views and a chance to visit several places of interest just outside the village; the Herb Farm, Tree Crop Farm Park, Mount Vernon Lodge and Nettle Creek Pottery.
Nikau Palm Gully (3 hours) – Nikau Palm Gully is one of the few walks that gets close to the steep headlands and deep recessed bays of the peninsula. The views are bracing and the gully is full of big sized nikau palms. You need permission to cross the private farmland. Please ring Steve beforehand 03 304 7066
Round the Mountain (4 – 7 hours) – This popular route is an all day adventure for those who are not very fit. Regular trampers will take a good half day for the basic route and can extend this to a full day with a visit to the Hinewai reserve and a climb up Stony Bay Peak. All walkers can be assured of a great day out on this track with wonderful views.
Skyline Circuit (4 – 7 hours) – The walk follows the Purple Peak Track, an historic walking trail that for many years was the only way in or out of the Otanerito Bay. The climb up the Peak is rewarded by stunning views of the Akaroa harbour, the Southern Alps and over the Pacific Ocean.
Barrys Bay Cheese Factory – viewing of cheese making on alternate dates during season (mornings best). Contact Mike Carey 03 304 5809.
French Farm Winery – enjoy lunch and wine tasting. Open 10am to 4pm daily
Akaroa Museum – Everything you want to know about the area’s history under one roof. Maori, colonial and contemporary displays — 20 minute film on Akaroa ‘the long harbour’ — three historic buildings (including the Langlois-Eteveneaux House and the Custom House). Open daily.
Okains Bay Museum – Maori and colonial history come together in this extensive museum. Contact 03 304 8611