So Much to See in Akaroa

The delights of Akaroa cannot be ignored when visiting the South Island, mainly as it is an easy drive from the more popular Christchurch. This blog will offer helpful information on what to see and do throughout the year. Interested visitors will find details of the marine life to be found here, including penguins and seals, with a chance to swim with dolphins. Surprisingly, the village is actually a French settlement and has a distinctly European atmosphere. More adventurous travellers can hike the renowned Summit Walkway for an adrenaline rush that brings dramatic views.

The French Influence on Akaroa

22 Nov 2021

Akaroa has a fascinating history and was founded by French settlers in 1840. Their influence is still evident today. The French navy had a base here in the 19th century. Many of the street names are French, giving a cosmopolitan air to the town.

Swim with Dolphins

14 Oct 2021

If you are in Akaroa, be sure to take the chance to get up close and personal with the world's smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hector's Dolphin. These naturally curious and friendly creatures can only be found in the shallow coastal waters around Akaroa, making this truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Five Must-See Attractions in Akaroa

15 Aug 2021

Akaroa is a small town on the Banks Peninsula in Canterbury, New Zealand (NZ). The term “Akaroa” is Maori for “long harbor.”

The most French town in NZ, it’s also close to the city of Christchurch. In Akaroa, you won’t be bored, and if you find yourself cooped up inside due to the weather, you can always enjoy time online and play slots.

Five Must-See Attractions in Akaroa

1) Dolphins

If you’re visiting Akaroa, do not miss the chance of seeing the world’s rarest and smallest Hector’s dolphins. They have a grey-colored body with white markings and have a rounded dorsal fin. You can also swim with the dolphins in the Banks Peninsula when it’s not their breeding season. At times, you can spot orcas too.

2) Marine Reserves

You can access the Pohatu marine reserve on a scenic four-wheel drive. This marine reserve is three kilometers from the Akaroa Marine Reserve. Once you’re on Flea Bay in the Pohatu reserve, take a kayak or a boat to explore the waters, cliffs, and caves. There are also guided kayak sea tours where you can spot the dolphins as well. If you’re there between September and mid-February, you can spot the penguins in their natural habitat. It’s the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony in mainland NZ.

3) Seal Colony

While you’re at it, you should also see the playful and adorable fur seals. You’ll usually find them on the eastern slopes of the Pacific Ocean, sunbathing amongst the millions of years old volcanic deposits. The seal colony is located in private farmland and can be visited with wildlife cruises such as the “seal colony safari.”

4) The Giant’s House

If you love art and have a penchant for creativity, check out the Giant’s House gardens in Akaroa. You won’t be disappointed. At every step, you’ll encounter unique works of art, such as mosaics and steel sculptures. The Giant’s House is only a few minutes’ walk from the Akaroa center. It’s designed in French style, and you’ll find many unexpected things in the terraced gardens and the house. The gardens are designed and created by a Horticulturist and Artist, Josie Martin. Enjoy the vistas through the garden overlooking the valley and sea. You’ll find varieties of flora, such as roses, lavender, fruits, succulents, annuals and perennials in the gardens.

5) Akaroa Museum

Bring the past back to life with a visit to the little Akaroa Museum consisting of three heritage buildings. To know more about the region’s French, Maori and British history, visit its galleries in the main complex. The heritage buildings in the complex are Langlois-Eteveneaux cottage, Akaroa Court House, and the Custom House. The museum is centrally located across the road from the Akaroa Visitor Information Centre. There’s also a museum shop to collect a souvenir for your Akaroa visit.

Other than the above five attractions, you can also spend time hiking in the Hinewai Reserve or visit the farm alpacas, or take a stroll along the waterside and view the marine birds like seagulls and albatrosses.

Visit the Akaroa Lighthouse

2 Aug 2021

The Akaroa Lighthouse is a well-known attraction and worth a visit. Tourists are allowed to enter inside the building, where a knowledgeable guide will be on hand to recount the fascinating story. A small donation is requested and goes towards the upkeep of the lighthouse.