Meaning 'Long Harbor,' Akaroa is a port town with a decidedly French flavor, as descendants of the town's original French settlers still live here. Streets have French names, and French-inspired restaurants and cafés line the harbor.
The big draw here isn't the French ambiance however. Most people come to Akaroa to swim with dolphins, see seals, go snorkeling or take a penguin-viewing cruise on the harbor.
In case you haven’t already guessed, Akaroa is all about getting out on the water and having an eco-wildlife encounter.
Book a harbor cruise, organize a dolphin swim or arrange an eco tour through the visitor information center. And after an exhilarating day out in Akaroa, take the opportunity to relax with some fine French food and wine at a local restaurant.
We had a great time. The sights are amazing and the guides were helpful. The water was a little brisk, but the wetsuits were fine. The dolphins came around, but weren't very interested in sticking around very long with us that day, but we still enjoyed ourselves. We were very happy with the experience, but the guides said it wasn't a full enough of an adventure and gave us a partial refund! Great experience.
Review by Roy B, March 2013
Doing what: Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights
Thoroughly enjoyed our trip Very sad re Christchurch Couldn't believe the amount of damage done Can't imagine that you would have a home one minute and then nothing The driver did a great job with his comments during the trip Enjoyed the church - wonderful and the scenery was outstanding
Thanks Roy and Fay Bowman
amazing experience, everyone should do this!
Akaroa is 75 kilometers (46 miles) southeast of Christchurch on the Banks Peninsula, a spectacularly beautiful harbor-incised volcanic formation.
Shuttles run from Christchurch daily, and Akaroa tours from Christchurch are easy to arrange.
If you’re driving south from Christchurch, follow the scenic Highway 75 across the peninsula to Akaroa.