4.5 star rating: Recommended 92 Reviews

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  • Address: Main Wharf
  • Hours: Open daily
  • Admission: Free

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.

Practical Info

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.

Tours & Tickets

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Swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 18 Reviews

Make a date with the worlds smallest, rarest and friendliest dolphins only on Akaroa Harbour. There is only one place on the planet where you can swim with ...  Read more

Location: Akaroa, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $56.94

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights

4.5 star rating: Recommended 44 Reviews

While your ship is in port in Akaroa Harbour, take a shore excursion to tour the scenic Banks Peninsula and visit the city of Christchurch. You’ll see how ...  Read more

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $56.72

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 14 Reviews

Experience majestic scenery and stunning wildlife including dolphins, penguins and marine bird life on this Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise.

Location: Akaroa, New Zealand
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $54.09

Akaroa Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch

4.5 star rating: Recommended 12 Reviews

Explore the coastal town of Akaroa and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with dolphins on this full day tour from Christchurch. Travel through the ...  Read more

Location: Akaroa, New Zealand
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $176.84

Akaroa Harbour and Banks Peninsula Eco Marine Harbour Cruise Small Group Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Discover the historic town of Akaroa and the magnificent natural beauty of the Banks Peninsula on this small group tour from Christchurch. Be amazed by the ...  Read more

Location: Akaroa, New Zealand
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $248.58

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