4.5 star rating: Recommended 118 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 21 Reviews

Location: Akaroa, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours

From USD $58.15

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights

4.5 star rating: Recommended 57 Reviews

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes

From USD $57.93

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 16 Reviews

Location: Akaroa, New Zealand
Duration: 2 hours

From USD $55.24

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

After your cruise ship docks in Akaroa, take a nature cruise across the harbor to spot dolphins and admire New Zealand’s stunning scenery. Look out for New ...  Read more

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

From USD $55.24

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Swim with Dolphins in Akaroa Harbour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

When your cruise ship docks in Akaroa, take a shore excursion to swim with the world’s smallest, rarest and friendliest dolphins -- Hector’s dolphins. Akaroa’s ...  Read more

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

From USD $58.15

Akaroa Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch

4.5 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

Location: Akaroa, New Zealand
Duration: 9 hours

From USD $180.60
From USD $253.87

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