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Akaroa Tours From Christchurch

By Viator, October 2013

4 23 Reviews | Add your review

In 1840, when the French sea captain Jean Francois Langlois sailed into Akaroa Harbor, he planned to establish a French colony on the south end of the Banks Peninsula. After all, on his previous visit, he had made arrangements with a Maori chief for a provisional purchase of the land. To the surprise of Captain Langlois, however, his utopian port on the South Island of New Zealand had already been claimed by the British. After a lengthy bout of negotiations, it was determined that both the French and the English would agree to share the coastline.

Today, when visiting Akaroa as part of a tour from Christchurch, this unique fusion of French and English influence is apparent as you stroll through the town. Walk the length of Rue Lavaud and grab a table at an outdoor café, or stop and marvel at the Victorian homes which sit tucked at the base of the hills. It’s almost as if the Banks Peninsula—itself formed by an ancient volcano which is now deeply and dramatically eroded—acts as a barrier that keeps the modernity of Christchurch from creeping over the hills.

More than just the town itself, however, the beauty of a tour to Akaroa begins the moment you leave Christchurch behind. On the 90-minute drive between Christchurch and Akaroa you will pass by cheese shops, wineries, and coves. You will weave your way through a rural landscape that looks much the same as when the French first arrived, and considering the beauty and level of history, this is one of the best ways to spend a day outside the city.

As if the scenery and setting weren’t enough, however, many of the Akaroa tours from Christchurch also involve motoring out into the harbor. The Akaroa Harbor is a protected inlet which is actually the caldera of an ancient volcano, and not only is the water refreshingly calm, but it’s also home to Hector’s dolphins which frolic in the harbor by the dozens. As long as the dolphins aren’t actively mating or calving their newborn children, you’ll have the chance to slip on a wet suit and swim with the playful wildlife.

When you combine the adventure with the rural surroundings, as well as the relatively short distance of travel, a tour to Akaroa when staying in Christchurch should be a highlight of a South Island itinerary.

Tours & Tickets

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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Sights

4 star rating: Recommended 20 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 $71.01

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 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: Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $296.58

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Jet Boat on Waimak River

4.5 star rating: Recommended 15 Reviews

See the sights of Christchurch when your ship is docked in Akaroa port, then enjoy one of the adrenaline-charged adventures New Zealand is famous for on a wild ...  Read more

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

From USD $116.96

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 17 Reviews

Experience the grand architecture and beautiful gardens of Christchurch when your ship is in port in Akaroa. Your shore excursion from Akaroa port also ...  Read more

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

From USD $116.96

Akaroa Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch

4.5 star rating: Recommended 11 Reviews

Enjoy this full day trip from Christchurch and visit the beautiful unspoiled old French whaling depot of Akaroa. Travel by road to Akaroa via Sign of the ...  Read more

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 9 hours

From USD $208.86

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 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 $60.15

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 $61.82

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

See the sights of Christchurch when your ship is in Akaroa port, and explore the city on a comprehensive tour. Your Akaroa shore excursion also includes a trip ...  Read more

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

From USD $108.61

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and Sheep Farm Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Take a guided Christchurch city tour when your ship is docked in Akaroa port, and visit a traditional sheep farm to experience life in rural New Zealand. After ...  Read more

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

From USD $116.96

Swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 14 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 $62.66

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