After docking at Akaroa Port, take a wildlife-watching cruise around Akaroa Harbour, where you can spot Hector’s dolphins, penguins, and seals. Top Akaroa attractions include the art-filled Giant’s House garden, the Old French Cemetery, and the Akaroa Museum, which reveals the town’s colorful past.
Full-day shore excursions to Christchurch, located 46 miles (75 kilometers) away, are a popular choice and often include access to top city attractions such as the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and the International Antarctic Centre; they sometimes feature stops at farms in Canterbury Plains or at scenic coves on the Banks Peninsula.
Things to Know Before You Go
Akaroa Port is a tender port, so you'll be taken ashore via tenders (smaller vessels).
Excursions to Christchurch and Banks Peninsula may include significant stretches of time outdoors; pack accordingly.
Wildlife cruises operate year-round even in cooler temperatures, so wrap up well if you’re visiting in winter.
Wi-Fi is available at the Akaroa Library and at several businesses in town.
Several short walking trails can be accessed via the Main Wharf.
How to Get to Akaroa From the Akaroa Cruise Port
The journey from ship to shore via tender typically takes around 20 minutes. The main wharf is in the southern end of Akaroa town and the northern end of town is only a 15-minute walk away. Taxis are also available and many shore excursions depart direct from the wharf.
Akaroa is one of the main ports of the Canterbury region. There's an information kiosk at the port, an ATM on Rue Lavaud in the town itself, and several dining options that range from casual cafés to pubs and bistros. The official languages are Maori and English, while the official currency is the New Zealand dollar.