Akaroa Cruise Port
Akaroa is a historic French and British settlement not far from Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island. Set on a long harbor and surrounded by volcanic hills, Akaroa’s French influence is still evident today. With a permanent population of just a few hundred, this popular resort village can swell to over 15,000 residents in the summer months.
How to Get to Akaroa
Your ship will dock in the harbor and you will be shuttled to the Main Wharf by tender boats. From the Main Wharf, it is a short walk into town. A limited number of taxis may also be available if you prefer not to walk.
One Day in Akaroa
Start your morning with a walk around Akaroa, soaking in the ambience of this small village, perusing its arts and crafts boutiques and appreciating the colonial architecture. To learn a little more about the town’s past, stop at the Akaroa Museum and then check out the fine collection of Maori artifacts at the Okains Bay Museum.
If you’re like many visitors, you will likely spend the rest of your day on or near the water. You can visit Flea Bay to see the largest little penguin colony on mainland New Zealand or join a harbor cruise to catch a glimpse of the rare Hector’s dolphins and other wildlife. Sea kayaking, sailing, fishing and bicycling around the harbor are all great ways to spend your afternoon. To see more of the area on foot, follow one of the many walking tracks around Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula.
Alternatively, if your cruise doesn’t include a stop at Christchurch, you might consider booking a tour or renting a car for a day trip to that city just 85 kilometers away.
Save time for a little shopping before heading back to your ship. Akaroa is a great place to buy paua pearls, handcrafted jewelry and other crafts.
The official language is English, although you may also hear Maori spoken. The local currency is the New Zealand dollar. While some tourist shops may accept US dollars or Euros, taxi drivers likely will only accept local currency. ATMs are readily available in town.