Linton of Akaroa
68 Rue Balguerie, Akaroa, New Zealand
More about Akaroa
View to the north on the way to the Packhorse Hut.
The shop is open daily - cheesemaking is seasonal.
The porch of the Trinity Presbyterian Church.
The Grand Hotel is famous for its Sunday roasts.
Travel Tips for Akaroa
Akaroa has a lovely harbour
This is Akaroa in the off peak season when it is peaceful.
Southeast of Christchurch are the rolling hills of Banks Peninsula and the tiny township of Akaroa, established by French whaler, Captain Jean Langlois, in 1838. This historic settlement is located on the shores of Akaroa harbour, 83km from Christchurch, and is Canterbury's oldest village and New Zealand's only French settlement.
The architecture, early buildings and French street names bear testimony to its founding fathers. Akaroa's main street, Rue Lavaud, is one of many French-named streets and the heart of this quaint harbourside village. The town is a popular holiday resort during summer. The harbour - a sea-filled volcanic crater - provides excellent fishing in its inlets.
Even today you find the main streets retain their French heritage and some of the early forms of architecture relate to those early days. Often regarded as the Riviera of Christchurch for its bays and cobalt blue waters Akaroa is a major vacation and weekend retreat.
Bishop Pompallier established a mission station in Akaroa in 1840. The present St. Patrick's church was built in 1865. In 1897, two Sisters of Mercy arrived to establish a convent school. Satisfied they went home to Lyttelton and three different Sister's came over to live and teach. At first they lived in a nearby house and taught school in the church. A separate building which was to serve as a school room was moved onto church property in 1906 and the Sisters moved into their newly completed convent in Feb 1907. The convent was built by John James Walker and later the addition at the north end with 2 bedrooms, a music room and classroom in about 1912.
Onawe Peninsula – a sacred Place for Maori
In some brochures you might read that Onawe Peninsula, located at the northern end of Akaroa Harbour, between Duvauchelle and Barrys Bay, is pear-shaped. I do not think this is the right description. It looks more like a dangling pendant – or a woman’s body (without head LOL) with the thinnest waistline you can imagine, and wearing a skirt. This skirt is the triangle close to the land, and which you explore on a walk – if you have the permission of the Maori. A thin line of rock formations, called The Razorback, connects it with a teardrop-shaped top part far out in the harbour. The teardrop (pendant) can only be reached at low tide, at high tide it becomes an island.
This peninsula is a historic reserve. It is thought that it possibly was the largest occupied Maori fortress on Banks Peninsula. As there were three eras of Maori immigration Maori tribes fought against each other. So the location was perfect for the purpose of defense. However, once in a moment of confusion they left a gate open, so Te Rauparaha’s warriors of the Ngati Toa tribe could overwhelm the Onawe and take over their land. Later, Te Rauparaha could withstand retaliation, and even restored peace between the rivalling tribes (including Ngai Tahu) by releasing prisoners and intermarriage.
Back to the walk: The loop is 3 km long but on private land. The Maori consider it a sacred site, so you have to contact the Heritage Officer at Onuku Marae (phone 03 304 7607, best during business hours). The Maori want to protect the site and are only willing to issue permits after the potential hikers have received historic information and understand the importance of the place for the locals.
There are false trails off the summit which are rather dangerous as they lead into scrub bashing down bluffs.
Onawe Peninsula (left) nearly reaches the hills behind French Bay and Barrys Bay.
The Akaroa Jetty is a beautiful area with some great views of the town and harbour... We caught our harbour cruise boat out on the jetty but there were also people just walking along it for the views...