Favorite thing: 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.
Favorite thing: If you like the beach then head down to the Akaroa Beach if you're in town... We were there on a 'warmish' day and there were heaps of people at the beach...and even some people in the water swimming! Brrr!! ;)
Favorite thing: 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...
Favorite thing: The Akaroa Harbour is a beautiful place...the water is a gorgeous aqua blue colour and the harbour is full of wild dolphins, seals and penguins as well as a lot of bird life. If you get the chance, go on a harbour cruise or just spend some time looking around...
My walk past the flowers continued, and I found myself with another beautiful tableau in front of me, this time of the small pier at the Rue Lavaud end of town (as opposed to the large pier, which is just a pier for bigger boats and the dolphin cruises, 600 mts or so further down at the Beach Rd end of the street).
I was even more reminded of the meditteranean when I saw the rocks instead of sand! (A little like at Nice in France, but their rocks are more pebbles).
There is a sandy patch of beach at Akaroa, but fairly small and further around the bay, towards the large pier.
More photos included of the small pier from my December 2005 visit...
Favorite thing: We came across a few lots of seals while we were on our dolphin cruise too... They were sunning themselves up on the rocks usually - looking very relaxed... Although these two were having a little tiff over who's rock it was... ;)
Akaroa was also the first (and only) place on the holiday I managed to take a photo of what I started calling "vertical Palm Trees" because they point up, instead of down. I don't know what their real name is, but I found them rather interesting.
Before I saw them in real life, I'd noticed them depicted in metal in an art studio or gallery, and wondered what they were doing with them, depicting them pointing upward!
I hadn't realized that New Zealand had bumble bees until I spotted one by chance in the garden outside our room at Bon Accord.
The only other time I've ever seen one was in Germany, and being fond of insects as well as animals, this was a special moment for me too - and for my camera, since I managed to capture it on digital.
New Zealand is famous for its Pohutukawa trees with their flaming red flowers which stand out brightly and at a good distance on even the dullest days.
Unfortunately though, the trees are becoming quite endangered in some regions (due in part again to having their foliage ravaged by introduced Possums, who have a lot to answer for!)
In ancient times, the Maori used to plant one of these trees to mark the burial place of their chiefs.
At last finding several of these trees together (and in a place where I could actually photograph them) was a special moment for me of the holiday.
Another of my favorite memories is of the walk I took immediately after we'd arrived and taken our gear inside Bon Accord backpackers.
I wanted to see exactly how close we were to the water's edge, so I set off from Bon Accord, crossed the road, and followed a little path near Rue Jolie, which led me past a beautiful garden with many of these Red Hot Poker flowers, which looked just magnificent against the harbour and the blue sky.
Not sure if they're a NZ flower, as we have them in Australia too, but this was the first time I'd been up close to any in NZ.
Fondest memory: One of the best memories I had is of taking a stroll by myself at leisure, down to the harbour, near the long pier, and admiring the palm and Norfolk Pine trees, and the small boats looking even brighter in the bright sunshine.
While I was busy taking this photo, the cute little Citroen's middle aged owners came along, and off they went.
I've a friend who collects Citroens, so it was great for me to be able to get a photo of this one, in a French styled town, so far from France.
I happened to be walking down the street at one point, and happened across this cute 2CV French car, obviously well loved, as it appeared it had been shipped out from England.
Went with the streetscape scenery quite nicely!
A turn of the century farmhouse has been renovated and extended to create an elegant homestead with wide wisteria-draped verandahs. Landscaped gardens of 3.5 acres, filled with roses, perennials and beautiful ornamental trees, feature a large natural pond, rustic bridges over the stream, rose-covered summerhouse and a superb pergola walk.
A small flock of sheep are nearby and there are optional bush walks and magnificent ancient trees.
Favorite thing: 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.